Tough neighborhood? Here's a free gun
The nonprofit Armed Citizen Project is looking to equip residents of high-crime areas with 20-gauge shotguns.
A Texas organization is raising money to buy guns for residents in high-crime areas and single women who may be vulnerable to attack.
The Armed Citizen Project, based in Houston, also has operations in Tucson, Ariz., near the site of a 2011 shooting that killed six and injured 13, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
According to its website, the group is also organizing efforts in Dallas, Indianapolis, Chicago and Detroit, and is seeking volunteers in other cities to help equip qualified citizens with 20-gauge shotguns.
People who accept a gun must pass a background check and complete a safety training course. In addition, they must have lived at their current address for at least a year. Armed Citizen Project rejects the view that many experts espouse that increasing gun ownership doesn't reduce crime -- and may encourage more of it. The organization plans to collect data from its efforts to help inform policy on guns.
"It is our belief that gun-rights activists must take the offensive, and actively encourage the increased presence of defensive weapons in society," the Armed Citizen Project says. "This effort will only be successful if we as gun supporters are willing to invest in destroying the anti-gun narrative that currently pervades our media. The more donations that we receive, the more neighborhoods we can arm."
As the Associated Press noted, local officials in Idaho, Utah, Virginia and Pennsylvania have debated ordinances recommending that people own guns. This grass-roots effort, however, appears to be the first of its kind.
Armed Citizen Project is run by Kyle Coplen, who is in his final semester of the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Houston, according to the organization's website. Coplen didn't immediately respond to a phone message left by MSN.
Garen J. Wintemute, director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, told the wire service that "solid evidence" shows that burglary rates rise in areas with high rates of gun ownership because the weapons are desirable loot for thieves. To counter this concern, Armed Citizen Project is providing only single-shot shotguns, which would be of little interest to most criminals.
December's elementary school massacre of 20 children and seven adults in Newtown, Conn., has prompted renewed calls for tighter controls on gun sales -- particularly on semi-automatic weapons like the one used in the shooting -- by President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among others. These efforts have been opposed, as they have for decades, by the National Rifle Association.
Gun sales have skyrocketed in the past few months as enthusiasts worried that the federal government would restrict their ability to buy certain firearms. Shares of Sturm Ruger (RGR) and Smith & Wesson (SWHC) are up 11.7% and 5.6% this year, respectively. The stocks have given back some gains as investors realized that current efforts to control gun sales may not be any more successful than previous ones.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter at @jdberr.
Every home should have a semi-auto, a shotgun, and a handgun. Responsible firearms training should be a part of school curriculum as well as adults educated on the proper handling and respect of firearms. The Swiss have a form of total gun ownership, and no nation dares invade them, and nearly zero crime. Criminals and tyrants are always going to have guns, and are the only ones who definitely for gun control, because with the people disarmed, they are then defenseless. The purpose of the Second Amendment was not for hunting or sports, but for defense of the home from foreign invaders and domestic usurpers hell bent on tyranny. American culture and government has been undermined for some time now; and more Americans are awakening to that fact. God forbid that America should go the way every where that Communism and Fascism have raised the horns on their ugly head. These types of regimes have been financed by wealthy greedy Capitalists who made their nests in the Western world; now the chickens are coming home to roost in America.
The only person who want to disarm you is your enemy. The DHS has purchased over 2 billion rounds of ammo to MURDER American citizens. The UN's own documents state that "privately owned firearms undermine the 'power monopoly" of the state." "Power Monopoly" means DICTATORSHIP!!! The DHS has had Concentration Camps called "FEMA Relocation Centers" set up for the reason of as the "REX 84"(Readiness Exercise 1984) program "American citizens who resist government programs." What "programs" might those be??? Read Revelation 13, and you will see the tip of the ice-berg.
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