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.
1981: The Attempted Assassination Of President Ronald Reagan
on March 30, 1981, President Reagan and three others were shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr. outside the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Reagan's press secretary, Jim Brady, was shot in the head.
1993: The Brady Handgun Violence Act
The Brady Handgun Violence Act of 1993, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, mandated that federally licensed dealers complete comprehensive background checks on individuals before selling them a gun. The legislation was named for James Brady, who was shot during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
1994: The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, instituted a ban on 19 kinds of assault weapons, including Uzis and AK-47s. The crime bill also banned the possession of magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. (An exemption was made for weapons and magazines manufactured prior to the ban.)
2004: Law Banning Magazines Holding More Than Ten Rounds Of Ammunition Expires
In 2004, ten years after it first became law, Congress allowed a provision banning possession of magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition to expire through a sunset provision. Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke told HuffPost that the expiration of this provision meant that Rep. Gabby Giffords's alleged shooter was able to fire off 20-plus shots without reloading (under the former law he would have had only ten).
2007: The U.S. Court of Appeals For The District Of Columbia Rules In Favor Of Dick Heller
In 2007 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled to allow Dick Heller, a licensed District police officer, to keep a handgun in his home in Washington, D.C. Following that ruling, the defendants petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.
2008: The NICS Improvement Amendments Act
Following the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech University, Congress passed legislation to require states provide data on mentally unsound individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, with the aim of halting gun purchases by the mentally ill, and others prohibited from possessing firearms. The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush in January of 2008.
2008: Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Handgun Ban As Unconstitutional
In June of 2008, the United States Supreme Court upheld the verdict of a lower court ruling the D.C. handgun ban unconstitutional in the landmark case <em>District of Columbia v. Heller</em>.
Gabrielle Giffords And Trayvon Martin Shootings
Gun control advocates had high hopes that reform efforts would have increased momentum in the wake of two tragic events that rocked the nation. In January of 2011, Jared Loughner opened fire at an event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), killing six and injuring 13, including the congresswoman. Resulting attempts to push gun control legislation <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/trayvon-martin-shooting-gun-debate_n_1413115.html" target="_hplink">proved fruitless</a>, with neither proposal even succeeding in gaining a single GOP co-sponsor. More than a year after that shooting, Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/trayvon-martin" target="_hplink">gunned down</a> by George Zimmerman in an event that some believed would bring increased scrutiny on the nation's Stand Your Ground laws. While there has been increasing discussion over the nature of those statutes, lawmakers were <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/trayvon-martin-shooting-gun-debate_n_1413115.html" target="_hplink">quick to concede</a> that they had little faith the event would effectively spur gun control legislation, thanks largely to the National Rifle Association's vast lobbying power. Read more <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/trayvon-martin-shooting-gun-debate_n_1413115.html" target="_hplink">here</a>:
Colorado Movie Theater Shooting
In July of 2012, a heavily armed gunman <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/aurora-shooting-movie-theater-batman_n_1688547.html" target="_hplink">opened fire on theatergoers</a> attending a midnight premiere of the final film of the latest Batman trilogy, killing 12 and wounding scores more. The suspect, James Eagan Holmes, allegedly carried out the act with a number of handguns, as well as an AR-15 assault rifle with a 100-round drum magazine. Some lawmakers used the incident, which took place in a state with some of the laxest gun control laws, to bring forth legislation designed to place increased regulations on access to such weapons, but many observers, citing previous experience, were <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/batman-shooting_n_1690547.html" target="_hplink">hesitant to say</a> that they would be able to overcome the power of the National Rifle Association and Washington gun lobby.
Sikh Temple Shooting
On August 5, 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page opened fire on a Sikhs gathered at a temple in Oak Creek, Wis., killing six and wounding four more before turning the gun on himself.