N.C. Group Raffling Off |AR-15, Clinton Portrait

     (CN) – A North Carolina guns right group is raffling off an AR-15 rifle, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and a portrait of Democrat Hillary Clinton to raise money for its federal political action committee.
     “Of course, we won’t tell you what to do with the photo, but when we ran a picture of Hillary on the front of our newslaeer, we heard it was very popular at the range,” says the raffle announcement on Grass Roots North Carolina’s website.
     The announcement, bearing the headline “The ‘HIllary Clinton Special’ and apparently written by the organization’s treasurer, Grant Gardner, says “We all know that if Hillary Clinton is elected president on November 8, panic buying will ensure that by November 9, there won’t be a gun (or ammunition) available for love nor money.”
     Money raised from the raffle will go to the group’s political victory fund and be used to make independent expeditures against “anti-gunners” running for office.
     The raffle has been sharply criticized by Americans for Responsible Solutions, which was formed by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
     In a statement, the Brady Campaign said “History shows this kind of violent, graphic rhetoric can and has preceded actual violence. Not long before a gunman opened fire on Gabby Giffords and a crowd of constituents in 2011, Sarah Palin launched a particularly militant campaign encouraging gun advocates to ‘take a stand,’ featuring a map with Giffords’ district in rifle crosshairs.”
     “This raffle is not only disgusting and fundamentally unAmerican – it’s downright dangerous,” said Brady Campaign President Dan Gross. “It’s also a disturbing lesson in cause and effect. We’ve seen before how similarly violent rhetoric can turn deadly.”
     Gross went on to blame Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who, he says, has repeatedly suggested supporters assasinate his opponent.
     In North Carolina, Trump made a not-so-veiled reference to “the Second Amendment people” making sure that if Clinton is elected president she is unable to appoint judges to the bench who might curtail their right to own guns. In Miami, weeks later, he suggested Clinton’s Secret Service detail should lay down their guns and “see what happens.”
     Gross said groups like Grass Roots North Carolina who celebrate such rhetoric “knowingly playing with fire … and the consequences are very real.”
     “You are ultimately responsbile for the action they take,” he reminded Trump.
     Meanwhile, Paul Valone, presidenti of the North Carolina organization, told WRAL that fear the fundraiser is an implicit threat against Clinton is unwarranted.
     “No reasonable person with a basic understanding of the English language could possibly construe any sort of threat or encouragement from that basic message,” Valone told the Raleigh, N.C. news outlet.

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