One has to wonder if the grotesque irony behind the Multnomah County Republican Party’s promotional raffle is intentional, or just another incredibly dumb oversight on the part of party leadership. In either case, the Oregon Republicans have seen fit to raffle off an AR-15 assault rifle (or handgun, winners choice,) to commemorate the works and lives of slain civil rights leaders Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King.
Claiming the two civil rights icons were both Republicans (Lincoln, while a Republican was nothing like the modern GOP and King pledged no allegiance to political parties,) the Multnomah County Republicans would appear to be trying to link the struggle for racial equality which rages on even today, with their entirely typical paranoid obsession with guns. In a press release posted by kgw.com, party officials announce their intentions to honor two men who struggled against conservative intransigence and died by gunfire in the process, by saying,
[box type=”shadow”]Multnomah Country Republicans recognize the incredible time of year we are in. In successive months to start the year, we celebrate the legacy of two great Republicans who demonstrated leadership and courage that all of us still lean on today: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. In celebrating these two men, and the denial of the rights they fought so hard against, the Multnomah County Republican Party announces that we have started our third raffle for an AR-15 rifle (or handgun of the winner’s choice). The drawing will be held at our Lincoln Day Dinner on February 15th, 2014. Tickets are once again $10 a piece, or 12 for $100, and there is a hard cap of 500 tickets in the raffle.
Multnomah County GOP Chairman Jeff Reynolds said, “We are here to reaffirm our strong defense of the Second Amendment and the right to personal protection. The Bill of Rights is inviolable, despite what the gun-grabbers in Salem might try.”[/box]
Though the second amendment says nothing about weapons for personal protection and does include the universally ignored term “well-regulated militia,” the failure of Reynolds and the County GOP to color inside the lines falls more immediately on their invoking of the names of two historical figures who in their fight for peace and equality were tragically shot dead and the confusing celebration of them both through the doling out of firearms.
Reynolds, who blogs for Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity (AFP) when not celebrating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by handing out hammers and nails, wrote recently with delight that according to a recent Pew poll, conservative Republican voters shockingly want, as he puts it, “more tea in their party,” going on to claim that many feel that Tea Party officials compromise too much. This despite Tea Party conservatism showing other signs of a steady and considerable decline.
Calling for a more conservative, more right wing Republican party as he is, it should be then less surprising that the overwhelming absence of common sense inherent to this MLK gun raffle seems to have gone unnoticed by Reynolds. Bad ideas and broken thinking seem generally to go hand in hand. And as Reynolds and the rest of the Tea Party continue their crusade to bring the nation into the 17th century, only time will tell if this community raffle and push towards the fringe will come with any reward.