The mayor of Neosho in southwest Missouri is defending a youth baseball team’s plans there to raffle an AR-15 rifle. Some have expressed outrage that the raffle would continue following last week’s deadly Florida school massacre that included the same type of weapon.
The story reported by the Kansas City Star has garnered statewide and national attention.
Mayor Ben Baker, a friend of the baseball team’s coach, Levi Patterson, tells Missourinet affiliate KZRG in Joplin that the reaction to the raffle has been extreme.
“The way that this has turned out is just unfortunate,” says Baker. “It really troubles me that they will attack a good man and his family to the point where they literally feel unsafe in public.”
Baker says the idea behind the raffle is to support youth baseball.
“The left, you know how they operate. In the name of compassion, they’re perfectly fine with dragging a good man through the mud and trying to destroy their reputation in the community,” he says.
Baker goes on to say gun raffles happen often in southwest Missouri.
By Joe Lancello of Missourinet affiliate KZRG in Joplin