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The girl’s softball team, the AR – 15 rifle and the priest

The girl’s softball team, the AR – 15 rifle and the priest

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The AR-15 comes in many sizes and has many options, depending on the manufacturer. The part shown bottom center is the lower receiver with pistol grip and trigger assembly.

Wikipedia describes the AR – 15 as a “lightweight, intermediate cartridge magazine-fed, air-cooled rifle with a rotating lock bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation or long/short stroke piston operation. The prototype AR-15 rifle (Armalite rifle, design 15) was designed by ArmaLite as a selective fire weapon for military purposes. Armalite sold the design to Colt due to financial difficulties. After some modifications, the rifle eventually became the US Army’s M16 rifle.”

A little over a week ago a girl’s softball team in the Willamette OR area decided to raise $6000 by raffling an AR – 15 rifle. The 15 girls are age 14 – 18, are from 3 local high schools (Centennial, Gresham, and Milwaukie) and are raising the funds to represent Oregon in the West Regional Tournament. The tournament is to be held in Lancaster CA starting today, 23 JUL, and running through the 27th.

Of course there has been some controversy regarding having youth raise money by raffling a rifle. The coach for the girl’s softball team, Ron Brown, is also the president of the board of directors of the local Centennial Little League Baseball. Centennial Little League Baseball, which isn’t associated with the softball team, has distanced itself from the situation, with a spokesperson stating, “We are not affiliated with this team in anyway, financially or administratively, and we don’t agree with this raffle.”

The Revd Jeremy Lucas
The Revd Jeremy Lucas, rector of Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego OR.

Enter Father Jeremy Lucas, rector of Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego OR. Jeremy+ purchased 150 of the raffle tickets at $20 a pop and to the tune of $3000! Having 150 raffle tickets was not any guarantee that Feather Jeremy would win the rifle, but his luck was good the day of the drawing and he has walked away with the prize. These rifles retail for $800 and $1200. But the rector didn’t win the rifle for shooting. Father Lucas intends to destroy the rifle.

Facts for the story were gathered from Wikipedia, Willamette Week and Oregon Public Broadcasting online.
The main image is from the Willamette Week. The photo of Father Jeremy is from the Christ Church Episcopal Parish newsletter.

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Ms. Lee

Please follow the posted comment policy of using your first & last names for approval of future comments. - editor

Bless you for your actions to make a important point. There is something wrong with individuals moral compass that leads them to thinking that having girls selling raffle tickets to earn quick easy cash by selling a gun to fund being able to go to a competition is ok. Especially in these times of senseless violence. Shame on those involved with setting up this raffle. Shame the competition doesn't allow them to play for inappropriate fund raising.

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Leslie Scoopmire

I believe the action of the Rev. Lucas is one of prophetic witness. Yes, the rifle itself costs less than what he spent-- that's not the point. This isn't merely a transaction in which the point is to get a bargain and be shrewd. His action DOES take one AR-15 off the streets, in a very public way.

And yes, the idea of a youth sports team, whose purpose include promoting health, sportsmanship, and teamwork, raffling off a rifle whose sole purpose is to kill human beings is abhorrent. How would they have felt if that rifle was later involved in a tragedy? And let's pray to God that they or other youth teams don't do this again. But I fear this is not the only time this has been or will be proposed.

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David Curtis

Someone uses personal funds to purchase raffle tickets to help send young players to a national championship. Good cause.

Said person wins a gun through raffle. Congratulations!

Said person decides to destroy gun, or to beat his sword into a plowshare. Great idea!

Perhaps those adults are now rethinking raffling guns in the future. Perhaps, there are changes of heart and transformation. That's one way to share the Gospel.

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John Chilton

Why raffle a gun to begin with -- why not something else? Presumably because you believe you can raise more through the raffle of a gun than through the raffle of another object of the same cost.

When you buy raffle tickets (and don't buy tickets if another object were raffled), you are increasing the return to raffling the rifle. You are encouraging what you find offensive -- regardless of what you do with the gun.

At the same time, are there any fewer guns even if you destroy the gun if you win? No. You have not affected the price of guns, hence you have not affected the number of people who are gun owners.

Finally, you're not likely to win. Why not just buy a rifle and destroy it? It has the same effect.

By the way, I support stricter gun laws.

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Jay Croft

Fr. Lucas spent $3,000 on a rifle supposedly worth $1,000. No real effect on the number of guns in the USA or even in the region. There are more guns for sale in the area.

I'm sure he did this for the shock value, but he could have donated $2,000 or even the entire $3,000 to his parish or to anti-gun groups.

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Ann Fontaine

Always the question - how to use one's resources -- probably should spend the money we spend on churches and clergy salaries on food for the poor.

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Jay Croft

I very much doubt that the girls themselves came up with this idea of obtaining and then raffling off this assault weapon.

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Gregory Orloff

Probably not, Jay. So shame on adults, who ought to know better.

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