A Republican state legislator in Missouri is holding a campaign fundraiser where he will raffle off one of the same types of weapons used in the Aurora movie theater shooting.
Rep. John McCaherty (R-High Ridge) planned the fundraiser prior to last week's shooting that left 12 people at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie dead. Fenton-High Ridge Patch reports that the rifle was donated to McCaherty by the National Rifle Association, of which he is a longtime member. McCaherty's campaign fundraiser, Ray Brockman, said that the prize is "unusual" and confirmed the raffle was part of the Aug. 27 fundraising dinner, which also will feature live music. Raffle tickets are $25.
McCaherty has tried to hide from the connection between his raffle and the Aurora shooting, according to FiredUpMissouri.com, which published an email McCaherty sent to supporters on Wednesday saying that the auction would continue. He said he would not answer media questions and would not become "a scapegoat" on the rifle issue. He encouraged supporters to continue to sell raffle tickets by "word of mouth."
An excerpt of McCaherty's email on FiredUpMissouri:
Let me begin by saying there are some bad people in the world that will use weapons of any type for bad things, and we are praying for those who were injured, and the families of those who lost loved ones in CO. Still there is no way for the government to make everyone safe...if we outlaw everything that can hurt someone, we would have nothing left. I believe those that commit such horrible acts should be dealt with immediately, and with all the justice system has to throw at them.
I have been contacted by several news sources, all of which are looking for someone to hang all of the problems of the US on...which I am not interested in being their scapegoat...So...
If anyone from the media contacts you about the tickets, please forward them to me. However, I will not be doing any media comments about this event at all...the less attention we give them the quicker they move on to the next story. The families affected do not need the media beating them up, or drawing out the story anymore. So please....Do not answer any questions about the event at all.
PoliticalPartyTime.org reported that the NRA had no record of donating the gun to McCaherty.
McCaherty was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2010 representing a Jefferson County district. He is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Murphy and is an Air Force veteran. A Louisiana native, McCaherty is a graduate of Library Home Bible Institute and received a degree in 2010 from Liberty University. In addition to the NRA, his state biography lists him as a member of Hwy 30 Evangelical Ministry Alliance and the executive board of the Jefferson County Pregnancy Care Center.
In the legislature, McCaherty is the vice chairman of the international trade and job creation committee and serves on the tax reform, general laws and downsizing state government committees. Among the legislation he proposed during the 2012 legislative session are bills to create paperless documents in the state Revenue Department, to require that driver license tests be conducted in English, and to prohibit sex selection and genetic defect abortion.