Dozens of protesters gathered in Kildeer Friday evening in opposition to an event hosted by the Lake County Republicans that included a raffle with guns as prizes.
Organizers say the dinner and gun raffle had been in the planning stages for months but protesters say in light of the mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month the timing couldn’t have been worse.
Some 200 Second Amendment supporters took part in the dinner where two dozen firearms including semi-automatic weapons and AR-15s were to be raffled off.
Lee Goodman is one of the protesters from the grassroots group Peaceful Communities.
“To be handing out guns as raffle prizes seems to be counterproductive and it’s really offensive at this point,” Goodman said. “People are still in mourning over the people that were shot in las vegas.”
Protesters held up signs bearing the names of the 58 people killed in the vegas shooting.
Mike Rioux supplied the firearms for the raffle.
“That’s why I’m here tonight, to do the background check. So, they’re not just giving them out to anyone who’s winning a gun–hey, here you go–you get a gun,” Rioux said. “No, we’re doing a background check. These are the same people that could walk into my shop and buy one.”
Organizers say part of the proceeds from the dinner will be donated to support police officers killed in the line of duty and the Las Vegas Law Enforcement Assistance Fund.
Lake County GOP chairman Mark Shaw said the group would have been met by protesters regardless of when the event was held.
“The people that tend to show up at these events are opposed to the Second Amendment and they generally show up to show their displeasure with the right to keep and bear arms,” he said.
But protester organizer Patt Heise, of People over Party, said that’s not quite so.
“Nobody’s trying to stomp on their second amendment rights,” Heise said. “If they make rocket launchers available, is everyone gonna have one of those too? A line’s gotta be drawn someplace. A line’s gotta be drawn and this is it.”
Despite the fundamental disagreements over gun control and the timing of the gun raffle, the event continued without disruption and the demonstration ended peacefully.
Published at 10:10 PM CDT on Oct 13, 2017 | Updated at 10:42 PM CDT on Oct 13, 2017