I guess in a city where there are so many deaths due to gunfire it's a big deal.
Nothing says Christmas quite like a glittery, black handgun hanging from the tree.
Urban Outfitters -- no stranger to controversial products -- is offering the 5-inch-long, Chinese-made gun ornament for $6 in its stores and catalogs this year.
''Bust a cap in your tree with this superglittery ornament in the shape of a handgun, complete with a satin ribbon for hanging,'' the online description of the revolver says. It is meant, the retailer says, as an ''ironic twist'' on the holidays.
''Twisted'' is more like it, said Kate Philips, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's spokeswoman. ''The governor doesn't find it humorous or clever to display weapons that are responsible for taking hundreds of lives each year as if they are decorations,'' she said.
The ''Glitter Gun Ornament'' is one of several ''dark humor items'' the company is selling this year, it said in a statement. There are devil sock monkeys and light-up skull ornaments -- a roguish companion to the light-up Jesuses -- and shiny cheeseburgers.
'This specific `Glitter Gun Ornament' is by no means condoning the violence that we face in our city, or any city, for that matter, and is not meant to celebrate guns or gun violence,'' the Philadelphia-based company said in a statement. ``It is meant only to ironically celebrate the holidays.''
Urban Outfitters' edgy sense of humor has drawn fire before. Various groups have protested two T-shirts -- one said ''New Mexico, Cleaner Than Regular Mexico,'' and the other paired a dollar sign with the words ''Everyone Loves a Jewish Girl'' -- and a board game, Ghettopoly, that spoofs Monopoly by featuring crack houses and housing projects. (The company also currently sells necklaces sporting Uzi and knife pendants.)
Capt. Benjamin Nash, spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department, couldn't resist calling the gun ornament ''outrageous,'' he but wondered whether he and the media weren't doing exactly what Urban Outfitters wanted: drawing attention to the company's website and catalog.
''It has the potential to raise their profile,'' he said, ``and that's just wrong.''
Duane ''Sadat'' Alexander, an outreach coordinator for Men United for a Better Philadelphia, was initially speechless when told of the ornament. He recently attended the funeral of a 17-year-old killed by gunfire. ''I'm really appalled,'' he later said about the ornament. ``My heart is so torn out from these deaths.''
As for the attempt at irony, he said: ``I don't see no humor in it whatsoever.''
Darryl Coates, executive director of the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network, said he thinks the company should be more sensitive.
''Once again, you see someone trying to profit off of the violent nature of our society, and if that's the case, they should withdraw the ornament from their catalog right away and submit an apology to the community,'' he said.
Coates is finishing up a deal to sell a fundraising ornament that he likes better. It features a city skyline and doves, and says: ``In the spirit of peace, in your home, in your neighborhood, in your city.''
But Paul Raynolds, a Summit, N.J., man who teaches firearms safety, sees no problem with a gun ornament, as long as it isn't pointed at anyone. He said: ``I think I might get one.''