Jonathan Neufeld, a philosophy professor at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., shared this photo on Twitter today. It shows this morning's edition of the Charleston Post & Courier with its front page story on the shocking murder of nine black congregants at a church last night.
The front page also carries an ad for "Ladies' Night" at the ATP Gun Shop & Range in Summerville, S.C. "$30 gets you everything!" the ad promises, including eye and ear protection, a pistol or revolver, and 50 rounds of ammo for use on the shooting range. You get a souvenir T-shirt, and the range's Web site notes that the instructors are women.
"Have you ever wanted to learn to shoot for fun, sport, or self-defense, but felt intimidated by guns or the guys? Then you need to sign up for one of our Ladies' Night Shoots," the Web site says.
In a statement to media reporter Jim Romenesko, the Charleston Post & Courier said "the front-page sticky note that was attached to some home delivery newspapers on the same day as this tragedy is a deeply regrettable coincidence. We apologize to those who were offended." Romenesko notes this isn't the first time that this type of thing has happened.
The paper's front page is a jarring reminder of the dual role of firearms in American public life. On the one hand, they are implements of murder, contributing to one of the highest firearm homicide rates among the world's wealthy nations. On the other, they're a source of entertainment, sport and self-defense for millions of Americans.
But rarely do you see those two roles juxtaposed as starkly as they are here.
This story has been updated to include a statement from the Charleston Post & Courier.