Will handing out shotguns rid neighborhoods of crime?
Former Tucson mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky thinks so, and he has set out to launch a privately funded program that would arm every Tucson resident who lives in a violence prone neighborhood — and can pass a background check — with a shotgun, the Arizona Daily Star reports. Already, $12, 000 has been donated to McClusky’s cause, so eligible people will begin to receive money and training for the shotguns within 60 days, according to USA Today. There is no requirement for gun ownership, so participation in the program would be voluntary.
McClusky’s unique response to stopping crime is not sitting well with City Council members, who feel that there needs to be a viable solution for crime — not a distribution of arms — in the city where a 2011 shooting rampage killed six people and seriously injured others, including former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords.
There’s a similar program in Houston called the Armed Citizens Project, which hands out guns to single women and homeowners in neighborhoods with moderate to high crime rates.
However, Travis Pratt, criminology professor at Arizona State University, told the Arizona Star Daily that the shotgun is not a criminal’s weapon of choice, so there’s no proof that the project would help decrease gun violence.
But McClusky is armed and ready to battle the issue, stating that taking him to court would only increase publicity for his cause, reported Arizona Star Daily.
He is also not the only individual with a knack for shotgun giveaways. Last year a jeweler in Iowa offered free shotguns with the purchase of an engagement ring.