Tea party group auctioning off assault rifle in spite of Newtown massacre

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, December 20, 2012 16:00 EDT
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File photo shows a man holding a Bushmaster rifle during the 135th National Rifle Association Annual Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on May 19, 2006. (AFP)
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Just three days after the brutal massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, a tea party group in North Carolina announced it would auction off an assault rifle, despite the fact that a similar firearm had just been used to murder 20 school children and six adults.

“We have given the Federal Government permission to disarm school officials by force of law and threat of imprisonment,” an essay on the Ashville Tea Party’s website explains. “They are now incapable of defending the children under their care. This is the reality. Does this not need to be changed?”

The essay, written by Ashville Tea Party Chairman Jane Bilello, goes on to insist that the group planned the raffle “weeks ago” and they simply didn’t make their plans known until Monday.

“ATPAC decided to go through with this raffle at this time because everyone is paying attention,” Bilello concluded. “We refuse to allow the Left and the Liberal mindset to once again hijack the conversation as they have and allow the political hacks to pass laws that continue to limit our inalienable right to protect ourselves and the most defenseless among us.”

The group is set to auction off a .223 caliber AR-15 assault rifle made by arms manufacturer DPMS Panther Arms. An .223 caliber AR-15 made by Bushmaster Firearms was used in Newtown. They are also auctioning off a .22 magnum pistol.

The same group staged a “machine gun social” in October.

Photo: AFP.

(H/T: Salon)

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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