Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by gunsnews
Some say there is no more naturally protective force than a mother looking out for her children, and one organization is doing all it can to make that task easier for moms – by teaching them how to handle and use a firearm.
According to Breitbart News, the group – the Houston, Texas-based Armed Citizen Project – says it will sponsor a “National Empowerment Day” aimed at training and arming 500 single mothers and other women across the country. The date for the event is Aug. 10 and will represent a “massive expansion of the group’s efforts,” according to its executive director, Kyle Coplen, who spoke to Breitbart News exclusively.
Empowering Americans a popular idea – and it’s growing
“We will be working with shooting ranges and gun clubs across the country,” he said.
“There exists a subtle misogyny used in the messaging of anti-gun groups, keeping women dependent on others to provide their protection, when our nation’s constitution makes clear they have the right to provide this protection for themselves,” Coplen added.
A few months ago, in April, Coplen and his supporters and allies went into a crime-ridden section of a Houston neighborhood and worked with community leaders there to provide 12-gauge pump-action shotguns and training to law-abiding Houstonians who enrolled in the group’s focused tactical and safety course.
“Almost immediately after we began our efforts to empower law-abiding residents in Houston, we began laying the groundwork to open ten chapters of the Armed Citizen Project across the nation,” said Coplen. “Our National Empowerment Day will be the kick-off for these chapters.”
A similar neighborhood-centric program of providing shotguns to eligible residents has also taken place in Tucson.
There, a former candidate for mayor launched a privately funded program to provide a free shotgun to residents in crime-prone areas of the city so they can better defend themselves against criminals.
“Shaun McClusky says the program modeled after one recently launched in Houston would provide training and enough money to buy a basic shotgun to residents who pass background checks. McClusky’s program has so far raised $12,000,” CBSLasVegas reported.
Like others who enjoy empowering Americans, McClusky said he believed that citizens should be better able to protect themselves because the city was not always able to do so.
“We need to take back our city, and it needs to come back to the citizens and not the criminals,” McClusky told the Arizona Daily Star. “Right now, the criminal element is winning.”
The weapons McClusky was provided were single-shot 12-guage shotguns that cost an average of about $205. Each came with a box of shells; the additional training and materials brought the per-person cost to around $375.
Data collection part of effort to arm and empower
McClusky said he wasn’t concerned about potential lawsuits arising from his empowerment effort.
“Saying guns are responsible for killing people is like saying spoons are responsible for making people fat,” McClusky said. “If someone wants to bring me the publicity for free and sue me, bring it on.”
The Armed Citizen Project, meanwhile, is fast becoming a movement, according to Breitbart News. On its website, the group says it is “deterring crime by empowering neighborhoods.” The group has more than a dozen sponsors.
“The Armed Citizen Project is dedicated to facilitating the arming of law abiding citizens, and analyzing the relationship between increased firearm availability and rates,” the group says. “We are choosing mid-high crime neighborhoods in cities across America, and offering defensive weapons to citizens that can pass a background check, and that will take our safety, legal, and tactical training. The data that we collect will be used in the completion of a policy study that will measure the deterrent effects of firearms on crime.”