A GOP lawmaker in Tennessee is reportedly refusing to cancel a pledged giveaway of two AR-15 rifles after a similar model was used in the killing of 49 people in Orlando on Sunday.
“[I’m] doubling down,” he said. "Instead of focusing on the weapon that was used, there should be a focus on radical Islam. The focus should not be on the weapon, it should be on the individual’s heart and the cowardly acts that he performed.
“We don’t need to look past the fact that this murderous gunman was shot and killed. That same instrument was used to put that bad person in a neutral position.”
Holt announced a fundraiser in Dresden last Friday, listing an AR-15 as a door prize for the event.
“On Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. I’ll be hosting the first annual Holt’s hog fest and turkey shoot fundraiser!” a statement about the event said.
“We’ll have all-you-can-eat whole hog roast with all the fixings, a petting zoo and hay rides for the kids, live music, a turkey shoot and more! Oh, did I mention we’re giving away an AR-15 as the door prize?”
Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others were injured when a gunman opened fire early Sunday morning at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Omar Mateen, 29, was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun before his death in a shootout with police.
Holt on late Monday said his office has received death threats from one individual over the event planned before Mateen’s rampage.
“This is the kind of inconsistent behavior we see from the left wing,” he said in a statement. "Here we are trying to ensure people have the right to protect themselves, and we’re getting death threats over it? These liberal activists are threatening to bring their guns to the Capitol and harm people…it makes zero sense, but it’s what we’ve come to expect.”
Holt on Tuesday added his fundraiser means no disrespect after Mateen attacked a gay nightspot last weekend. He said the AR-15 giveaway is not meant to “be hurtful to anyone or serve as a symbolic slap in the face to the LGBT community.”
The final giveaway, he added, requires a background check from the supplier, whom he has declined to disclose.