The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando is outraged that a local gun store’s front window contains a photo of Adolf Hitler as part of a display in support of the Second Amendment.
According to the clickorlando.com news site, the left front window of A&N Sports in Sanford, Florida features a large sign that says: “Our Bill of Rights is Unchangeable & Unalterable. What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ is not understood?”
Under the statement is a poster of Hitler wearing a red swastika armband.
The poster contains a quote it attributes to Hitler that says: “This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police will be more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.”
While the store’s owner, Bert Nelson, told the news outlet that one of his customers informed him that the quote was never said by Hitler, he emphasized that was not the point of his window display.
“Eleven million people died because of that nut [Hitler],” Nelson said. “That nut brings attention to that sign that says this nation will go down in history as the first time a civilized nation has full gun registration. And we don’t want that type of mentality to come to America.”
Nelson has owned the store for 44 years and said that the complaint was the first one he’d received about the poster. He added that customers, and friends of his who are Jewish, have posted for photos in front of the sign.
“I will try not to do anything that hurts anyone’s feelings, but looking at a sign that’s a picture of Hitler, how can that hurt anyone’s feelings, that’s a picture of bad history,” Nelson said.
Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando executive director Keith Dvorchik said that upon seeing the sign “my first reaction was horror” and that the picture of Hitler detracts from any underlying message.
“Anytime you see a picture of Adolf Hitler on a building like that, your stomach drops, your jaw drops. It really is hard. What are these people thinking, what are they saying? Why do they hate us, why are they so comfortable with that type of imagery screaming hatred?”
Nelson emphasized he is not an anti-Semite or a racist, and said he would listen to the concerns of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. But he would not take the sign down.
“Not now, now that this has happened,” Nelson said. “Because I’m definitely not anti-Semitic, I believe in freedom of speech, and I believe that we have the right to keep and bear arms.”