The Main Stream

Sep 2, 2011 8:30 PM

Controversy over GOP Glock raffle

TUCSON - Controversy's still swirling around the local Republican party's fundraising raffle: Tickets to try and win a Glock 23 hand gun similar to the one used by alleged gunman, Jared Loughner January 8th.

The GOP says it's a fundraiser to help get out the vote . Democrats say it's insensitive, and now the controversy is firing up national debate.

Last night on Keith Olbermann's countdown, he named Pima County's Republican Chairman, Mike Shaw as his nightly "Worst person in the World." Olbermann also read a letter from republican James Kelley denouncing the raffle, saying it was insensitive.

Locally on the Jon Justice Show, the radio host told the audience he would help the GOP sell the raffle tickets and people should stop being so sensitive and use common sense.

The 125 raffle tickets have sold out at $10 dollars a piece. But the cash out isn't sitting well with some of the victims of January 8th. For Bill Badger it brought back vivid memories. "I could see, you know, all the blood on the sidewalk, I could see the gun laying there on the sidewalk, and the innocent people that were shot and dead and laying around me at the time."

Badger was among those who were shot by a Glock 23 pistol, similar to the one being raffled off. He helped wrestle Jared Loughner to the ground and held him until sheriff's deputies arrived. Badger was just given a national award last Monday by the Air and Army National Guard for his bravery on January 8th. So to come home last night and hear about the Glock raffle infuriated him. "I'm a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. And I have guns and I don't care if they raffle off a gun, but to take a gun that looks exactly like the gun that he used when he shot us is insensitive."

Ken Rineer, President of Gun Owners of Arizona disagrees. He doesn't understand what the controversy is about. "I do not think it was insensitive to pick a Glock. It was a pistol that was left over. What should he do? Go out and purchase a different firearm to raffle off just because it was a Glock?"

When asked about Bill Badger and the victims who were against the raffle he replied, "He's entitled to his opinion. If he thinks it's insensitive, so be it. I personally don't see it 8 months later."

The Republican Party says they're still getting calls for and against the raffle. On Tuesday they will release details on when the raffle will be held.


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