Since the proliferation of a race-based, anti-police activist movement known as Black Lives Matter, advocates of other social ideals have attempted to play on the recognizable name. Most notably, cries of racism and bigotry have dogged those who dare utter the arguably more inclusive “All Lives Matter” alternative.
While such alterations to the slogan have moderately fueled tension, often unintentionally, one homeowner in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, recently erected a sign in his yard that almost immediately offended locals and visitors alike.
Linc Sample explained it was not his mission for the sign to be seen as an affront to anyone else’s beliefs. In fact, the sign on his property is regularly changed to reflect his own thoughts on a particular subject.
For his latest sign, which reads in part “Black Rifles Matter,” was his response to his state’s restrictive gun laws.
“That’s really a trigger for me,” he said of a ban on so-called assault weapons.
Acknowledging he took his cue from the more popular slogan in an effort to gain attention to his message, Sample said he does not think activists should be offended.
“If anything,” he concluded, “they should be flattered I used the phrase.”
According to some town leaders, the sign has negatively affected tourism. Town Manager Thomas Woodin, however, explained the resident has complied with all applicable city ordinances needed to display such a sign.
“There isn’t much the town can do about it,” he said.