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Oregon county GOP group apologizes for celebrating MLK with gun raffle

Multnomah County Republican Party apologizes for celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln with raffle of AR-15 rifle.

By Evan Bleier
Oregon county GOP group apologizes for celebrating MLK with gun raffle
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in a photo from 1966 (File/UPI Photo) | License Photo

An Oregon County GOP party has apologized for issuing a press release indicating that the memories of Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln would be celebrated with a gun raffle.

The Multnomah County Republican Party originally issued a statement that said: "In celebrating these two men, and the denial of the rights they fought so hard against, the Multnomah County Republican Party announces that we have started our third raffle for an AR-15 rifle (or handgun of the winner's choice)."

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Prior to his death, Dr. King applied for a concealed carry permit, a decision he ultimately reversed.

“How could I serve as one of the leaders of a nonviolent movement and at the same time use weapons of violence for my personal protection?” King wrote in his autobiography. “Coretta and I talked the matter over for several days and finally agreed that arms were no solution. We decided then to get rid of the one weapon we owned. We tried to satisfy our friends by having floodlights mounted around the house, and hiring unarmed watchmen around the clock.”

Even still, some gun activists still believe he would have been a supporter of their cause.

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The Multnomah Republican Party issued a second statement in an attempt to clarify their position.

“In our enthusiasm for celebrating Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Constitution, our Multnomah Republican Party issued a press release that was unfortunately easily misunderstood. The GOP stands for individual liberty, lower taxes, smaller government and individual responsibility. We apologize if people were hurt by the message being marred by insufficient wording and/or cynical misinterpretations by those who disagree with us politically. We will certainly endeavor to communicate more clearly in the future, and learn and grow from this experience. Both Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King delivered speeches in defense of American liberty and freedom that will live forever in the hearts and minds of the American people. They gave their lives for his cause.”

Things eventually get a little bit weird, again.

“The great political issue today is whether or not the American people of all creeds and races will live free or live as slaves - slaves to their own overreaching government. 50 years ago, Martin Luther King's great speech was an appeal for freedom for African Americans. Today, those same words he spoke 50 years ago are an appeal for freedom for all Americans.”

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[The Oregonian]

[MSNBC]

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