The tentacles of gun control are now stretching beyond mainstream-media propaganda as the naysayers are now going so far as to pressure nonprofits and charitable groups from doing something as innocuous as raffling off firearms. And, in what should serve as a warning sign that this trend is gathering steam, the anti-gunners won a recent battle to stop a California police union from raffling a rifle to raise funds for its chaplain services.
More and more gun raffles are being called into question and canceled due to opposition by gun-control advocates—which means that organizations in need of monetary support (particular those for youth sports and emergency first-responders) will have greater financial shortfalls due to political correctness.
For example, the San Jose Police Chaplaincy—a group dedicated to providing spiritual and emotional support for police officers and their families—relies on donations to carry out a large part of its mission. One way the police union has supported it in the past is to sell raffle tickets giving buyers the chance to win a rifle. This year was no different, as the union was selling chances for contributors to win a Ruger 9mm pistol caliber carbine rifle. But outcry from a former police auditor brought the effort to a screeching halt.
The idea of raffling a firearm for police groups makes sense, given that firearms are such a key element of police life and supporters of law enforcement likely have few qualms against private ownership of guns. We can even concede that in hotbeds of gun control like California and New Jersey, you’d expect to hear about such ludicrous claims regularly.
But the anti-gun sentiment in America has reached such a fever pitch that even charitable fundraisers in sparsely populated, one-time strongholds of the Second Amendment—like communities in Maine and Ambridge, Penn.—are running into hurdles. In Maine, organizers wanted to raise money for a local fire department in a popular traditional fundraiser. In Pennsylvania, an independent nonprofit football and cheerleading group hoped to raise much-needed funds for the teen football program. Some proceeds would be used to buy socks and cleats for teen football players who couldn’t afford them. The organization had held eight other events without great success compared to the gun raffle—which sold out its 500 tickets—before an outcry arose by some anti-gunners.
The excuse the anti-gun squad uses is simple: they cite recent tragedies involving firearms.
But that’s just a convenient prop for nanny-state proponents to reinforce their advocacy. How many criminal shootings have come about because someone was planning an assault in a gun-free zone and decided, “Oh, wait. I need a gun. I guess I’ll buy a raffle ticket and hope I win one?” Best guess: zero, zilch, nada. However you want to say it. Yet the outspoken anti-gun advocates get on their soapbox and publicly fret about the notion of firearm raffles fulfilling the fantasies of would-be spree shooters.
It is indeed disheartening that the police union didn’t counter such baseless lies, opting instead to give in to the political correctness.
The mainstream media, of course, fall all over themselves as they rush to broadcast the Left’s message like it’s the gospel truth, barely giving a millisecond’s thought to the former journalistic practice of presenting both sides of the story and letting people decide on their own. That’s what is making this more of an uphill battle for America’s millions of law-abiding gun owners.
They also fail to point out that, despite the publicized tragedies, the violent crime rate in America has been on a downward trend since 1998. It’s no coincidence that during those same 20 years, the number of people who carry concealed has risen to more than 17.25 million a year ago. The simple fact is, individual ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens serves several purposes by:
- Deterring crime because criminals are less likely to do something if they worry about their potential victims being able to defend themselves;
- Enabling people to protect themselves before police can arrive; and
- Reining in tyrannical behavior by our elected officials.
It’s time for our elected officials and others to have more faith in the average American who wants to own a gun, whether it be for defensive purposes or for sport.
Freedom has always come at a cost and we must do all in our power to keep from encroaching on the individual freedoms that have been so vital throughout American history.