Gun rights activist Linc Sample received far more attention than he expected when he planted a sign in his front yard reading Black Rifles Matter YES We Have ‘Em NO You Can’t Take ‘Em.
Sample lives in the scenic resort community of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and his message has convinced some tourists to leave.
Sample built the sign in irritation after he saw a local ad supporting a ban on assault weapons. “That’s really a trigger for me – the assault weapons ban,” he said. “We have AR-15s, or what the press generally calls ‘assault weapons.’ Everyone knows I’ve got guns.”
Sample, who has displayed controversial signs in his lawn in the past, explains that the sign is simply “a tongue-in-cheek way of saying, ‘You’re not taking them.’ It’s a rallying cry for the Second Amendment.”
He insists the sign has nothing to do with race, and the cardboard “Black Lives Matter” sign you can see in the above picture was added by someone else. Sample play on words was intended only to draw attention. “They’re [Black Lives Matter] being targeted because of their appearance, fair enough. So is my rifle,” says Sample. “If anything, they should be flattered I used the phrase [Black Rifles Matter].”
The sign has not been interpreted as flattery, however, and Rick Prose of the district’s Chamber of Commerce says there have been multiple complaints. Prose calls the sign “racist,” “insensitive,” and “not welcoming.”
Boothbay Harbor is a vacation community and Town Manager Thomas Woodin argues that some visitors “have cut their vacation short and left early” because of the sign.
Sample has not broken any laws, however, and Woodin admits that “there isn’t much the town can do about it.”
Not all visitors were offended by the sign. “I think they’re doing the right thing,” says tourist Jeremy Plasse. “Massachusetts has a ban right now, and I think they should lift it.”
Firearms laws will be a ballot issue in November, and Maine’s voters will decide whether to require background checks for the purchase and/or transfer of firearms.
Editor’s note: We don’t normally cover “antics” by individuals, but this is an example of how a small issue can blow up by touching a liberal media nerve.