As we previously reported, a charity firearm raffle by a United Way chapter in New Mexico was put in jeopardy when an anti-gun activist interfered by convincing United Way Worldwide to block the raffle. The chapter holding the raffle, United Way of Otero County, announced on Wednesday that it is resuming the raffle.
News of the firearm raffle resuming seems to have met with complete support in Otero County, which makes sense given that the raffle will raise thousands of dollars to support United Way of Otero County’s partner agencies. Charity firearm raffles and shooting events are common across America, and several other United Way chapters have firearm related events to benefit their partner charities. Perhaps United Way Worldwide simply needed reminding that gun owners have been extremely supportive of these events, with substantial contributions to advance charitable work.
The only person who seems upset at the resumption of the Otero raffle is Miranda Viscoli of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV). Ms. Viscoli is the anti-gun activist who sought to block the charity raffle in the first place. Taking to Facebook, Ms. Viscoli’s group took special umbrage with the fact that United Way did not consult it before the agreement to resume the raffle was announced. It’s not clear why an agreement between United Way Worldwide and the Otero chapter would need to be discussed with an anti-gun group, but in typical Bloomberg-esque fashion, Ms. Viscoli seems to envision herself as the self-appointed arbiter of how United Way of Otero County, if not all local chapters, should conduct fundraising.
We’d ask Ms. Viscoli to step outside of her echo chamber long enough to realize the amount of fundraising that gun-related activities have contributed to the charities she presumably cares about, but this is probably asking too much.
For those who would like to show their support for the United Way of Otero County and their resolve to not be bullied by a few anti-gun activists, details about contacting the chapter are available in its press release on the matter:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alamogordo, New Mexico, August 17, 2016 - The United Way of Otero County is resuming its Calendar Raffle effective immediately. “We are very excited to refocus our efforts towards raising money for the thirteen Partner Agencies that United Way of Otero County supports” said Josh Beug, President of the United Way of Otero County. “Our partner agencies make a real difference in the lives of Otero County residents and we are proud to be able to continue to help them financially.” Beug went on to state that while the marketing efforts for the raffle will change slightly “the rules will stay the same, the prizes will stay the same and all tickets that have been sold will be honored.” To get your calendars for the raffle please stop by the United Way of Otero County’s office at 1601 East 10th St. or at Western True Value at 412 9th St. Alamogordo, NM 88310. You can also call Western True Value & Point S Tire Factory at 575-437-0660.
Contact Information: United Way of Otero County (575) 437-8400.
Hearing from gun owners nationwide asking to purchase the calendar as a show of solidarity and support would do a lot to remind the good folks at the Otero County Chapter that we appreciate them and the hard work they do on behalf of the charities they work with.
And for those who regularly work with a local United Way chapter or contribute to events, this episode is a strong reminder to be ever vigilant of similar attempts in other regions of the country.