Florida newspaper runs gun show ad under memorial of Parkland shooting victim
A Florida newspaper has apologized after it ran a front-page advertisement for a gun show under a story about one of the victims of the Parkland mass shooting.
On Tuesday, the South Florida Sun Sentinel was criticized after posting an article about Parkland victim Alyssa Alhadeff, who would have turned 15 that day.
Under the memorial was a coupon for $1 off admission for a gun show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., — showing a picture of a semiautomatic firearm.
Alhadeff was one of the 17 students killed on Feb. 14 when alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz, opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was also killed in the shooting, angrily tweeted a photo of the newspaper and said: “Looks like the Sun Sentinel editor on this page failed. A story on the victims of gun violence and they put a gun coupon on the page. WTF!!!”
The page also had a story about a fundraiser for victims of the Parkland shooting, which was above the gun show coupon.
After the complaint, the publisher of the Sun Sentinel, Nancy Meyer, issued an apology and pledged a moratorium on gun advertising, according to Politico Florida.
“We deeply regret placement of a gun advertisement on our front page Wednesday morning. It is against our policy to run gun and other types of controversial advertising on our front page,” she wrote.
“We understand how the juxtaposition of certain ads and news stories can appear extremely insensitive, and we failed to prevent such a juxtaposition today. We are taking steps to ensure this does not happen again, and the Sun Sentinel now has a moratorium on gun advertising.”
Alumni from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wrote a letter about the oversight, which was published in the Sun Sentinel on Wednesday.
“Our disappointment in your poor judgment spurs from the ill-placed advertisement for the Fort Lauderdale gun show, offering discounted admission and concealed permit classes, placed immediately below the aforementioned stories,” the letter states.
“The abject callousness of this placement is more than unfortunate then — it is cruel and agonizing. It showcases your power to reopen a wound that has not yet healed and undermines your ethical commitment to serve our community.”
The alumni also demanded a “formal apology” be printed as soon a possible.
Guttenberg told Miami New Times on Wednesday he was happy it was resolved.
“I’m really pleased, actually,” says Guttenberg. “Someone made a really stupid error, or at least I’m assuming it was an error. They did more than apologize; they actually put a moratorium in place on more gun advertising.”
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