The War on Christmas took a bizarre new twist when Santa Claus turned up heavily armed at a gun club in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Monday.
"I'm sick of being the nice guy, the soft touch," Santa declared. From now on, if you're naughty, forget coal - it's hot lead for you, baby."
Arizona politicians have applauded Santa's tough stance on the use of firearms.
"Coming down the chimney into a stranger's house - it's a dangerous situation," Governor Jan Brewer explained. "People in this state tend to be a little jumpy, and also heavily armed, so Santa has to be prepared to defend himself. It's all part of our wonderful Wild West heritage."
"I'm grateful to Santa for his support of the Second Amendment," Sheriff Joe Arpaio added. "Now that he's outsourced his manufacturing operation to China, there are a lot of disgruntled elves out there. Naturally he needs to carry heavy firepower, just like my deputies always do when they pay one of our citizens a visit. It's best to avoid misunderstandings by shooting first and asking questions later."
In recent years, Arizona legislators have passed laws to allow untrained people to carry concealed weapons without a permit (even in bars), to make the Colt Revolver the official state symbol, and to make it easier for the mentally ill to purchase weapons - a law for which Jared Loughner is very grateful.
"Let's face it," said state legislator Lori Klein, "It wouldn't be Christmas in Arizona without a good shootout at the OK Corral. And don't you dare wish me Happy Holidays - I'm carrying!"
Gabrielle Giffords was unavailable for comment.