WLOS video: Asheville Tea Party PAC “Machine Gun Social” in Brevard

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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The Asheville Tea Party PAC hosted a ”Machine Gun Social” in nearby Brevard on Saturday as a political fundraiser. Participants paid $25-$50 to fire automatic weapons at Bear Arms Indoor Shooting Range, eat pizza and drink sodas.

The event attracted national attention, and received coverage from the Huffington Post and USA Today.

Organizers said the money raised will be used to pay for political advertising.

WLOS has video of the event, and interviews participants:


From an Asheville Tea Party blog post about the social:

Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
George Washington – First President of the United States

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
Richard Henry Lee – American Statesman, 1788

From the Huffington Post article in August about the event:

According to the event’s flyer, attendees can give $25 for a 30-round magazine on a 9mm submachine gun of their choice — an HK MP5, an Israeli UZI or a Swedish I. Guests can spend $35 for 30 rounds on an AK47, while the most ambitious of Tea Party patriots can drop $50 for 30 rounds on an M16.

Machine Gun Social flyer:

From USA Today:

(Chairwoman Jane) Bilello said that besides raising money, the event is intended to show the group’s support for gun rights. She dismissed the notion it could be seen as insensitive in light of recent mass shootings like the one that claimed the lives of 12 people inside a Colorado movie theater during a screening of the new “Batman” movie.

If someone in the theater had been armed, James Holmes might have been stopped sooner, she said.

“Our founders wanted to make sure we could protect ourselves,” Bilello said.

Henry Mitchell, chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party, said his group is more inclined to sell raffle tickets to raise contributions for its candidates.

“I guess that’s a different way to raise money,” he said of the tea party approach. “We’re trying to raise money in more traditional ways. I wish them luck with it. Hopefully they get their message out.”

Asheville Tea Party website 

Asheville Tea Party on Facebook


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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