Raffles are a favorite fundraising strategy of almost any group you care to name. It makes sense why, too. After all, people will kick in a few bucks for a ticket with the understanding that the worst-case scenario is they help a good cause. The best-case is that they win a prize that was often donated to the charity.
Gun raffles are often popular with a number of groups because they’re generally high-ticket items with a fairly high demand. They’re especially popular with pro-gun groups for obvious reasons.
Also, a lot of events are held wherever event organizers can find. Often, you have to settle for what you can get. Other times, your first choice is easily obtainable.
What do those two things have to do with one another? Well, it seems that on top of all the other nonsense going around about guns, people are freaking out about the NRA holding gun raffles in high schools.
Parents and students trickled into the Muhlenberg County High School gym on a hot Saturday night as the sounds of cheers and a referee’s whistle carried from an athletic field nearby. Inside the “Home of the Mustangs,” Friends of NRA was raffling off guns: semiautomatic rifles and handguns, guns with high-capacity magazines and pump-action shotguns.
In the past two years, the NRA Foundation’s fundraising program had displayed actual guns along the wooden bleachers in the gym. This time organizers showed only pictures, bowing to objections from parents who pointed to a shooting at another western Kentucky high school last year that left two students dead and more than a dozen wounded.
“It’s obscene that they have had guns inside our gym,” said Shannon Myers, whose 16-year-old son attends band practice next to the gym where the event was held in September. “The more I looked into it, the more I realized they are having these events all over the place. Not just here in our little town but in little towns all over the country.”
None of these guns are in the hands of criminals or the insane. Ammunition isn’t brought with them and people aren’t just manhandling these weapons just for fun. They’re placed there for display purposes and that’s about it.
So why are these people freaking the hell out?
Well, just up the road a bit at Marshall County High School, there was a school shooting just a few weeks before Parkland. It didn’t get a lot of attention, all things considered, but it was bad enough. At least one parent of a student at the school appeared to be fairly unhinged about school shootings, enough to make her a crusader against this sort of harmless thing.
Among those at the protest was Heather Adams, whose son survived the shooting in Benton and is now a junior at Marshall County High. People often ask her about the shooting, she said.
“People ask, ‘Were you surprised?’ No, I was waiting for it,” the gun-control activist told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. “I live in the middle of gun country.”
Of course, statistically, school shootings are extremely unlikely, even in gun country, but what do you expect from an anti-gunner? They’re always expecting doom and gloom, so when they get it, they make a big deal about it. The question is, how many people are also “waiting for it” only “it” never happens?
Regardless, this is really nothing more than a continuation of something I’ve talked about before, the stigmatization of gun owners. More specifically, though, it’s about the guns themselves. They want to push guns out of the consciousness, out of the realm of the acceptable in all places, because then it becomes easier to isolate gun owners.
You see, owners interact at events like this. Make them harder for people to hold and you make it harder for people to network with those who agree with them about defending our Second Amendment rights.
If it also helps make it harder for the NRA to fundraise, then so much for the better.
However, this isn’t a crisis. This is something that has gone on for decades without a single incident. What we’re seeing is a classic example of making a mountain out of a flat piece of ground, but that’s what anti-gunners do, isn’t it?