Why, following multiple mass killings in recent years, would the Greater Bluffton Republican Club elect to give away a rifle?
The AR-15 is not a military assault weapon, but it is a semi-automatic version and one of the most popular rifles in America, owned by millions of law-abiding citizens. According to the National Institute of Justice, it's used in only about 2 percent of all gun crimes.
Nonetheless, it has become a symbol of evil and a rallying point for many who are determined to tear down constitutional rights for all because of the random acts of a few madmen.
The club, on the other hand, is committed to defending our constitutional rights -- all of them -- and preserving individual liberties. The Second Amendment does not guarantee us the right to keep and bear arms; it assumes that right is already in place and prohibits the government from infringing upon it.
Our rifle giveaway was in no way meant to be disrespectful to those innocents murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. All condemn that horrific act. At the same time, we can't allow irrational fears or misguided politics to jeopardize individual freedoms.
Our sincere thanks to the many folks who responded positively to our membership drive and to those who continue to support our growing club.
Marcie Flynn, vice president
Greater Bluffton Republican Club