Gun Violence Prevention groups release joint statement decrying James Madison Preparatory High School raffle that included semi-automatic rifles and handguns

The Board President of Prevent Gun Violence Florida and the Executive Director of The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus released this joint statement in response to the recent raffle at the James Madison Preparatory High School in Madison, Florida, which included handguns and semi-automatic rifles.

Patti Brigham, Board President of Prevent Gun Violence Florida stated: “The ‘2022 Outdoor May Madness’ fundraiser at the James Madison Preparatory High School was aptly named, as it was indeed ‘madness.’ The fact that a high school would hawk firearms, with one of the rafflers claiming, “Every country boy needs this [a revolver] under the front seat of his truck…I hope that’s legal,” was not only irresponsible, but reckless. School principal Mark Akerman claims to take school safety seriously, but we fail to see how raffling off guns is compatible with that claim. We understand the need to fundraise, but a high school gun raffle, with a semi-automatic weapon as the ‘grand prize,’ is an event out of touch with the reality of rising gun violence, especially among young people.”

Andy Pelosi, Executive Director of The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus further commented: “Given that a mass school shooting had just occurred in Uvalde, TX, where 19 young students and 2 teachers were murdered, why on earth would officials at this charter school raffle off firearms? In a video segment made public on Facebook during the drawing, one man remarked  “It’s all about the kids”.  If educators at James Madison were really concerned about the kids, where is their sensitivity?  Are there no other means at this school to raise necessary funds?  Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for young people in this country.  Raffling off firearms sends a message that school officials are perfectly content to glorify these weapons without considering the optics and real world consequences.”

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