Side Note

Maybe the NRA should stop trying to have fundraisers in Brooklyn

Just yesterday, the New York Daily News reported that Brooklyn’s Friends of the NRA would be hosting a fundraiser on April 12 at Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope. The venue’s owner, Michael Halkias, told the Brooklyn Paper that he wouldn’t be pressured break his contract with the gun group.

“If I cancel the contract, I’ll be a bad guy — a scared, yellow guy who chickened out,” he said. Less than a day later, he told NY1 he was canceling the event due to backlash from locals. “The internet went crazy,” Halkias told the Daily News. “Some of them were very convincing and gentle — and some of them were very nasty and ugly.”

Grand Prospect Hall wasn’t even the NRA’s first choice. Last month, the Daily News reported that the organization would be hosting a fundraiser at Coney Island restaurant Gargiulo’s, where for the low, low price of $50, attendees could enter a raffle for a chance to win prizes like a handgun, a BB rifle, or a “women’s rifle.”

The timing of the News’ report — less than two weeks after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida — made the NRA’s event seem even more disgusting and tone-deaf than it already was. And earlier this month, the NRA also canceled another fundraiser on Staten Island after local politicians spoke out against it. Will they be able to host a fundraiser in New York, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, ever again? Maybe next time they’ll think twice before announcing a rifle raffle right after a gun tragedy.