Four days after a gunman massacred 26 people—including 20 children—at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a North Carolina tea party group announced a "Great Gun Giveaway" to raffle two semi-automatic weapons, including a rifle similar to that used in Friday's shooting in Connecticut.
The Asheville Tea Party will raffle a .22 Magnum pistol and an AR15 semiautomatic .223-caliber rifle—similar to the weapon used to kill those in Newtown, Conn. on Friday—to raise money for "candidates for office who support our principles," according to a flyer posted on the group's website on Monday.
Also posted on the website were several articles opposing gun control and photographs of Israeli schoolteachers carrying guns, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.
On Tuesday, Leah Griesmann, who lives part-time in Asheville, wrote on The Huffington Post:
As the nation mourns the horrifying mass shooting of children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Asheville, North Carolina Tea Party has posted a new flyer advertising their upcoming fundraiser The Great Gun Giveaway.
Political scientist Chris Cooper of Western Carolina University said that with even the National Rifle Association stepping back in the wake of the shootings by taking down its Facebook and Twitter accounts after the incident, "it's a bit surprising the local tea party chapter would do the opposite."
In September, the Asheville Tea Party made national news when they hosted a Machine Gun Social, raffling tickets for a chance to shoot an Uzi.
Think Progress reports the group "has a history of inflammatory rhetoric, previously comparing President Obama to Hitler, sounding the alarm over the impending threat of Sharia law, and advocating for nullification, the thoroughly debunked and unconstitutional theory that a state can simply decide to ignore federal law within its borders."