Parents Upset Over Booster Club Gun Raffle

AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Schools and school groups often need money, which necessitates fundraisers. How many of us remember selling magazines or candy bars (or whatever else) so we could get some cheesy prizes and the school could get some much-needed funds?

I’m pretty sure most of us did it.

Raffle tickets are a tried and true way to raise money. You put up a handful of prizes (or one or two really big-ticket items), then sell tickets for the chance to win it.

For one school, a few of the prizes are firearms. Not a bad idea, really, since people will buy tickets for the chance at a gun. Unfortunately, some of the parents are less than pleased.

Booster clubs often ask high school athletes to sell popcorn, cookie dough or other items to help raise money to help offset the costs of sports programs.

Football players at Cedar Cliff High School this year, however, were asked to sell raffle tickets where five out of 10 prizes were guns, raising concerns by some parents.

The weapons offered as prizes by the Cedar Cliff Colts Football booster are: a Gen 5 9-millimeter Glock 19, a 9-millimeter Springfield Hellcat, a 9-millimeter Smith and Wesson 2.0 Pro Series, a 12-gauge semi-automatic Radical MKX-3, and a .30-06 Savage Axis 2 Overwatch.

The idea of raffling off weapons raises multiple concerns for Daina Thompson, a mental health professional and mother of a 14- and 11-year-old in the district.

“In such poor taste,” she said, the sale was announced during National Suicide Prevention Week.

“I cannot support something that is potentially putting guns in more homes of the teenagers I see, knowing the stats,” Thompson said. “They clearly didn’t consult a mental health professional in this.”

Why would they, Karen? Yes, I know your name is Daina, but it’s really Karen.

First, not everyone keeps up with National Suicide Prevention Week. I sure as hell don’t and neither do most people. As a mental health professional, I have no doubt she would because that’s part of her job, but it’s not something everyone else is going to think of.

Second, it’s awfully bold of you to assume that the people buying this are going to just leave them around for their mentally ill teenager to get hold of.

Oh, but for Thompson, it’s not a gun issue. Not really.

The problem as Thompson sees it isn’t whether adults should own guns — it’s whether it is appropriate to sell guns in a school-related fundraiser.

“I’m not trying to start a war over the Second Amendment,” Thompson said, adding she has hunters and military members in her family. “I’m not opposed of people getting weapons through their own means, but how can this be appropriate in a school environment?”

Thompson says she’s spoken with other parents who are upset, but none of them are quoted by the media, shockingly.

In other words, it looks like Thompson is the one with the issue.

Additionally, it should be noted that the tickets are sold outside of school, the guns are transferred outside of school, and they never come onto school grounds. It’s not “a school environment.”

The truth is that gun raffles work really well to raise money in many communities. If you don’t want the gun, don’t buy a ticket.

Thompson needs to remember that these prizes are generally donated for the purposes of the raffle. Beggars can’t be choosers and all that. We don’t see her offering up free therapy as a potential prize, now do we? Instead, she wants to play Karen because she, personally, doesn’t approve of gun raffles.

Well, don’t worry, Karen. Everyone gets a background check before taking possession of the firearms and since most who buy tickets will likely already own guns, it’s unlikely to create an issue where none previously, so chill out.