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DENVER, Colorado (KUSA) — Two billboards promoting gun rights placed along busy Colorado roads were meant to get attention. They are doing that, but the reaction from some is anger.
“I was disgusted. I was disgusted,” Greeley resident Maureen Brucker said.
The billboard displays what appears to be a historical photo of three Native Americans along with the words, “Turn in your arms. The government will take care of you.”
The history of the Native Americans has been used in other debates surrounding gun control, but the photo used on this billboard is what has outraged some.
“I think it is insensitive, because even though it is what may have happened in the past, people are still living that. Relatives are still living that,” Kerri Salazar, a Greeley resident and Native American, said.
Salazar says the outrage over the use of the photo has spread well beyond Greeley. She sent a photo of the billboard to family in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
“When my brother saw it, I can’t even say the words he said, but he was like, ‘that’s B.S.,’” Salazar said.
NBC affiliate KUSA contacted Lamar Advertising, the outdoor advertising company that owns the billboard, in an attempt to speak with the individuals who paid for the message. We were told the individuals wished to remain anonymous.
“You don’t do this. You don’t take something that is indicative of an ethnicity and use it to prove your point. It is just not acceptable. No matter what the ethnicity, no matter what the point, you don’t do it,” Brucker said.
Salazar says her problem with the billboard is not centered on the gun debate.
“I personally do not own a gun. I don’t feel the need to, but for those that do, that is their right,” Salazar said.
She and others are asking that the photo be removed and not made part of the debate.
“My hope would be is that they can just take the picture down, leave the saying. You know I get it. Believe me, I get it,” Salazar said.