When Rene Camper-Stewart saw an advertisement for the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at her local bus stop, she took to Facebook. Not because the gun show had already come and gone, but because, as she believed, of the insensitive nature of the placement. The bus stop, as it turns out, was the location where her son was murdered.
On June 25, 2016, Stewart’s son Christopher Camper, 32, was shot while waiting for a bus at the station on Ventura Boulevard in Oxnard, and later died from his wounds. Camper left behind a 13-year old daughter.
“How about this for irony and insensitivity,” wrote Stewart on her Facebook. “A gun show advertisement at the bus stop where my son was murdered by gun violence. ‘Crossroads of the West’ … the dates have passed. Please remove this or I will!”
The gun show took place on Saturday, Dec. 17, and Sunday, Dec. 18, in Ventura.
After the post went viral, several calls were made to the city of Oxnard, whereupon it was discovered that the ads were placed around the county through Clear Channel Advertising in partnership with the city, who owns the bus stop. Not long after, an update was posted by a friend of Stewart, reading, “The City of Oxnard and Clear Channel Advertising were very sorry that this occurred. I truly believe that no one did this in spite.”
Two days after the initial visit, Stewart visited the site and noted that the advertisement had not been removed. Instead, Stewart covered the poster with her own — reading, “Justice 4 Christopher Camper! Stop the Violence.”
By Friday, however, the advertisement had been removed.
“It’s kind of a slap in my face to advertise a gun show where my son was murdered and shot five times in the chest,” said Stewart. “However, I can say that the city officials did rise to the occasion and the community reached out to the company, and I was assured that it would be removed ASAP.”
Stewart says that the investigation into her son’s death is ongoing.