File Photo: Rhino 500 handguns are on display at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings and Exhibits on April 14, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images, File

After massacre, California GOP candidate hosts gun giveaway

Ted Cruz raised eyebrows last week for hosting a campaign event at an Iowa shooting range just days after high-profile mass shootings, including the massacre in San Bernardino. But the L.A. Times reports on a related event in California, which somehow seems worse.
With the debate on gun control and public safety taking center stage following the shooting rampage in San Bernardino, one California Republican congressional hopeful is not only supporting gun owner rights, he is giving handguns away to donors.
Johnny Tacherra, running against Democratic Rep. Jim Costa in the Central Valley, is holding a fundraiser billed as a “2nd Amendment BBQ” at Full Spectrum Firearms in Fresno next weekend.
The Times report noted that donors who contribute the legal maximum ($2,700) will get “either a 9 mm or a .40 Smith & Wesson M&P Shield handgun.”
In fairness to Tacherra, it’s worth emphasizing that the gun-giveaway was scheduled before the San Bernardino murders, but the Republican campaign could have canceled or delayed the event, and instead decided it has “no qualms about holding the event after the attack.”
The fundraiser will be held at something called the Full Spectrum Firearms showroom in Fresno this weekend.
Tacherra, who narrowly lost to Costa last year in one of California’s more competitive congressional districts, has also endorsed a Trump-like policy of a “moratorium” on all immigration from “Middle Eastern nations.”
For what it’s worth, one House Republican has been willing to say Tacherra’s gun-giveaway in the wake of a mass shooting probably isn’t a good idea. Roll Call reported this morning:
As he’s done in the past, Tacherra wove the names of sitting pols who’ve previously endorsed his campaign into the event flyer, a roster that includes: Reps. Darrell Issa, Steve Knight, Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock and Mimi Walters.
Walters has since made it clear she’s not part of the event.
A spokesperson for Walters told Roll Call, “The Congresswoman has endorsed Mr. Tacherra, however, she was unaware of the fundraiser and would not have agreed to lend her name to the event.” Walters will not attend the “2nd Amendment BBQ” and wants her name removed from associated promotional materials.