Americans salute bin Laden's death with T-shirts, more
TAMPA - For those who cheered the death of Osama bin Laden, there are many ways to celebrate the passing of the most wanted terrorist in the world. T-shirts. Pins. Hats.Coffee mugs. Even mouse pads and plaques. They are all meant to commemorate the shooting death of bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida who was slain Sunday in a gun battle with Navy Seals in a sprawling compound in Pakistan. Nearly a decade after the World Trade Center towers were diminished to rubble in New York City streets because of a plot by bin Laden, U.S. armed forces finally caught up with him. And with his death, there were celebrations everywhere, from the streets of New York and Washington, D.C., to a bar in Tampa. Now the celebrations and subsequent surge in patriotism have turned into a quest for items to mark the historic occasion. They range from tasteful patriotic themes to messages that are less tasteful. "Game Over," reads one shirt. "Osama bin Obama'd," says another. "Osama bin killed," still another reads. Some of the images show bin Laden with a bullet hole in his head. Randy Heine, owner of Rockin Cards and Gifts in Pinellas Park, hopes to stock some of the items on his shelves by Friday. "This is going to be a very hot item for a short period of time," Heine said this morning. "I don't think they are going to do a lot of runs of these." Heine said he doesn't see anything wrong with people being happy about and making a buck off bin Laden's death. "It's the primitive instinct in all of us to be happy that the boogey man has been killed," Heine said. "It's good for the human psyche to put an end to this person." A company in Tampa that manufactures clothing and collectibles is also getting in on the market. Encore Select, located in the West Shore area, will be printing T-shirts this afternoon. "It's more to reflect the feeling that most people had when they heard the news," said company president Richard Moore. "One for the good guys. It's some positive news. We want to be a part of it." Encore shirts will be more patriotic themed with some satire involved, Moore said. One shirt shows a large American flag and says, "Bye Bye Bin Laden, Courtesy of USA." Another says "Bin Laden Been Gotten." Each costs $19.99. Moore said the company won't produce products that he deems in bad taste, with bullet holes in bin Laden's head or questionable wording. "It's still a death, no matter if he's a villain or whatever," he said. "If a kid can't wear it, we don't want to make it." A portion of proceeds from the shirt sales will go to the 9/11 Memorial fund.