Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Legislator who raffled off AR-15 expresses sympathy for families of those killed at Sandy Hook

In his latest report, Rep. John McCaherty, R-High Ridge, addresses the mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. McCaherty, of course, is the legislator who last year raised campaign funds by raffling off an AR-15:

In a few days families will gather together to celebrate the birth of Christ. With the ones we care about most, we will share our love and exchange gifts as a way of reminding one another of how much we care and how deeply blessed we truly are. I hope you and your family will have a Merry Christmas filled with love and warmth. I also hope you will not overlook the real reason for the season; something that is too often lost amidst the hustle and bustle of shopping and other Christmas preparations.

At the same time, we celebrate Christmas with heavy hearts in the wake of the tragic events that took place in Newtown, Connecticut. The 20 children and six faculty and staff members who lost their lives to a senseless act of violence will not have a Christmas this year. Their family members will have a tremendous void in their lives as they wake up on a day that should be spent in celebration and in the loving company of family.

It’s heartbreaking to think of the loss these families must endure, not just during Christmas but for the rest of their lives. Our hearts and prayers pour out to them during their desperate time of need. I hope it also reminds us to appreciate even more deeply the precious moments we have with our own loved ones. Let us never take for granted the many blessings the Lord has given us.

We are a nation blessed with a wealth of riches and, even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, we will come together to help and to heal. May you and yours have a Merry Christmas and may God bless each and every one of you!

I wrote about McCaherty's raffle in the July 27 Turner Report and for Daily Kos:

The latest to join what seems to be almost a contagion affecting the Missouri House is Rep. John McCaherty, R-High Ridge. Only a few days after Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes murdered 12 people and injured 59 others during a midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, McCaherty, a minister, is raising money for his re-election campaign by raffling an AR-15, the same type of weapon that Holmes used to cut down 71 innocent people.

You would expect that when word got out that McCaherty, reportedly one of the few ministers in Missouri to sport an assault rifle, would have dropped the whole idea, realizing that it was a slap in the face to those who lost loved ones in the theater massacre. Not a chance. Instead, McCaherty, in a twisted way of looking at things, accused the media of being the ones who were offending the families and told his supporters not to talk to them. The following passage comes from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"(T)he less attention we give them the quicker they move on to the next story," the email reads. "The families affected do not need the media beating them up, or drawing out the story anymore. So please....Do not answer any questions about the event at all."

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