Last Sunday, Republican senator Greg Evers for Florida’s panhandle posted a press release on his official page announcing giving away an AR-15 rifle, one week after a similar gun was used to massacre 50 people at a gay night club in Orlando.
The Senator also posted about the AR-15 raffle — which he refers to as “Homeland Defender” giveaway — on Facebook, which has since been taken down due to the backlash.
The Associated Press wrote about the original post being taken down, which the Senator’s spokesman Brian Burgess said they anticipated that someone would complain about it, but also added that it was a “California-based liberal activist” who had reported the post.
Brian Burgess’ statement that someone in California reported the post is part of a pattern Republicans use to attack the state as a liberal foundation and as a bias against conservative pro-gun politicians.
This is similar to the sentiment against Senate Democrats who often force congress to review gun laws, as they did on June 22 with a filibuster against Republicans who refuse to give in to Democrat legislation, as they do not feel that more gun laws are going to reduce mass shootings.
— Greg Evers (@gregevers) June 23, 2016
A write-up about the Senator by Politico, provides a rundown of the various gun-related laws he helped write in the state, which will likely have the full support of a conservative-led government, such as concealed permits to carry firearms on campus and a “Docs and Glocks” bill which restricts physicians from asking about firearms in the home to name a few.
Over the week, the Inquisitr reported the filibuster staged by Senate Democrats as they sat on the house floor, trying to force the Republicans to take action on the gun laws.
The argument made by Republican leaders has been around fighting terrorism and the group ISIS, who they feel the president has not waged the kind of war against them that puts American troops back into the Middle East, as the former Bush administration did, in order to prevent those “lone wolf” shooters from having a source of influence, which they argue is causing them to act out here and blame the Orlando shooting on.
It should be noted that the gun reportedly used, in fact, is not an AR-15 but a Sig Sauer, which is similar to the AR-15 and is often referred to as the weapon used in many of these mass shootings.
But the campaign Republicans have used to stand up against enforcing any additional gun laws puts less attention on the weapon and more on the idea that the president should refer to these incidents as the result of Radical Islamic Extremism, which Greg Evers has also demanded.
Despite the backlash against Evers’ initial Facebook post for the AR-15 giveaway, it remains on his official site and his response last Tuesday to many against the controversial drawing focused on what he feels is an urgency for more Americans to be armed, making the argument that the shooter was a terrorist for ISIS — which has not been confirmed — and that Americans have to protect themselves because the federal government won’t.
“With the terrorist attacks that we have seen on our country, we are under a constant threat, and it’s not going away. And we can no longer, I feel, count on our own government to protect us.”
When it isn’t to defend from a terrorist attack, being armed is always defended as a constitutional right.
“With terrorism incidents on the rise, both at home and abroad, protecting our constitutional rights has never been more important. With all that’s happening in the world today, I’ve never felt stronger about the importance of the second amendment in protecting our homeland than I do now.”
The drawing for the AR-15 is still going and the senator says the winner will be picked on July 4.
[Image by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo]