A Michigan football charity dinner has been cancelled over uproar it was going to raffle an AR-15, the same gun used to kill 17 people in Florida.
South Lyon High School’s football team in South Lyon, Michigan, was scheduled to host a ‘Wild Game’ charity dinner featuring hunting equipment including an AR-15 riffle.
But the dinner was cancelled after backlash over the group selling the same weapon used to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday.
Organizers said they had no intention to offend those ‘sensitive to the topic’, they just wanted to take advantage of the ‘hunting’ and ‘target shooting’ available in Michigan.
The South Lyon High School football team was going to raffle off an AR-15 during a charity dinner on March 1. Pictured is the poster used to advertise the ‘Wild Game Dinner’
One person was in shock that the school was thinking about auctioning off a gun. She said she was ‘sick’ over the charity event
An AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle that is popular for hunting. But the weapon has also been used to kill many in previous mass shootings. It was used to kill 59 people at a concert in Las Vegas, 49 people in a nightclub in Orlando, and now 17 people in a school in Florida
The event was scheduled for March 1 and featured an AR-15 and other guns as items attendees could buy during the raffle.
An AR-15 is a semi-automatic riffle that is the ‘civilian’ version of the military’s M-16 automatic. It differs because the user has to fire every shot.
This photo provided by the Broward County Jail shows Nikolas Cruz, the teen suspected of killing 17 and injuring more than a dozen in a school shooting on Wednesday in Florida
But the hunting riffle – described as the ‘most popular’ one in America by the NRA – has been used in to kill many people during other mass shootings.
This includes 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas, 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, 26 people at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and now 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday and killed 17 people with an AR-15, according to reports released by authorities.
He now faces 17 counts of premeditated murder and is being held without bail at Broward County jail in Florida.
Since the Florida shooting on February 14, students and other people in the community have been vocal about the need for gun laws, specifically ones against AR-15 rifles.
Boosters from South Lyon High School cancelled the charity dinner and released a statement after the organization received backlash.
South Lyon High School (pictured) cancelled the charity dinner after it received backlash. People complained about raffling an AR-15 after that was the weapon used in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
Parents, students and community members in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, rallied on Saturday to protest gun violence. People at the event were calling for better gun regulations, specifically on assault riffles, after 17 were killed in Parkland, Florida
Protesters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, hold signs during a rally just three days after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Booster members from South Lyon High School said they didn’t mean to offend those who were ‘sensitive to the topic’
The boosters said: ‘Due to the recent tragic events earlier this week, the South Lyon Football Booster Organization has decided to cancel their second annual Wild Game Dinner. The sensitivity of the issue coupled with the untimely tragedy has led to the decision.
South Lyon, as well as many communities throughout Michigan has an abundance of hunters and sportsmen.’
‘Our great state offers the opportunity to take advantage of hunting, target shooting and enjoying the great outdoors.
‘At no point did the Booster club intend to offend those sensitive to the topic of firearms.
‘Even though the timing coincided with the tragedy, it was not our intent to be insensitive or offend.’
The story went viral with multiple news sources posting about it. People took to Twitter to criticize the school for ever considering selling an AR-15
One person thought the event should still continue but without the guns
People on Twitter were shocked the Michigan school considered raffling off the weapon.
One said: ‘I actually thought this was a joke when I saw that a high school football booster club is raffling of AR-15s.’
Another said: ‘Raffling an AR-15 rifle at Michigan South Lyon High School, unbelievable.
‘Cancelled out of shame. Keep your raffle, just lose the guns.’
The organization also explained that no guns would be at the actual event. Instead the person who won the raffle would have to attend the store where they would undergo the proper checks before receiving their gun.
The statement said: ‘As parents ourselves, our organization works for the betterment of children and our hearts go out to the families of Parkland, Florida.’