Auckland gun shop cans idea for ‘Kabul Skydiving Club’ T-shirt after complaints – Stuff.co.nz

auckland-gun-shop-cans-idea-for-‘kabul-skydiving-club’-t-shirt-after-complaints-–-stuffco.nz

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says a bombing at Kabul airport has forced the end of New Zealand's current evacuation mission in Afghanistan.

An Auckland gun shop planned to sell a T-shirt depicting people falling from an aeroplane, below the words ‘Kabul Skydiving Club’, until an onslaught of negative feedback from customers.

Serious Shooters in Penrose was contemplating selling the t-shirt as reports emerged from Afghanistan that thousands of terrified people were gathering at Kabul airport to escape the Taliban’s advance.

The Washington Post reported hundreds ran alongside the wheels of a United States military plane as it attempted to take off.

This T-shirt, posted on Facebook, sparked outrage as images emerged in the media of desperate people clinging to United States planes at Kabul airport to escape the Taliban.

Supplied

This T-shirt, posted on Facebook, sparked outrage as images emerged in the media of desperate people clinging to United States planes at Kabul airport to escape the Taliban.

Others climbed the sides of the plane in desperation and one fell from the aircraft after it had taken off. The Associated Press has reported seven people died at the airport.

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Serious Shooters owner Richard Munt told Stuff he was asked by friends to make the T-shirt after he commented on a Facebook post.

“I’ve got a number of mates who served there, and they saw the funny side of it. That’s because of their dark humour and my dark humour,” he said.

“I suppose you have to be a little more careful these days than I was. I completely misread the situation.”

Munt said he canned the idea for the T-shirt. None were made and none were sold.

“I got a bunch of phone calls from some mates saying ‘bit over the top for you isn’t it?’ and before I could pull the pin [or] the post off Facebook, Facebook started pulling the posts because of the language that some of the people were using, so I just deleted everything.

“I thought it was funny, it turns out it’s not so we s… canned it.”

One of those who responded online was James Adamson.

The keen hunter and fisherman from the Manawatū was scrolling through Facebook one night when he came across the post, which he immediately found distasteful.

“I’m a big fan of pretty dark jokes once in a while, but our country has paid in blood to try and give these people a better life, and then these guys, who are in the firearms and hunting industry, just paint us all like a bunch of uncaring hillbillies really.”

The blood Adamson refers to is close to home.

“I’ve got family that were on tour when several of our troops were killed. My family member was a commander there and at his stag-do I met one of the guys who was [later] killed.”

MARK TAYLOR / STUFF

Diamond Kazimi, 28, worked with the New Zealand Defence Force as an interpreter in 2009 for two-and-a-half years.

He also thought of the local Afghan community who have lobbied hard to have translators repatriated.

“I thought, imagine if an Afghan family, who are into their hunting and fishing, see that post came up? It’s just not inclusive and, quite frankly, it made me angry seeing someone laugh about the desperation that it would take to cling on to the outside of an aircraft.”

Adamson said he would not be spending his money at Serious Shooters.

“You go through the old ‘I’ll just shut my mouth and won’t say anything’ and then you think ‘imagine if that was my family that was considering clinging to the outside of an aircraft, dying, with a whatever-decimal-point chance of getting out of the country? If you let that sort of s… fly, you’re a rogue society.”

Another who was angered by the post was Edgecumbe primary school teacher and keen hunter Matt Hata.

Hundreds of people run alongside a US Air Force plane and some climb on, as it moves down a runway of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

AP

Hundreds of people run alongside a US Air Force plane and some climb on, as it moves down a runway of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Hata called the t-shirt “bad taste” online and was blocked. He said while the vast majority of the feedback he received was supportive of his stance, he was also threatened.

He, too, has been following what has been happening in Afghanistan.

“I watched the news article of the people falling out of the sky. It hits a nerve. It should do with everyone.

“I talk about this sort of thing with the kids all the time. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. We’re lucky where we live but for the people over there, your afternoon is not guaranteed.”

He also would not be shopping at Serious Shooters, he said.

“Why would you even try and make money off people who are dying to get out of their own country? It’s not the Kiwi way. The Kiwi way is: ‘Put your hand out and we’ll give you a hand up’.”

Meanwhile, Serious Shooters owner Richard Munt said he was sorry.

“It was a stupid idea, it’s not happening, lesson learned.

“I didn’t intend it to be offensive, turned out it was, apologies all round. It’s just one of those things that got out of control and should never have done the idea to begin with in hindsight,” he said.

“Apologies all round and we’re not going to do that kind of thing again.”

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