Hitler parody satirizes Charleston Mayor Danny Jones and gun bil - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Hitler parody satirizes Charleston Mayor Danny Jones and gun bill position

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At first glance, it seems like a movie about Hitler and the Third Reich. But take a closer look, and you'll see the clip mocks an issue far more current than World War II.

The YouTube parody highlights an issue that has Charleston all fired up: the gun bill. The star of the show is Mayor Danny Jones, who made his feelings clear on last Sunday's edition of Decision Makers.

The mayor passionately railed against Senate Bill 317--a piece of legislation recently passed by the West Virginia Legislature. The proposal would allow people to bring guns onto city property and more public places. The measure would also eliminate municipal ordinances enacted under Home Rule.

The next day, March 18, the clip hit the Internet. In the parody, Jones is depicted as Adolf Hitler. The video's creator says Jones' outcry on Decision Makers mirrors the meltdown in the 2004 film, Downfall. The clip reached more than 2,600 views in less than three days.

"It's really easy to make the comparison between the two. I think Danny Jones doesn't handle himself very well in some ways," said Kevin Patrick, Jr. in a phone interview Thursday.

The Morgantown native said he's not equating the mayor to the Nazi leader--just poking fun.

"It would be ludicrous, ridiculous, and probably offensive to call Danny Jones Hitler," Patrick said.

But did the satirist go too far? 13 News watched the clip with Mayor Jones to see his reaction. He was a lot calmer today.

"Oh, who wants to be compared to Hitler?" said Jones, waving off the spoof. "It's an effort at humor."

Jones pledges to fight the bill currently sitting on Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's desk. It's unclear whether Tomblin will sign the bill or veto it. Jones views the jab as politics and nothing more.

"These are people who don't have much of a life," Jones said. "And they're trying to make ones for themselves."

Others said they found the parody offensive.

"You couldn't compare him to Hitler in no way," said Robert Belcher, of Charleston. "Hitler was a horrible person.

Even some who support Senate Bill 317 said they question the spoof.

"Hitler don't need to be brung up," said Vaughn, a resident of Webster County. "That touches a lot of feelings. Mass murders, that's not good."

The creator said he supports the freedom of speech, and he has a message for those who misinterpreted the satire: "I would say they must be new to the Internet," Patrick said. "The Internet is a rough and tumble Wild West kind of place."

Patrick says he belongs to the pro-gun group, the West Virginia Citizens Defense League. A disclaimer posted with the video makes clear Patrick did not ask the board's permission to release or make the video.

13 News spoke to WVCDL President Keith Morgan, who declined an on-camera interview. Morgan said he does not endorse the parody.