Pima Country GOP Chairman Pro Tem Mike Shaw told CNN's Randi Kaye Thursday that raffling off the same kind of gun that was used to shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was completely appropriate because the congresswoman also owned a similar weapon.
"Arizona Republicans are fundraising by raffling off, get this, a Glock pistol," Kaye noted. "It's important to point out that it is the same kind of gun that was pointed at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' head and used to shoot her point blank."
"Jared Loughner is accused of seriously wounding Gabrielle Giffords, killing six people, including a little girl and a federal judge with a Glock just like the one you're raveling off, but considering what we know about the shooting rampage in Tucson which is the seat of Pima County, why raffle this Glock?" Kaye asked Shaw.
"It was the actions of Jared Loughner that happened during the Tucson shooting so Jared was the one who was responsible," Shaw explained. "He could have used any type of weapon and chose to use a Glock -- I think it was a Glock 19. We're raveling off a Glock 23, which is a slightly different weapon. But, again, it was his actions that are responsible for what happened during the Tucson shooting, and so really the argument about what happened here in Tucson shouldn't be about the weapon."
"The founding fathers thought it was important that we would have rights in this country and a very important one is the right to keep and bear arms, one that Gabrielle Giffords believes in strongly herself," he added.
"Obviously not everybody who gets a Glock is going to do what Jared Loughner did, thankfully, but do you think that this might be considered just a bit insensitive to the congresswoman and the other family members involved?" Kaye pressed.
"Well, we certainly did not," Shaw insisted. "Again, it's the actions of Jared Loughner that were taken that day. It was not the weapon that he used."
He continued: "I have a quote from of Giffords' spokespeople in The Arizona Capitol Times March of 2008, when Congresswoman Giffords was standing against the gun ban in Washington, D.C., and the spokesman quotes saying, 'Giffords owns a Glock handgun and regards gun ownership as a constitutional right and an Arizona tradition.' And I really can't say it any better than that."
"Aren't you ever worried about somebody else doing something wrong with that weapon?" Kaye wondered.
"Absolutely not. We have millions of gun owners in this country, law-abiding citizens. It was gun owners that kept Jared Loughner from reloading his weapon during the Tucson shooting," Shaw replied.
"I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one," Kaye concluded.
But not all Republicans think it's such a good idea.
"There's a woman who has a bullet in the brain and who everybody is wishing a full recovery," former Pima County GOP chair Brian Miller told Talking Points Memo. "I don't think that raffling off a firearm right now is probably the right way to go."
GOP Legislative District 29 Chairman James Kelley agreed that the raffle was insensitive.
"It doesn’t mean the Republican party doesn’t have an incredible record of supporting the Second Amendment, but at this point it’s ill-advised and I won’t stand with them on this," he said.