Members of a New Richmond, Ohio elementary school cheerleading team were forced to sell $10 raffle tickets for an AM-15 optic ready assault rifle or pay a $100 “opt-out fee,” CNN reports. One mother of a 7-year old who joined the Junior Lions Cheer Team spoke out in opposition.
“This is absurd, you’re having elementary kids sell your AR-15. Why?” Heather Chilton told CNN affiliate WXIX. “I highly doubt that something would happen with the gun, but say it did. Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I’m the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?”
“I can’t see them selling some type of semi-automatic rifle when we have all these mass shootings going on, going door to door,” Chilton added.
She says she was sent an email “saying that all the members of the cheer team would be required to sell five AM-15 raffle tickets and five gift basket raffle tickets for $10 each to help raise money for the football and cheer programs.”
New Richmond Junior Lions Football president Robert Wooten says the organization has been doing this for four years.
He says the children “are not obligated” to sell the raffle tickets, but “We do suggest it.”
“We recommend it just because the money we receive is obviously needed for us to continue to provide sports for our community.”
Wooten says the group will consider changes next year.
On August 5 TIME reported 62 people have been killed in mass shootings just this year.
“Mass violence threats – at least 30 in 18 states – have surged since El Paso, Dayton,” USA Today reported Thursday.
Here’s a report on the assault rifle raffle from WLTW: