Missouri kids baseball team selling raffle tickets for an AR-15

Children in Missouri are selling raffle tickets for an AR-15 — the same weapon used by a Florida gunman who killed 17 people at a high school — to raise money for their baseball team.

The Neosho-based team consists of players who range in age from 7 to 9, and the fund-raiser was planned before the Parkland school massacre Wednesday, team coach Levi Patterson told the Kansas City Star.

The kids weren’t forced to sell the tickets. He said he’s heartbroken over the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, but acknowledged gun raffles have been happening for years.

Critics bashed the raffle on Facebook.

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“Are you all tone deaf?” a user wrote to Patterson in a deleted post. “AR15 kills seventeen so you raffle a gun for child sports? Lord, people wake the hell up. Justify all you want but you are wrong, period.”

Patterson responded: “We appreciate your ‘concern’ but please understand, we are not, have not, and will not force one of our boys to sell raffle tickets for the Black Rain AR15 Spec 15, if they are uncomfortable doing so.”

The father of one of the players offered an AR-15 for the raffle. The winner has to pass a background check to get the gun.

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Social media reactions to the reports of shooting at Highline College
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Social media reactions to the reports of shooting at Highline College
My girl is at highline wne not answering what should I do https://t.co/V7HJYbq7VV
Heard 6-8 gunshots waking to class at Highline & now we’re in lockdown. Tf goin on 😐
y’all play stay safe @ highline https://t.co/vTizuUH84u
Snap Map shows video of people who look like they're barricading inside room at Highline Community College: "Shooti… https://t.co/LCX1ptB2J3
Barricaded in class at highline college Des Moines https://t.co/Xe7Vif5pAg
@yourboyeddie Evacuating buildings now. Looks like we'll be going home early, haven't seen or heard any gunfire.… https://t.co/0ob8k6j1iQ
there’s a potential active gunman at a college near my highschool. my friend who goes there is texting me and said… https://t.co/TsRocxwDyk
IFI I DIE IN THIS SHOOTING POLITCIZE MY FUCKING DEATH IM SAYING IT NOW I WANT FUCKING GUN CONTROL #highlinecollege… https://t.co/DF85LiqEcZ
BREAKING: ATF agents are responding to reports of a school shooting at Highline College in Des Moines, Wash. https://t.co/iSxiauS22H
Right now I’m watching roughly 60 law enforcement officials heading toward Highline College campus buildings with g… https://t.co/Ep19ZWhd69
Based on what we're seeing on the ground at Highline College, law enforcement appears more relaxed than I've scene… https://t.co/BWAMy0QNHi
Inside a room baracated me and 12 others in we are ok heard 5 gun shots near me when we where going to other classe… https://t.co/QzfNGUfI7W
Officials say no evidence of a shooting or gunshot victims found at Highline College. Great news to hear.
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