Texas governor scraps shotgun giveaway after school shooting
By Benjamin Wermund from POLITICO
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has scrapped plans to give away a “Texas-made shotgun“ after a gunman used a shotgun in a Friday rampage that left 10 dead in a high school near Houston.
A spokesman for Abbott, a Republican, said Monday the campaign contest is still active, but the winner will now receive a $250 gift card.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Shotgun Giveaway Contest. This contest information has since been removed from the site. Image from CNN.
The webpage for the contest has been changed from one featuring the governor holding a shotgun to one without any pictures, now advertising the gift card. The change was made over the weekend, the Abbott spokesman said.
Abbott’s reelection campaign launched the shotgun giveaway contest on May 1, prior to the high school murders in Santa Fe, Texas. The contest quickly caught the eyes of Texas gun control activists, who pressed Abbott over the weekend.
“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, a student organizer of Austin’s March For Our Lives affiliate, wrote in an email to POLITICO. Kappelman is a senior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, a high school in Austin.
The contest also drew the attention of potential gubernatorial challengers, including Andrew White, who is running in the Democratic primary. White posted a picture on Twitter
of an Abbott campaign door hanger that advertised the contest with a picture of a shotgun.
“If nominated on May 22, I won’t have to give away shotguns to get people to vote for me. Can you believe this?“ White wrote.
Abbott has promised “swift” action following last week’s school shooting, including a Tuesday roundtable to discuss next steps.