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Advertise on the Tentacle

October 19, 2015

A Motherís Misguided Passion

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

Last Thursday’s Frederick News-Post featured an above the fold, front page news story entitled “Saving lives, raffling guns: Firehouses raise funds with firearms.”


A resident of Monrovia and mother of three children offered this little tidbit, “Isn’t it just in bad taste to be handing out guns like candy? We have too many gun-related deaths in the U.S. As a nation, we have a large gun issue.”


Two ways to proceed here. The first is pick apart the easy argument, the age-old dispute between the constitutional rights afforded by the Second Amendment and the nannyism preferred by traditional liberals who think that amendment is an anachronism.


That’s just too easy here. Monrovia, that bastion of progressive escapees from Montgomery County who want the peace and serenity of a neighboring farm without the noise, smells, or tractor traffic they generate.


Monrovia, the place where one moves to achieve their dreams, but then reaches back to pull up the drawbridge so that no one else can do the same thing.


Finally, Monrovia, the bucolic rural village that harbors progressive sentiment amidst a county whose traditions are rooted in bedrock conservative ideals.


The Monrovia mom thinks that volunteer fire and rescue companies should not be allowed to raise money through gun calendar raffles. What’s a gun raffle calendar, most Monrovians ask? A gun calendar raffle involves the purchase of a fairly expensive calendar through which different types of guns are given away on specific calendar days. The winner of the gun can either accept their prize (from a licensed dealer) or opt for a cash prize from the fire company.


These raffles have been going on for almost three decades, and are very successful methods of raising a lot of money to pay for volunteer operations at various fire stations around the county.


It just so happens that most volunteers in the fire service are also active sportsmen, as are their extended friends and families. Come to think of it, the majority of county residents, outside the urban or more populated suburban centers, are active sportsmen and women.


The Monrovia mom thinks we have a large gun issue in America. In truth, we have a large mentally-ill-people-with-guns problem in America, or a criminal-using-a-gun-in-the-commission-of-a-crime problem in America. On one hand, liberals decry the ability to purchase a gun while on the other they oppose mandatory minimum sentences for those who use guns to commit crimes.


Seeing an opening, liberal groups who oppose basic freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution leapt at the chance to weigh in. From the News-Post article, Lindsay Nichols, a senior attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a California-based group that provides free legal information in support of efforts to tighten gun laws, found the raffles bothersome.


“Gun ownership requires certain serious responsibilities. It is concerning that people are making a game of it and doing it so frequently,” Ms. Nichols said.


The important point here is that the game Ms. Nichols refers to is a fundraising tool to help provide critical services to rural communities, like Monrovia. As people move here from other jurisdictions where taxes supplant volunteerism, people like Ms. Nichols and Laura Densock, the mother quoted in the News-Post article, fail to realize that it costs tens of thousands of dollars to provide these essential services. Gun calendar raffles help provide those resources, because people that move here are less generous than those who have always supported these activities and organizations.


These new commuter-homeowners would rather be taxed by the government to provide these services. That way, they’re not having to volunteer their time and talent to a local fire house. They just leave it to someone else…namely the county government.


Here’s some cheap advice. Instead of complaining to a local news reporter about the alleged proliferation of guns, and the irresponsibility of volunteer public safety volunteers selling gun raffle calendars, get off your duff and go volunteer with your local fire company. Stroke a check to that company to help pay for the resources that they need to help keep you safe.


Become a part of your community, not just an observer and complainer.


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