A Missouri youth baseball team will move forward with an AR-15 raffle following the Parkland school shooting last week.
The third-graders will move ahead with the raffle despite criticism.
FOX News reported:
A Missouri youth baseball team is moving ahead with a raffle of an AR-15 rifle despite criticism it received after a similar gun was used to kill 17 in a Florida high school.
Coach Levi Patterson told The Kansas City Star the fundraiser for the third-grade team in Neosho, Missouri, had been planned before last week’s shooting in Parkland, Florida.
He says his heart breaks for the shooting victims, but said gun raffles have been going on for years. He also said none of the children on the team would be forced to sell raffle tickets. Players selling tickets range in age from 7 to 9.
The weapon was offered by a player’s father who is a co-founder of a local gun store. The winner must pass a background check.
Patterson has been criticized on Facebook, The Star reported. One commenter asked if he is tone deaf.
“AR15 kills seventeen so you raffle a gun for child sports? Lord, people wake the hell up. Justify all you want but you are wrong, period.”
Patterson responded, “gun raffles have been going on for years. Evil has and will always exist.
FUNDRAISER TRIGGERS CRITICISM: Third-graders in a Missouri youth baseball program are selling raffle tickets for an AR-15 prize– the same type of gun used in the Florida school massacre. The children’s coach say they conceived the idea before last week’s shooting. pic.twitter.com/u9XIipSI9a
— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) February 19, 2018
Players selling tickets range in age from 7 to 9.https://t.co/4X3D2iypRN
— TribLIVE.com (@TribLIVE) February 18, 2018