For over a month, states have been offering prizes and raffles in exchange for their residents getting the COVID-19 vaccine, with next to no public attention. West Virginia then decided to offer something that captures attention: guns.
Some states have struggled to incentivize their citizens to get the vaccine, due to genuine concerns being censored and a lack of clarity as to when society will ever return to normal, without masks and contradictory recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead of offering concrete perks, many states are turning to lotteries, with thousands or even millions entered to win potential prize money, sports tickets, or free beer available only for those vaccinated.
No state seems to be quite as dramatic or fun as West Virginia, however, which is offering guns alongside cash prizes to generate excitement about being vaccinated.
The government will be starting these lotteries on June 20, celebrating Father’s Day by raffling, among those who are vaccinated, 10 custom guns, five hunting rifles, and five shotguns. Subsequently, the state will raffle out new custom-outfitted trucks, trips to state parks, and lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.
For cash prizes, two young vaccinated winners between 12-25 will win a full college scholarship for any state university. The final and biggest lottery is the $1 million grand prize.
In West Virginia, residents only need to have their first shot in order to be eligible for the prizes. At present, 40.85 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, with 34.1 percent being fully vaccinated.
Of course, many on the left were publicly horrified by the state’s decision to offer guns. Blue checkmarks flooded Twitter with their concerns, allowing their vaccine support to be overshadowed by anti-gun desires.
This headline should read West Virginia to encourage public gun violence in order to encourage people to get COVID 19 vaccine or West Virginia to encourage citizens to choose a form of death. https://t.co/uJ7dEXGqTp
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) June 2, 2021
I’m sorry, but how is this not just plain stupid? https://t.co/AvpOJQpOcO
— ken olin (@kenolin1) June 3, 2021
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) June 2, 2021