Blowing Away The Competition: Rep. Broun Offers Voters A Shot At An AR-15 As Part Of His Senate Campaign

220px-1973_Colt_AR15_SP1220px-Paul_Broun_Congressional_PortraitGOP Georgia congressman Paul Broun has a slight variation on Herbert Hoover’s 1928 presidential campaign of “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage?” Broun would like to add an AR-15 in every home or at least one home. Broun is offering a drawing to his supporters to win an AR-15 to show his unparalleled support for gun ownership.

Here is the message received by Georgia voters:


You may recall Broun from his prior controversy for calling evolution a theory from the pit of Hell.

What is most interesting to me is the prospect of using campaign funds for what is a type of raffle. I presume the gun was purchased with campaign funds or donated by a campaign supporter. However, Broun is now using campaign resources to give away a valuable item. I have looked at the campaign laws and I do not see a clear violation. So here is my question: why couldn’t a candidate simply run continual raffles to get gifts to voters? There are the obvious provisions on vote buying:

§ 597. Expenditures to influence voting
Whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate; and
Whoever solicits, accepts, or receives any such expenditure in consideration of his vote or the withholding of his vote—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

However, this is being done long before the election and he is not demanding an assurance of a vote even though he is making the offer only to supporters. What would stop such a distribution of multiple guns or ammunition or other prizes to supporters?

This is obviously separate from the issue of the prize in this case being a gun. However, it is a lawful product and presumably the raffle is limited to adults allowed to own such a weapon. Yet, this is a valuable item being given with campaign funds or resources to a voter. Is it lawful simply because it is a one-time event?

38 thoughts on “Blowing Away The Competition: Rep. Broun Offers Voters A Shot At An AR-15 As Part Of His Senate Campaign”

  1. What he’s giving to everyone is a raffle ticket and hope. Maybe the one who wins will vote for him and all those who don’t win will vote for his opponent.

  2. justagurlinseattle:
    What is your statute of limitations on when it becomes appropriate to raffle off a weapon of the same general type used in a prominent crime? If we go back far enough, we can eliminate pretty much every broad category of firearm from giveaways due to violations of the justagurlinseattle gun crime sensitivity rules. Charles Whitman used a plain old hunting rifle in Austin to kill a lot of people and Martin Luther King was killed with same. Shotguns have been used in many prominent crimes, so I guess those are out. The Virginia Tech massacre was committed with two handguns and Representative Giffords was shot with one of, if not the most popular handguns in existence.

    And do you think revolvers are used for nothing but cowboys shootin’ injuns? Quite a few people have been on the dead end of a wheel gun. Why is it ok to raffle a revolver, are those dead people not as valuable as those who died at Sandy Hook?

    When you think Sandy Hook, you think of the inanimate object that a sick human being used to kill. When I think Sandy Hook, I think of the sick human being that killed. He could have killed those kids with any number of weapons, including non-firearms (the worst school mass murder in U.S. history wasn’t committed with a gun). It shouldn’t be surprising that he used one of the most ubiquitous and popular platforms in the country.

    Again, it is stunning to me that this is worthy of discussion when we are talking about a man who thinks evolution is a plot from Hell.

  3. Facebook and Twitter are already using facial recognition technology. Although Gene and I had major differences and he has decided to remove himself from the blog I can tell you he was at least right about one thing. Facebook and twitter along with an abundance of other new social media platforms were designed for one purpose. That is the ability for people to spy on themselves. The Govt. just needs to collect the information so that they can know who what when where only leaving out the why from the equation 🙂

  4. Wow just read most of the comments. VERY NICE DISCUSSION !!!
    Broun, an MD, is just trying to help his colleagues out. Chances are one of them will preform surgery or ask for a priest to give Last Rights.

    The message is clear I get is he is signaling a rise against the government and will give someone the chance to defend. I don’t need to win one in a raffle I’ll go buy my own. That is if the government will allow me to purchase. I currently could pass all requirements to do so just need to provide the cash.

    And to the commenter who said, is this a leftover from Fast and Furious the answer is no, it is it’s Evil Twin they say everyone has one.

    The round up is coming, prepare yourself wishing and praying for you and your families. May God have mercy on all of us.

    It’s a 6 part series becomes very interesting after the 1:15 commercial break.

  5. Darren’s comment above is accurate and precise. I could not articulate this so well. Darren sums up my thoughts on the matter. I understand the rural or out of urban area lifestyle and see the flaws in the cheap appeal that this GA flag wrapper is trying out on the voters there. I have also lived in urban settings were the handguns were sort of prolific but well used when need be. I was in a bar once when a young punk pulled out a knife and demanded the bar tender to give over the money. Out of fifty people in the bar, probably half pulled pistols out while a waitress cold cocked the guy with a bottle and knocked him out. The guns got put away carefully by all the cops and mobsters present and they all went back to their conversations as two guys drug the punk out to the curb and left him. They did not call a squad car to pick him up. He was knocked cold and they figured that was enough. I have mentioned this story on the blog here before. I was a guide dog for a half blind guy at the time. I wont mention the name of the place in Saint Louis other than to say that it was on The Edge so to speak. It is closed now so no one can any longer go there an enjoy the pretty waitresses and good food.

  6. Justagurl:

    I think there are a few dynamics as to why this M-4 rifle was chosen for the rifle and pix. Gun enthusiasts often like this type of rifle because they are well built, reliable and fun to shoot. I can see if a contest for a gun raffle (outside of the election issue) it would be a good choice to attract participants in the rifle. But this type of rifle has a political aspect too. The perception among a segment of gun enthusiasts is that some politicians have targeted this type of rifle for higher regulation or banning. To the enthusiasts the M-4 has symbolic value as to the resistence to the bans and it connotes a sort of resistence to the politicians enacting legislation the enthusiasts believe are trying to take their rifles from them. There is also a sense of patriotism in the ownership of firearms especially with rural communities who use them more often than suburbia does. The guns are not necessarily adored but it represents a cultural symbol such as riding horses, or wearing western gear, or having you own land. These folks are not necessarily fanatics, but they have an interest, but the uses are more practical such as hunting or recreational target shooting than quackeries such as survivalist types who are in my opinion a little off-kilter.

    This politician in raffling the M-4 is attempting to tap into that subculture because protecting firearms rights resonates with this subculture. The subculture doesn’t obscess about guns, but deep down it is frightning to them the government will take away their way of life and most importantly to them their independance which is really at the core of the issue. In this demographic he hits both the fear issue and proffers himself to be THE dear leader who will fight for their cause.

    I can understand where you feel it is very poor and wicked to use a rifle similar to what was used in the school shooting and from your point of view that is reasonable. But the gun enthusiasts do not see the M4 as a Sandy Hook symbol, they universally will be outraged at the shooting just as much as anyone else, even those opposed to firearms. Because in their subculture there is no excuse to shoot little kids or be reckless with a gun. Recklessness and violence in this subculture will lead to banishments in some respect.

    If I was a voter in that district I wouldn’t vote for this guy because of the use of the statement of bragging that he is the most conservative guy on the ballot and then putting the M4 as the raffle item. I carried a similar rifle in my patrol car, I like this type of gun as it was a reliable gun and needed for where I worked. But even looking at a politician doing this is akin to him wrapping himself in an US flag and declaring by doing so he is the most patriotic American possible. Sign of a pretty shallow and in some ways scary politician.

    I would think finance, social justice, and accountability would be more important traits, but he seems to show he has other agendas.

  7. Byron….

    Perhaps you should READ the whole article……
    and really, if it was only Democrats, you would think that they would have a better showing in Kentucky, Though, it seems to be FAR MORE of a Republican state….

    “Prosecutors say more than $400,000, part of it drug proceeds, was pooled by Democratic and Republican politicians over several elections, and spent to buy the votes of more than 8,000 voters, usually at $50 apiece.”

  8. “WHY did he pick the exact gun used in Sandyhook???”

    Perhaps because it is the most popular rifle in the United States.

  9. there is a HUGE difference between respecting the 2nd Amendment, and being GUN Fanatic…. and personally I think that MANY in the USA are gun fanatics.

    I think this just goes a LITTLE over the top into making the USA Election process look Cartoonish…. Though, this candidate does a fine job of that without the gun raffle…. The Gun raffle is just the icing on the crazy cake….

    and WHY did he pick the exact gun used in Sandyhook????

    That is just OBSCENE!! There are plenty of guns he would have raffled
    off that were NOT used to kill a bunch of Children at Christmas…..
    Perhaps a revolver would have been a little less obscene.

  10. Let’s look at Dr. Broun’s qualifications for a Senate seat:
    – Married four times
    – Allopathic medical school graduate from reputable institution
    – Not licensed to practice medicine in any hospital in Georgia
    – Extensive scientific training, yet espouses mythological beliefs as to the origin of man
    – Believes global warming a hoax

    Oh wait – the Constitutional qualifications for Senate are:
    – 30 years of age
    – US Citizen for at least the nine years prior to Senate entry
    – Inhabit the state from which election is sought
    – Cannot have engaged in rebellion against the United States or aided the enemies thereof (14th Amendment)

    Looks like he’s just as qualified as many of the other nuts continually elected and re-elected to the Congress. I wouldn’t vote for him, but I would enter his raffle.

  11. I would like to see all law abiding citizens own a gun. It helps to keep a tyrannical government in check as well as would be foreign invaders. In light of all the false flag shooting hoaxes of the past year I recommend you take your money out of the bank while you still can and use it to buy food and ammo.

  12. wisely skeptical:
    I often read pro-gun posts that drip with ignorance, hate, and paranoia. As a pro-gun person, they disgust me. They often succeed in stereotyping people like myself as trigger-happy jackasses who think every black person is coming to get them. And they stereotype anti-gun people as being wimpy, nanny-staters. They do no good for “our” side.

    Were I a pro-gun control person, your post would be the equivalent for that side. You hit many of the nonsensical dog-whistle appeals to emotion that we’ve become used to. “He-men”, “cowboys”, indifferent to mass shootings (as opposed to being against knee-jerk, ineffective responses). At least you didn’t go for the penis-substitute stuff, so I guess I can thank you for that.

    I do ask that when you post things like that, remember them when you wonder why some pro-gun people are so adamant that there is no room for compromise. When the opposing side characterizes them as juvenile he-men who don’t care about mass murders, you might get a little insight into why they are reluctant to engage.

  13. We are thoughtful 21st century Americans; that’s why we heap scorn upon your kind. We know what evil disarmament can and has brought time and time again.

    But don’t you worry. If push comes to shove, I’ll happily stand by and fail to use my weaponry to protect you and yours from enemies foreign and domestic so as not to infringe upon your sensibilities.

    Hell! I’d smile the whole time.

  14. I stopped believing that guns were only benign acting tools for cowboy dramas when I was 12 . We all had a brutal TV lesson in 1963 and every year after that of what personal chaos guns can cause for everyone and anyone. The question is why the NRA is allowed to lobby with extremely passive- aggressive political arguments.

    As a card carrying member of the anti gun trolls, I wouldn’t mind the trolls being portrayed as the cowboy movies did , weak vulnerable non gun owners , sipping Sasfrasases as the he men defend our country with rifles if the world hadn’t learned about how to lead more civilized, less annihilating lives than in the 19th century .

    This aggressive scorn is the blogger ‘s right, but rationalizing the pervasive acceptance of guns makes the possibility of more Columbine massacres less important for some self described patriots than the right to scare everyone to death with agressively inane insults .

    Some of the trolls and gun -grabbers I know support swapping assault weapons for cash. Patriots , be thoughtful 21st century Americans .

  15. I agree if raffles were held continually and there became a likelyhood the raffle ticket had a strong probability of producing a winner for the person buying the ticket I could see it possibly being a campaign finance law violation. Yet, it is actually less direct than rewarding supporters for making large contributions and receiving gifts in doing so, even if the gifts are not material. It could be as small as a picture with the candidate upwards to an overnight stay in the white house.

    If the candidate promised “vote for me and I will give you a widget” that would be a clearer violation.

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