"Republican Officials Condemn Their Own Party’s Assault Rifle Fundraiser — ‘Outrageous, Insensitive’"
The Rhode Island Republican Party is raising money by raffling off assault rifles at what it bills as a family-friend event, including the same type used in the Newtown massacre. Even fellow Republicans say the fundraiser goes too far, a mere two weeks after the Washington Navy Yard shooting killed 12 people.
A number of Republican candidates for statewide offices were quick to pan raising cash off of mass shootings in The Providence Journal:
State Sen. Nicholas Kettle (R): “While I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I feel this raffle is irresponsible … especially in light of what has been going on in recent years and what we just saw at the [Washington] Navy Yard.”
Deputy Senate Minority Leader Dawson Hodgson (R), a possible candidate for Attorney General: The decision to hold this raffle is tone deaf and insensitive, at best [...] Ill-conceived actions like this do nothing to encourage the kind of reasonable, respectful dialogue we need to find that balance.”
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R), who is considering running for governor: He has “strong reservations against the raffling of a semiautomatic weapon. This is not something that I would ever do to raise campaign funds.”
Tea Party Republicans, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), an elementary school, and gun groups have all pursued similar fundraisers. Despite the nation’s mourning over mass shootings, the National Rifle Association capitalized gun violence debate to raise record funds.