A libertarian group in the American West is using the Aurora movie massacre to make a provocative point about U.S. foreign policy.
The Ralph Smeed Foundation, an Idaho-based group that espouses limited government and individual liberty, has programmed an electronic billboard that stands about 26 miles west of Boise with a message that compares President Barack Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan with the actions of shooting suspect James Holmes, who allegedly killed 12 people and injured 58 others when he opened fire recently in a crowded theater.
“Kills 12 in a movie theater with assault rifle, everyone freaks out,” reads the sign’s left half, which displays a photo of Holmes. “Kills thousands with foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize,” reads the right side of the panel, which shows a photo of Obama.
“There’s a tremendous amount of outrage over the people who were killed in Colorado, and justifiably so, but there’s not an equal amount of outrage over all the American soldiers that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and all the innocent civilians dying over there,” Maurice Clements, president of the foundation’s board of directors, told the Daily News.
The latest missive has sparked a series of sharp reactions since it went up about a week ago. “I’m not an Obama fan but this is way out of line,” Dawn Van Natta wrote on KBOI-TV’s Facebook page. “It exposes a simple truth for all to see and think about,” commented A.J. Ellis.
For its part, the foundation, which has received hundreds of messages about the sign, says it welcomes the feedback.
“We’re not afraid of flak for what we say,” added Clements. “We’re probably going to leave it up for a while.”