In a symbolic gesture, a determined religious leader outside of Portland, Oregon did everything in his power to “win” an AR-15 gun at a charitable event. He did so in order to help keep it out of the wrong hands.
When Reverend Jeremy Lucas of Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego found out that a girls’ softball team was selling raffle tickets for an AR-15 — almost immediately after the Orlando nightclub shooting — he was disappointed and disheartened. The money from the raffle was supposed to go toward covering travel expenses for an upcoming tournament, but Rev. Lucas didn’t think this sent a good message, especially during a time when mass shootings are so frequent and gun control laws remain highly controversial.
Rev. Lucas told The Oregonian, “There was a lot of heat and energy around the issue of guns. I want to live in a world where a girl’s softball team doesn’t have to raffle off a gun because it’s the quickest way to make money.” According to Willamette Week, the team’s softball players are between the ages of 14 and 18.
The reverend took matters into his own hands and spent $3,000 for 150 of the available 499 raffle tickets, using some of his church’s discretionary funds and some donations. After being declared the winner of the item, the reverend told local news station KPTV, “This one gun will never be used to kill anyone in a school, in a nightclub, anywhere else. It will never be used to terrorize anyone, it will never be used for anything destructive. That’s the one thing I can do.”