The Kathy Griffin head-of-Trump controversy has just taken an even deeper turn toward the surreal. The owners of a gas station in Tennessee have posted a $50,000 bounty for the head of Kathy Griffin. Their scrolling marquee announced the bounty. It read “$50,000 reward for Kathy Griffin’s head delivered.”
This is, presumably, a joke. Yet those passing the Lewis Country Store in Nashville, Tennessee were still shocked by its audacity. Is it a joke, or isn’t it? That question seems to be at the heart of this whole controversy. When images of Griffin appeared last week, many said the images subject weren’t funny. Griffin holding what appears to be President Trump’s bloody head.
Yet she has stood by the image saying it was meant as a joke. Is it legal? That seems to be a more important issue.
And a Nashville resident who took these images and sent them into the Tennessean is asking the same question. “I know this seems like a bad joke, but is this legal?”
And it seems this isn’t the first time this shop has stirred the proverbial pot. In October, their sign read “Trump that Bitch.” And then it changed to “The only pussy Trump ever grabbed was Paul Ryan.”
The Tennessean spoke with Tara Ladd, an attorney with the Metropolitan Government of Nashville Department of Law.
“There does not appear to be an obvious violation of the Metropolitan Code of Laws,” Ladd advised. “Generally, the First Amendment protects even speech that may be construed as offensive.”
Bradford Lewis owns the store. He’s not speaking publicly about his signs. He has taken down the bounty message, though, and now the sign reads: “America first, screw the rest of y’all.”