In response to the Newtown shooting and the growing calls for gun control legislation, a North Carolina branch of the Tea Party responded with a gun raffle.
In wake of the tragedy that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been increased calls for United States President Barack Obama and members of the United States Congress to talk about gun control legislature. At the same time, gun-rights advocates have pushed back in many different ways. Recently, Republican that identify themselves with being part of the Tea Party Movement have weighed in and felt the talks of gun control is imposing on their 2nd Amendment Rights.
A member of the Tea Party Nation, an ultra-conservative arm of the larger Tea Party Movement, blamed the Sandy Hook Massacre on teachers union, a “lack of God,” and sex in the media. The person said that even without guns, there were other ways that Adam Lanza, who was identified as the perpetrator, could have pulled off the massacre. According to that member, Lanza could have used explosives, poison gas, and so forth.
Also, the main website of the Tea Party talked about the need to embrace both “God and guns.”
A Tea Party chapter from Ashville, North Carolina decided to do something that could be deemed very insensitive. This could also be interpreted as spitting in the faces the families and friends of those that have died in the Sandy Hook shootings where most of the victims were children between the ages of 5 to 10 years of age.
This chapter decided to hold a rifle raffle. Tickets for the raffle are $20 a piece. Only two-hundred entries would be allowed. The winner of the raffle would get a DPMS Panther Oracle AR15 .223 caliber rifle. It would come with two 30-round magazines. The rifle is similar to the Bushmaster assault rifle that Lanza used to execute the mass shootings.
Also, there's another drawing for a Keltec PMR-30 .22 magnum pistol with a 30-round clip. According to the flier, this gun is hard to find and there is a waiting list to get one. To enter into that raffle, tickets are $10 a piece. Like the raffle for the assault rifle, only two-hundred entries would be permitted.
The flier specifically says that winners have to pass all required background checks and be residents of North Carolina.
This chapter of the Tea Party gave justification of holding such a raffle. It says that while Sandy Hook is tragic, gun control hasn't been effective. Like a growing number or pro-gun advocates, the group believes that gun violence such as school shootings would decrease if such weapons were put into the hands of people that follow the law. With that respect, the group is making the same argument as other pro-gun rights advocates in arming those that work at the school.
Actions like this could further hurt the Tea Party Movement in the future along with the politicians that align themselves with them. In a CNN op-ed article, the Tea Party Movement hurt the GOP in the long run. It names several examples such as Christine O'Donnell running for a US House seat in Delaware and Richard Mourdock running for a US Senate seat in Indiana.
Both members aligned with the Tea Party Movement. With Tea Party support, they defeated incumbent GOP candidates in the primary races. In the case of O'Donnell, she defeated Michael Castle. In the case of Mourdock, he defeated Richard Lugar. The two of them lost their respective races in 2010 and in 2012. Mourdock took heavy hits in the polls when he made his comments about rape and abortion during a debate.
At the same time, the incumbents they defeated were reported to be strong enough to defeat Democratic challengers.
With the Tea Party Movement's stances on firearms in regards to the growing call of gun legislation, this provides ammo against anybody that aligns with the group. In regards to Mourdock and Todd Akin, with the latter who ran for the US Senate seat in Missouri for 2012.