June 3, 2021

Action Alert:
Obscene: Guns are Covid-19 vaccination prizes in W Virginia

West Virginia is to offer a raft of incentives and prizes for those citizens who get immunized against Covid-19.  It is unfortunate that some people need to be bribed to protect themselves and their communities from deadly disease. It is positively obscene that weapons are to be among the prizes.

As CBS reports, from  June 20, West Virginia will “…give out $1 million and other prizes each week up until Aug. 4, when two grand prizes of nearly $1.6 million and $580,000 will be announced, according to state officials.

“Other prizes include five custom hunting rifles and five custom hunting shotguns”.

State Governor Jim Justice, Republican said:  “These vaccinations are amazingly safe and they’ll protect you — I don’t know how in the world people are sitting on the sidelines still saying, no, I’m not going to do one, I’m not going to do it,”

One Pulse is happy with initiatives to encourage immunization, but we are appalled that lethal weapons should be linked to saving lives.  These handguns and shotguns may be intended for killing animals, but as we know, such weapons are part of the country’s huge death toll.  Trivializing guns by turning them into prizes which in theory anyone could win is unsupportable.


Tell Governor Justice you approve of efforts to improve take-up of Covid-19 vaccines, but you condemn guns being part of any reward system.

Please contact Governor Justice through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:

I am pleased that West Virginia is using prizes and rewards to convince people to get the Covid-19 vaccine.  It should not be necessary to bribe or reward anyone to take this lifesaving step,  but if it helps, fine.

I am however disgusted that the prizes will include guns:  this is obscene to me on many levels.  The irony of trivializing lethal weapons as prizes for those who are helping to save lives by being immunized is saddening.  The idea of earmarking a gun of any kind as being a prize or reward is a huge insult to those of us who have been the victims of gun violence.  This decision to paint a gun as a desirable object which seemingly anyone can win sends completely the wrong message – and I expect you to halt this ridiculous, potentially dangerous, insulting initiative.

I will be waiting for you to call a halt to this unacceptable scheme.  West Virginia lost 300 lives to shootings in 2019:  why are you turning lethal weapons into raffle prizes?


Phone:  888-438-2731

Email (form):  https://appengine.egov.com/apps/wv/governor/contactus

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WVGovernor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/WVGovernor


or send a tweet – this is a suggestion:

@WVGovernor West Virginia lost 300 lives to shootings in 2019:  why are you turning lethal weapons into raffle prizes for those who get Covid-19 vaccines? A gun is not a toy; it is not a prize. This insults those who lost loved ones – 300 dead in WV in 2019. Stop this.

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