Condemn Arizona Group that Plans to Give Out Free Shotguns to Civilians

Target: Armed Citizen Project, Tucson

Goal: Condemn the Armed Citizen Project for its plan to hand out shotguns to civilians to “save” their city from criminals.

A Tucson, Arizona group recently announced its plans to begin a charitable initiative, in which it will hand out shotguns to civilians in an attempt to arm law-abiding citizens and take back the city from criminals. The group intends to begin by giving away free shotguns to civilians in Tucson’s most troubled neighborhoods, focusing particularly on single women and homeowners.

The Arizona group is part of a larger program known as the Armed Citizen Project, which has chapters in various US cities. The group’s website states that it is a “is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to training and arming residents in mid-high crime areas with defensive shotguns, for free.” The group ensures the program is safe, as all armed individuals are required to go through a background check and undergo safety, legal, and tactical training. While the group intends to arm civilians across America, Arizona’s chapter of the project is the first to put the plan into action. Arizona gun proponents have already donated approximately $12,000 for the purchase of shotguns.

Studies show that armed citizens very rarely stop violent crime. The intervention of civilians often causes more violence and bloodshed than if criminal apprehension were left to the authorities. Tucson, in particular, is no stranger to gun violence. In 2011, an assassination attempt on former Rep. Gabby Giffords left thirteen people injured and six others dead.

The suggestion that arming citizens will decrease city crime rates or prevent “criminal elements” from winning is baseless and ludicrous. While gun advocates do not believe that guns kill people, the fact of the matter remains that guns make killing easier. An increase in the number of armed individuals, particularly individuals who feel that they have a right to shoot if threatened, can only be an added danger. Condemn the Armed Citizen Project, Tucson, for this ludicrous, dangerous and ill-planned initiative.


To, the Armed Citizen Project, Tuscon,

Recently, the Tucson, Arizona chapter of the Armed Citizen Project announced its plans to begin arming Tucson civilians in an attempt to reduce city crime levels. The “charitable initiative” intends to hand out free guns to individuals who have undergone background checks and training sessions. The project will focus on Tucson’s most troubled neighborhoods, and will begin by arming single women and homeowners.

The Armed Citizen Project’s intentions may be to reduce crime and provide a modicum of safety for Tucson citizens, but that will not prevent this plan from backfiring. Studies show that armed citizens rarely stop violent crime, and more often than not are the cause of greater violence and bloodshed in dangerous situations. Criminal activity should be dealt with solely by the authorities. Handing out guns freely, whatever precautions are taken beforehand, will only result in a more dangerous community, particularly if individuals feel they have the right to shoot if threatened. I am writing today to express my disappointment in this plan, and to condemn the Armed Citizen Project for its alarmingly blasé attitude toward dangerous firearms.


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Image Credit: Nicholas Erwin via Flickr

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