At a time when the goal seems to be getting guns off the streets, one group is going in the other direction. FoxNews.com reports that the Armed Citizens Project plans to provide guns to poor Americans who live in areas of high crime.
The group, founded by Kyle Coplen, gave out its first guns this week and plans to arm and train an entire Houston neighborhood as a case study.
“As criminals have more reason to fear the citizenry, crime begins to drop as a result,” Coplen told FoxNews.com. “We just trained and armed a class of 10 women. They are now empowered with the knowledge and tools to put holes in those that would do them harm.”
Houston had more than 20,000 incidents of violent crime reported in 2011, and some residents of the city, which has a population of more than 2 million, are interested in the program.
“I would definitely take advantage of the offer if they operate in my neighborhood as I think it would be extremely beneficial, not only to me, but also to others in my neighborhood,” stated Nancy Adossi, a 23-year-old graduate student.
Adossi added that her Greenpoint neighborhood has the nickname “Guns-point,” and she expressed concerns over her safety because of the late hour that she normally returns home at night.
Obviously, not everyone agrees with the program.
“Handing out guns in a high-crime neighborhood is like distributing cigarettes in a community with a high incidence of respiratory disease,” said Ladd Everitt, the Director of Communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Coplen’s plan goes far beyond Houston, and he’s currently raising money on his website to fund more guns and training.
“We intend for this project to become national,” he said, “and we will be arming communities all across the country. My goal, for the first year, is to train and arm 1,000 households.”
The project’s first training session, which focused on how to use and maintain a firearm and extended to legal topics, was led by a law enforcement official.
Amey Tinsley participated in the program and found it beneficial. “My experience with the armed citizen project was a great one. Now that I’ve participated I feel well prepared in the event I ever need to protect myself.”
Source: Fox News