Today's school shooting, in which a student was killed and a teacher wounded before the gunman died, took place in Multnomah County, Oregon, in a suburb of Portland. As I noted in the previous post, Multnomah County has a fairly strict gun law that's about a year old.
It's also home to a chapter of the Republican Party that regularly raffles off AR-15s for its gun-loving base.
This year, the party planned to give away an AR-15 at a dinner honoring Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King -- two men who were shot to death. Portland's KATU reported that this was "the third time in less than a year that the group [had] raffled off an AR-15." Bad publicity led Portland's Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral to rescind its offer to host the dinner, which was subsequently held at a Portland hotel; the featured speaker was Ted Cruz's father, the Reverend Rafael Cruz, who's said he wants to send President Obama "back to Kenya" and compared him to Fidel Castro.
Did the Multnomah GOP apologize when it was pointed out that the raffle of an assault weapon honored two shooting victims? Only if you call this an apology:
In our enthusiasm for celebrating Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Constitution, our Multnomah Republican Party issued a press release that was unfortunately easily misunderstood. The GOP stands for individual liberty, lower taxes, smaller government and individual responsibility. We apologize if people were hurt by the message being marred by insufficient wording and/or cynical misinterpretations by those who disagree with us politically. We will certainly endeavor to communicate more clearly in the future, and learn and grow from this experience.Yup, gun control and Obamacare are just like slavery, and Lincoln and King would have been totally cool with an AR-15 raffle.
Both Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King delivered speeches in defense of American liberty and freedom that will live forever in the hearts and minds of the American people. They gave their lives for his cause....
Today, powerful elements within our political establishment are working to suppress the Constitutional rights of all Americans. Our rights to freedom in choosing our own medical care, our freedom to build businesses to enhance the lives of ourselves and our neighbors, our freedom to be free of debt, our freedom to be free of oppressive taxes and misguided regulations, and yes our freedom to defend our lives under the Second Amendment - all are under attack.
The great political issue today is whether or not the American people of all creeds and races will live free or live as slaves - slaves to their own overreaching government. 50 years ago, Martin Luther King's great speech was an appeal for freedom for African Americans. Today, those same words he spoke 50 years ago are an appeal for freedom for all Americans.
This is the message our press release should have delivered. I am proud, as a representative of the Republican Party, to deliver it in this press release today - belated but no less true. Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln were great blessings to our nation. Their deaths were great tragedies. Our job, as Republicans, is to carry on their work and preserve American freedom and liberty for all people in our nation and as an example for all people in all nations.
Your thoughts about today's events, Multnomah County GOP?
Never mind -- I don't think I really want to know.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY: And as it turns out, the weapon used by the 15-year-old shooter was ... an AR-15.