An American high school band has attempted to raise money by raffling off guns, in a state which claimed the sixth highest number of firearm murders in the United States just three years ago.
Students at Ovey Comeaux High School, in Lafayette, Louisiana, attempted to sell 52 guns after successful similar fundraisers were held at two schools in neighbouring parishes.
Prolonging the fun, students planned to raffle off a gun every week for the next year, and had already sold an estimated 50 tickets at $50 each – totalling $2,600.
Lafayette Parish School Board member Mark Cockerham was forced to defend the raffle after the idea was rejected by senior Lafayette Parish School System officials, following multiple complaints.
“It’s not like they would have just given somebody a gun,” he clarified.
Mr Cockerham explained winners would have undergone a background check with a gun dealership.
FBI data released in 2012 showed Louisiana had the sixth highest number of firearm murders in the United States.
In 2011 402 people died after being shot, with firearms murders accounting for 83 per cent of all murders in the southern state. The also showed that 99 per cent of assaults involved firearms.
Supt. Pat Cooper, of Lafayette Parish School System , who supports gun ownership, felt that schools could come up with a “more appropriate way to raise money.”
Louisiana resident Jared Breaux, commenting on Facebook, said: “How is this a bad idea...most people around here hunt. It's not like they were gonna raffle off AK47's!”
One Comeaux high school family, speaking to KATC News, said they had spent more than $350 towards the gun raffle because they wanted to support the school. They were concerned about students who had invested time in the initiative.Reuse content