Shotgun giveaway by Texas governor’s campaign leads to outrage — then it’s taken down

Shotgun giveaway by Texas governor’s campaign leads to outrage — then it’s taken down
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's campaign took a shotgun giveaway off its website after backlash from gun control activists. (Scott Olsen/Getty Images)

Gun control activists hammered Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for the optics of a shotgun giveaway sponsored by his re-election campaign, according to Politico.

The giveaway contest began May 1 but became a target of a gun control group’s outrage after 10 people were killed by a gunman using a shotgun at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday morning.

“I find this giveaway deeply disturbing for a number of reasons, chiefly among them the fact that Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe HS was carried out with a shotgun,” Jack Kappelman told Politico. Kappelman is a student organizer for the Austin, Texas, branch of March for Our Lives.

What happened?

The governor’s re-election campaign was holding a giveaway contest for a “Texas-made shotgun,” which featured a picture of Abbott aiming a shotgun.

March For Our Lives – Austin blasted the governor on Twitter for the contest, not acknowledging that the contest preceded and was unrelated to the tragedy in Santa Fe.

The group posted on Twitter:

We demand you take down the Texas-made shotgun raffle and make a formal apology to your constituents. To put it bluntly, we find this a disgusting display of disregard of the toll gun violence takes and an absolute failure to respect your constituents in the wake of the #SantaFe shootings.

It is acts like these that greatly affect community practice and the perception of shotguns as simply a tool for entertainment while the brutal truth is that weapons like these are capable of incredible violence. We hold our elected officials to higher standards.

What did one Democratic candidate say?

Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew White, took the opportunity to score some political points on Abbott.

“If nominated on May 22, I won’t have to give away shotguns to get people to vote for me,” wrote White, who faces a primary runoff election on Tuesday against former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.

A spokesman for Abbott’s campaign said the contest was changed over the weekend to give the winner a $250 gift card. The picture of Abbott holding the gun was removed.

(H/T: The Hill)