WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WRKN) — The Wilson County school board received an alarming catalog in the mail with a realistic illustration of dead children.
The publication also satirically advertises a fake bomber jacket that allows someone to hide an assault rifle. However, once you read between the lines, the author said his work is shining a light on gun violence in America.
📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts →
“So, when I opened this up the first thing I noticed was a letter and it had my name handwritten,” said Joseph Padilla, Wilson County School Board member.
Padilla said at first, he was confused and then concerned. “There’s a picture of dead children laying, it’s a generated image, it’s digital.”
“It’s just a matter of time before this offensive satire becomes offensive reality,” said Brandon McNichols, author of The AR Bomber Jacket.
McNichols is the author of The AR Bomber Jacket and president of This is America Clothing Company. He said when it comes to his work, there is much more than what meets the eye.
“You look at this work through your phone, then these buttons pop up, then when you touch the buttons…” McNichols said.
He said the publication then reveals critical information from gun experts, media clippings, and more.
“My goal is to protect children and when you open something like this that’s evoking a reaction and evoking fear, the way this gentleman did, to be honest, I got kind of upset…trying to use comedy to address such a serious situation is very distasteful,” Padilla said.
However, McNichols said that’s the whole point of his work. “Certainty yes there is a degree of anger and I want to shove them in some people’s faces but I also want people to stop, look, and reflect upon it.”
McNichols said he sent his catalog to Wilson County and every school board across the country that has removed books from library shelves this year. It’s a controversial issue that continues to be in the spotlight during Wilson County school board meetings.
“It is hypocritical that we are banning books, but we are not banning the AR-15 that is causing so much more damage. And that’s why I sent it to the book banners to make this point,” McNichols said.
McNichols told News 2 he sent out over 2,200 copies across the country. He said he sent his publication to every single Tennessee and Florida lawmaker, as well as every member of Congress.
He said he specifically chose Tennessee lawmakers after he felt like nothing was done during the special session.