In what could possibly be the worst idea for a fundraiser ever, a Chicago area gun shop is raffling off an AR-15 to raise money for the victims of the Orlando shooting.
Second Amendment Sports in McHenry, Illinois, is selling raffle tickets for the semi-automatic assault rifle at $5 a piece. The AR-15 is similar to the weapon used by the gunman in Orlando as well as the mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown. The shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12 was the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history, taking the lives of 49 people and injuring 53 more.
We wanted to do something for the loss of lives and injuries that happened to people in Orlando,” store owner Bert Irslinger Jr. said.
Irslinger insists that his store is not trying to make any type of political statement.
I understand that there are different opinions out there,” said Vic Santi, store marketing director. “We don’t look at this as a gun issue. We look at this as a terrorism issue.
The winner of the shiny new killing machine will be announced on July 31 when the store opens a new gun range and larger showroom.
Kathleen Larimer’s 27-year-old son, John Larimer, was a U.S. Navy sailor from Crystal Lake, Illinois, and was one of the 12 people gunned down in a Colorado movie theater in 2012. She said the store’s raffle was nothing more than a publicity ploy and deemed the fundraiser inappropriate.
Guns are not toys,” Larimer said. “They should be taken seriously. I’m not saying they should be illegal, but raffling off a gun is not taking its killing power seriously.”
Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence in Chicago, said the raffle is highly offensive.
I’m glad people are trying to raise money,” she said. “I just don’t think it’s the most appropriate way to do that. These guns are weapons of war, meant to kill large numbers of people in a short time, which is what happened in Orlando. I find it very distasteful and offensive.”
The gun shop said that they intend to donate all the proceeds from the raffle, plus their own private donation of $2,000, to the OneOrlando Fund run by the nonprofit group Strengthen Orlando Inc.
McHenry is located approximately 50 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.
Featured image via ABC7