Florida GOP donor threatens money drought over gun issue – CBS


Conservative Republican donor Al Hoffman Jr. of Florida has threatened to cut off donations to GOP candidates who do not support gun control. (Screen capture, YouTube, CBS)

A major Republican fund raiser in Florida has threatened to cut off the money if there is no action on gun control, and according to CNN and other news agencies covering the development, it better happen fast.

This is just one new development in the wake of last week’s tragic school shooting in Parkland where 17 students and staff were killed by gunfire as school let out. The suspect, a former student at the school, is in custody and has been charged.

Al Hoffman Jr. told CNN that he has “developed an affinity” for the Parkland community over the years because his company was a major developer there.

“When the tragedy occurred,” he said, “I heard it instantly on the television and I felt my heart just drop. I felt that I was holding my heart in my hands.”

Calling himself a “conservative Republican,” Hoffman formerly was a national Republican Committee finance chair during the George W. Bush campaigns. But after the Parkland shooting, Hoffman decided that every Republican donor must be contacted in an effort to push politicians into banning so-called “assault weapons.”

According to CBS, Hoffman emailed Republican leaders to announce he will write no more checks to any candidate who does not support tougher gun laws.

This comes as high school students re also demanding stricter gun control laws. The Seattle P-I.com reported that students demonstrated outside the White House Monday, calling for “an end to gun violence.”

But the demand is not unanimous. The Daily Wire reported that a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has accused the media of politicizing the tragedy. He suggested the media “is using the shooting as an opportunity to push for gun control more than they are reporting the facts as neutral observers.”

“They exploit everything to make it political,” said student Brandon Minoff. “They’re more concerned about gun control at this moment rather than the fact that there were 17 people that were killed.”

He’s not the only voice bashing the media. Alan M. Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation issued a statement Tuesday morning, calling on the press to avoid giving any publicity at all to the shooting suspect.

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“His face has been all over television,” Gottlieb said, “and newspaper front pages, and there is a concern that this kind of attention might inspire somebody else to seek this same kind of infamy.”

He cited a project at Texas State University’s ALERRT (for Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) Center called “Don’t Name Them.” It recognizes the responsibility of the press to identify criminal suspects, using their names and likenesses to help in the apprehension, and to report criminal charges. However, beyond that, the “Don’t Name Them” effort encourages the press to instead focus on the victims.

“We certainly recognize the duty of the media to legitimately report the news,” he acknowledged, “and the press must remain free to do its job. Maybe all we’re suggesting is that the media be as responsible with their First Amendment rights as they demand gun owners should be when exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

As for Hoffman’s threat, he may have a tough selling job, considering some reactions to unscientific opinion polls about banning guns.

WKRN in Nashville is running a poll, asking viewers if they support the sale “of military style rifles to the public.” The response has been overwhelmingly in favor of such sales. At last check, the vote was running 90.28 percent in favor and only 9.72 percent opposed out of more than 50,800 responses so far.