USA Today posted a video on Twitter attempting to describe the AR-15 used in the Texas Church Shooting. Included in video were #PossibleModifications which quickly became a trending hashtag of parodies. What about the video inspired this flood of parodies? #ChainsawBayonet which also became a popular hashtag. Here is the tweet that started it all:
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November 8, 2017
Yes, there is a chainsaw accessory that can be attached to the picatinny rail of an AR-15. Until now, it was more of a novelty item known almost exclusive to zombie genre firearms buffs. However, like the controversy surrounding bump fire stocks, the “fear factor” behind its inclusion in the USA Today post has already launched the chainsaw bayonet into mainstream high demand.
Anti-gun media scare tactics routinely spur sales of firearms and firearm accessories. President Obama was revered among many in the firearms industry as Firearms Salesman of the Year. Possibly Salesman of the Decade since his regular calls for more gun control resulted in record firearms sales throughout his presidency.
If you are a Twitter user, search #PossibleModifications hashtag and you’ll find a ton of parody AR-15 accessories. Here’s just a few of my favorites:
— Tub (@theyellowtub) November 9, 2017
A very rare " Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" modification, aka "Illudium PU-36." Capable of destroying every person (and rabbit) on the planet with an intense laser followed by an earth-shattering kaboom.#PossibleModifications @USATODAY pic.twitter.com/YGafKTwG62
— gab.ai/DMartyr ن (@DMartyr) November 8, 2017
The Hillary Cough Suppressor pic.twitter.com/jcdfAbVAx3
— ☠Problematic AF™☠ (@EF517_V2) November 8, 2017
— MSG (@MSG_1_) November 9, 2017
Gotta love the internet, right? You just never know what will grab the internet’s attention and be the next big viral sensation.
Just to put this in perspective. This phenomenon began by USA Today including a rare and little known accessory in their presentation in order to up the “fear factor” in the wake of a deadly massacre. When they were called out for it, they posted a “clarification”:
The clarification only added fuel to the viral parody fire. On one hand, some might find it disgraceful that USA Today to use a tragedy in such a way. On the other hand, unforgiving social media has made a laughing stock of them in response. Some might find the levity distasteful, but in times of pain and suffering, sometimes a little levity can be therapeutic.
Let us know in the comments below, what you think of USA Today’s post and/or the reaction to it. Let me close by saying, as a Texan and as an American, the victims of that horrendous act are in my thoughts and prayers daily. My disdain for USA Today’s post and the humor I found in social media’s reaction to it in no way diminish my sorrow for the tragic loss that instigated all of the above.