My granddaughter, Lydia, plays softball in St. Helens. She’s done this for a number of years and has participated in all the raffles that garner a bit of money for the leagues. Never enough to really get anything done because the rate of return for these raffles is less than adequate. It’s a business that benefits whoever produces the product being sold. Take Girl Scout cookies, for instance. You pay $3.50 a box and the girls get about $.56. I think that’s typical for most of the promotions that little leaguers are pretty much forced to do.
So, when the St. Helens Girls Softball League board decided to raffle off an AR-15 rifle there was criticism and praise in abundance throughout the community. It’s not illegal, the girls weren’t allowed to participate in ticket sales, and the raffle was a done deal in about 3 days. On an investment of about $900, the league received a net profit of $2000. So, it’s my understanding that they’re going to do it again.
In my humble opinion, I think it was an excellent idea by the board. It’s a far bigger bang for the buck, so to speak, than forcing the girls to fleece their families and friends for products their usually don’t need, not want. They don’t really want to do it but, until now, there really wasn’t a lot of choices if the league needs to raise money for field maintenance. Cookie dough? Calendars? Beef Jerky? Typical fare for promotions but normally the only way it gets sold is when parents and grandparents take their sales sheets to work and play the old “I bought for your kid, now it’s your turn to buy for mine” game. That’s a little crude, but I think you get my meaning.
Maybe an AR-15 isn’t the proper weapon for such a raffle. Perhaps a nice little Baretta that the lucky winner can hide in their pocket, if they have nefarious notions, would be a better choice.
Bottom line for me is that, while watching Lydia play softball on properly maintained fields, I’m not going to be looking over my shoulder for the person who won that rifle. No sir. Odds are the person who won the rifle might be the one who saves the day from those who sell stolen weapons from their cars and those who buy them.
Having said all that I’m compelled to add that I’m 69 and have never owned a personal weapon. I didn’t think I needed to because all my friends have them.
Maybe that will change after I buy my raffle ticket.