In poor taste? Softball team raffling guns


ANDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- In the days after the recent school shooting, a raffle in Anderson County is drawing anger from some, and support from others.

The giveaway has been going since last Saturday, before the shooting. It supports a local girls’ softball team. For just a $10.00 ticket, you could win a gun, the same kind used in the Florida school shooting.

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Flyer advertises gun raffle for Anderson County softball travel team

Checking Facebook is a daily ritual for retired teacher Joell Finney. She loves the political posts from friends and hates the ones that showcase opinions contrary to her own.

On Thursday, though, just a day after the school shooting that killed 17, she saw something she really didn’t like. It is a flyer advertising a raffle to benefit the Batcats, a girls’ softball travel team out of Anderson County.

The grand prizes are a semi automatic pistol and an AR like the one used in the Florida school shooting.

“I was truly astonished that a group of people purportedly supporting young girls under the age of ten would be willing to raffle guns, rifles, automatic weapons as a way to raise money for their crew. That’s just repulsive,” Finney said.

She is not alone. The man providing the guns for the raffle, Kenny Barnett, says he has gotten calls from people who are unhappy, but also plenty of calls from people looking to buy tickets.

Barnett tells ABC 36 travel ball teams need a lot of money. With a gun raffle he can raise about $7,500 in two months. It is much more than he says a bake sale could do.

“We know that. We know that, but I just do not see how anyone could live with them-self,” Finney said.

Text from team manager to ABC 36’s Veronica Jean Seltzer

The team manager says winners will still have to pass background checks, just as if they were buying the weapons.

“I feel deeply sorry for the shootings recently, but we are just trying to help these girls,” he wrote in a text.

For Finney, thoughts and prayers from politicians or average people are not enough. She says she wants improved gun control laws, particularly for those with mental illness.

Someone has started an online Go Fund Me page to help get the BatCats to the World Series.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at She looks forward to hearing from you!