Billboards, insults, guns and McDonald’s

By Mark Stinson

Siler City, NC – I read an article in the Chatham County Line that made me go hmm. Its headline was “Keep this Billboard down” with a photo of a McDonald’s ad right beside a Dixie Gun and Knife show ad on a billboard located on 15/501 North.  I looked at the sign and didn’t see anything particularly wrong with it so I read the article.

McDonald's BillboardThe person writing it went on a rant about insensibility of putting such a sign beside a medical facility and a day care. I agree fast food has been contributing to the obesity of children for way too long. Oh, but wait, they were complaining about the Dixie Gun and Knife show ad. They stated that the mentality required to put that sign there would be from a person with the intelligence of an earth worm.

Let’s think about this for a moment. It’s true guns and knives are responsible in some way for deaths of some children in this country every year but the number of children who have suffered obesity from fast food who will have lifelong health problems and die from being junk foodaholics overwhelmingly outnumbers the numbers of injuries and deaths of children from firearms and knives.

On the way to the beach there is a strip club billboard beside a large church. You would think that the church would object but instead it put its own bill board up beside the strip clubs stating “Extremely hot tropical destination one way only” with a silhouette of a sexy devil lady with a trident and pointed tail pointing towards the strip club sign and an angel silhouette with wings and halo pointing towards the church with a sign stating “Comfortable lush Paradise destination one way only.” I think its awesome that the church took the high
road and let it be.

My point is that it’s just a billboard!

Those pictures of guns won’t fire a bullet to hurt a soul nor will they force anyone to go shoot anyone. The McDonald’s sign won’t force people to allow their kids over eat. The billboard is on a major highway in a high traffic area and it makes brilliant advertising sense to advertise just about anything on that sign. Here’s what I think the real issue is; I think if it was anti-gun sign with an organic farm ad there wouldn’t be a peep from these people .

Intolerant TolerantsI believe in freedom of speech and expression and that means freedom of advertisement as well. If your going to throw a childish fit over a billboard because you don’t like the subject matter your living in the wrong country. If you can have anti-abortion, women’s choice, religious, atheist, democratic or republican and so forth billboards; why is one certain type of ad deemed more inappropriate than others?  Fair is fair. If it’s a billboard freedom of speech rules apply. They have the right to voice their opinions and write articles just like I have the right to voice mine here. Their article is in my opinion offensive to those of us who enjoy the Dixie Gun and Knife show as a good family outing event  but I RESPECT their right to post it.

I’m not going to petition Chatham County Line and say they need to retract the article because it offends me and I find it inappropriate to be in that paper because I respect free speech.

Just as the Chatham County Line is a publication, a billboard is in like manor a type of publication. If these people find the billboard so offensive they have the right to rent the billboard and put their own ad on it reflecting what they consider is appropriate. They have the right to make an offer to buy the billboard and then they can remove it leaving nothing but grass and shrubs if they like. They have the right to ignore it all together. I just feel its wrong to infringe on the rights and insult the intelligence of those who put the billboard there or the ones who place ads on it. It’s a business and that’s what they do.

If you don’t like having a billboard there; don’t insult people, quit whining and do something about it!