PHOENIX - Mets pitcher Dillon Gee took to Twitter to clear up what he called "a miscommunication" about his stance on gun control, which he firmly opposes.
The issue took root on Tuesday, when the Mets participated in National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Mets players, including Gee, agreed to wear symbolic orange T-shirts while posing for a picture that was published on social media.
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However, on Twitter on Wednesday, Gee linked to an article on Breitbart.com that equated participation in the "Wear Orange" campaign as support for gun control initiatives.
In the tweet, Gee said he does not support gun control. "I felt the need to say that it wasn't my opinion," he told Newsday.
Gee said the orange T-shirts came with letters that explained they represented support for the stance against "gun violence" but made no mention of gun control. "I think they're totally separate issues," said Gee, who also tweeted his opposition to what he called "senseless gun violence."
Before consenting to being in the photo, Gee said he specifically sought clarification from members of the organization. A Mets spokesman said the premise of the club's involvement was to promote "gun safety."
A native of Texas, Gee said he grew up around guns. He still hunts and maintains a collection of guns.
"Maybe that's where I get my belief system from because when I see one, I'm not scared," Gee said. "I don't view it as like dangerous because that by itself sitting there doesn't hurt anybody. If it's in the wrong hands it does, but so does a rock."
From a young age, Gee said he was taught how to handle guns safely and responsibly.
"I own plenty of guns," he said. "I've never hurt anybody. That's why I don't think the whole thing correlates together. I think criminals will always do bad things. That's kind of my opinion."
Although the incident has triggered debate about the gun-control issue, he said it was not his intent to do so.
Said Gee: "I don't think it's my place, really."