NBCPint-sized sluggers in the town of Atwood, Ill., may have one of America’s best-selling firearms to thank when they step up to the plate this summer: The local youth baseball league is raffling an AR-15 rifle to raise funds for new equipment. The response has been “tremendous,” said Charidy Butcher, co-owner of the Atwood Armory shop, which donated the gun for auction. “I’ve gotten calls from every state in the country.” The Rock River Arms Tactical Operator 2 AR-15 rifle that her store has put up was made by an Illinois firearms manufacturer, Butcher said. “It’s one of the hottest on the market right now,” she said. “They’re almost impossible to get your hands on.” The raffle has already raised about $1,600 in two days, Butcher said – far outpacing last year’s raffle, which raised just $10. “I’m loving it,” said Atwood-Hammond league commissioner Steven McClain. “A lot of people are saying it’s a political stunt, but it’s not.” The team league is not affiliated with the Little League International, McClain said. Between 100 and 150 children participate in the league every year, he said. “We’re not funded by anybody,” McClain said. “We don’t have any outside funds. We knock on doors to get sponsors from our local businesses and we’re self-sufficient.” Whoever holds the winning ticket will have to undergo a full background check.

Listen I’m not some pro-gun hillbilly. I don’t think your local Little League team should be gun running AR-15′s. But theres more than just violence that can threaten the upbringing of the youth of America. And one of those things is being the team with the shitty fucking baseball equipment. When your team has the shitty helmets with that foam thats as hard as a rock – one size extra small, the other double XL – it sucks. When you’ve got the solid iron bat with the flat rubber grips with dents in the barrel, it sucks. You feel like you’re poor. Every time your giant helmet rattles off your head as you run the bases, the other team is laughing at you. When they see your hands stinging every time you make contact with your crappy bats, they’re laughing. Nothing worse than being on the poor team.

So when last year’s bake sale only raised 10 bucks and you got a beautiful Operator 2 AR-15 that local hicks wanna shoot, well you do what you gotta do. Sell that thing for like $2,500 and trot out the best fucking Little League team you’ve ever seen. New bats new mitts new batting gloves the whole 9. You could change a kid’s life giving him a Little League team like that.