Oceanside sign flipper, veteran upsets public with massive cardboard rifle

Posted at 5:21 PM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 22:17:29-05
OCEANSIDE — A gun shop manager's unusual sign is upsetting passersby in a strip mall and has escalated to the point of police intervention. 
"It looks like a machine gun," said Sistina Taele, who was visiting Oceanside from out of town. "It is pretty aggressive."
At close range, it's simply a sign but Von, a veteran, is taking a lot of heat over it. 
"A couple people just going by flipping me the bird, either scolding me or yelling some type of obscenity out their window," Von said. 
He started flashing the sign on Black Friday to bring business in to Firearms Unknown. He manages the shop, which sells gun parts.
He says people called the cops reporting a man with a fake rifle. 
"It kind of frustrated me that someone would call and make a false statement like that knowing it is a cardboard sign that's very flimsy," he said. 
He said they asked him to stop or change the sign. 
"I respectfully said no," he said. 
Von's a big believer in his constitutional rights and doesn't want to be quieted. 
"It's kind of a slap in the face as a veteran," Von said.
The Marine veteran fought for his rights and lost friends in the fight for that freedom.  
"I miss them... I wish they were here," he said. 
Von is happy it brought business in and triggered a First Amendment debate. 
"All the amendments matter. You hear about a lot of stuff today. You know this matters, that matters," he said. "Well I matter and my rights matter. Every American matters." 
"I think he's doing too much, but then again, they do have the freedom to do that," Taele said. 
If you happen to see the sign, he wants you to know he's the only one is harm's way. 
"It is cardboard," he said. "I did get a papercut from it."