We the members of Indivisible NWI along with The Progressive Democrats of America Calumet Region have released the following open letter to the Portage Fraternal Order of Police Lodge#145, regarding a drawing on November 7, 2019. This drawing (see photo of raffle ticket) will award prizes consisting of a Warrior Arms AR-15 Rifle, Glock 45 9mm and a Custom ESEE brand Knife. Please see letter below.
We ask the Portage FOP Lodge #145 to reconsider what we feel to be a misguided action.
IndivisibleNWI and PDA Calumet Region have recently become aware that the Portage Police Department is conducting the following raffle on November 7, 2019:
1st Place: Warrior Arms AR-15 rifle
2nd Place: Glock 45 in 9mm
3rd Place: Custom ESEE brand knife
Ironically, per your facebook page, you will be conducting the following:
Active Shooter Survival Training
On Wednesday August 21st, 2019 from 5 pm to 7 pm, the Portage Police Department will host our Active Shooter Survival for School Employees. This will be open to any school staff from any school district, but priority for seating will be given to staff from Portage Township Schools.
We would like to have this explained. Has it not occurred to you that perhaps this training would not be necessary if weapons like the AR-15 Rifle and Glock 45 were not readily given away to the public?
As parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens, we are deeply appalled that our children have to endure “Active Shooter - Code Red” drills in school regularly. The drill in itself is frightening; however, the fear that is always with the children is a terrible, shameful reflection of our dereliction of duty as adult Americans to by all means necessary remove these weapons from the hands of those who do not need them and should not have them and prevent those people from obtaining them. Every day we worry about the safety of our children and breathe a sigh of relief when they come home. It doesn’t have to and should never be like this.
See the following statistics:
- Our firearm homicide rate is 25 times higher than other comparable countries.
- Our firearm suicide rate is nearly 10 times higher.
- Women in the U.S. are 21 times more likely to be shot to death than women in other high-income countries, most killed by an intimate partner.
- 21 children and teenagers are shot every day.
- In 2017, almost 40,000 people died from guns in the United States.
(Source - Violence Policy Center - Research, Analysis & Advocacy for a Safer America)
And even in light of these facts, you are jovially putting even more guns into people’s hands.
It is our belief that the life of one child, or any person at all, is worth enacting the following common sense gun law reform:
- Enforce a federal ban on the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines;
- Ban the sale of bump stock and other military-style devices that enhance and increase the rapidity of fire;
- Mandate universal criminal background checks on the retail and private sale of all guns;
- Prohibit domestic abusers and stalkers from possessing a firearm;
- Oppose any effort to advance Concealed Carry Reciprocity
- Support anti-gun trafficking legislation and strengthen penalties for straw purchasers.
Additionally, easy access to firearms in the home results in high rates of unintentional gun deaths among children, youth suicides, and school shootings.
4.6 million minors in the US live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm. Many children know where their parents keep their guns and have accessed household guns — even if their parents think otherwise.
73% of children under age 10 living in homes with guns reported knowing the location of their parents’ firearms, and 36% admitted they had handled the weapons.
Many of these children handled guns without the knowledge of their parents. Nearly a quarter of parents did not know that their children had handled a gun in their house.
In light of the above mentioned well-established facts, we are greatly alarmed by the cavalier way you are proffering the “prizes” listed on your Portage FOP Lodge #145’s raffle tickets. We ask that you rethink this raffle. We suggest items that families and children could actually benefit from receiving. And… in light of the recent mass shootings, we think this raffle could not be more tone deaf.
You may reach our representatives via the contact information below.
We eagerly look forward to your response.
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Calumet Region: firstname.lastname@example.org