Sliders give away third gun in a year
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
The sliders have another All-American night of baseball and fireworks Friday, but it doesn't come without controversy.
The Sliders are giving away their third gun in a year.
Friday, a fan will win a pistol worth about $1,000.
Last month, they gave away a tactical shotgun.
While many fans are in favor of the gun giveaway, many say it's not appropriate for a family event.
"There's no place in baseball with guns," said Matthew McCubbin, Springfield.
McCubbin is a father of four. He said he's anti gun in general, and doesn't like the Sliders giving away a thousand dollar pistol to a fan.
"I've got kids here," McCubbin said. "What if one of them had the ticket and they won the gun? I just don't believe in it."
McCubbin is among several I talked with who say giving away guns is poor taste with mass shootings on the rise nationwide.
We asked sliders owner Todd Miller if the giveaway is in poor taste in light of a spike in Springfield gun violence earlier this year.
"It helps a patrol to actually be able to protect themselves against some of those people," Miller said. "People who are creating the gun violence are not ones who have legally registered guns and are doing things legally."
Miller says giving away the guns has boosted fan attendance.
"The american dream," Miller said. "You can't really go wrong. Baseball, fireworks in Springfield, certainly for the guns."
Fans we spoke with off-camera were divided on whether or not giving away guns is right for a baseball game.
These two fans like the idea.
"It brought me out tonight," said Anthony Nudo, Pleasant Plains. "If you don't like guns, don't participate in the raffle. If you like guns, participate."
"I grew up with guns," said Brian Stevens, Spaulding. "Number one rule of safety is the gun is always loaded no matter what. Even if it's in pieces. It's always loaded. You treat it as if it's always loaded."
The gun given away isn't actually given to the fan until background checks have gone through.
Money from the gun raffle is given to volunteer organizations.