Tennessee lawmaker rejects accusations that the giveaway is insensitive to victims of the Orlando mass shooting.
As the U.S. recovers from its most deadly mass shooting, a Tennessee lawmaker says he is “doubling down” on his decision to give away a door prize at an upcoming campaign fundraiser — two AR-15 assault rifles.
AR-15 rifles displayed at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., in May 2016.
Bloomberg via Getty Images/Luke Sharrett
Two days before the deadly Orlando Pulse night club shooting, Republican state Representative Andy Holt announced he would be hosting a hogfest and turkey shoot on June 25.
“We'll have all-you-can-eat whole hog roast with all the fixings, a petting zoo and hay rides for the kids, live music, a turkey shoot and more!” according to the announcement on Holt's website. “Oh, did I mention we're giving away an AR-15 as the door prize!”
The massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando overnight Sunday, carried out by a shooter armed with a .223 caliber AR-15 type rifle and 9mm semiautomatic pistol, But Holt said the weapon used in the shooting is not to blame.
Andy Holt / Via Facebook: AndyHolt4TN
“Instead of focusing on the weapon that was used, there should be a focus on radical Islam,” Holt said. “The focus should not be on the weapon, it should be on the individual's heart and the cowardly acts that he performed.”
The AR-15 was selected as the giveaway prize by the campaign because of it is a multi-use firearm that can be adapted for hunting, target practice, or personal defense, he added.