Forget arming all police officers (in some countries – not all police are armed), forget arming all security, and forget arming teachers. Is the solution to the gun problem in fact arming the homeless? In the state of Michigan, there is a Senate Candidate (Brian Ellison) who seems to think passing out shotguns to the states homeless could help solve some problems.
For the most part, many people are hard pressed to pass on a dollar to these people let alone a weapon that could be used to kill. Especially passing one on to a part of the population that within itself has a high percentage of mental illness and other issues that would cause one to shake ones head at the mere thought of arming them.
This Senate candidates opinion is that these people are often victims themselves of violent crimes and harassment and are usually left with nothing to defend themselves with. He proposes that a group would go around and simply interview the homeless and if they were deemed mentally fit, they would be provided with the option of being given a shotgun. If they declined, or did not pass this ‘conversation’, a less deadly option of pepper spray would be provided should the person want that as an alternative.
Why shot guns? Less issues with the law, theres a warning ‘sound’ prior to the actual shot being fired, and the idea of a shotgun with some buck shot is that it would make a better defensive weapon rather then an offensive weapon.
His theory regarding the issue with the homeless populations problems with substance abuse, and mental illness? A large part of the police population has the same issues. Whether they are issues that were developed since joining the force – such as PTSD, or other issues such as substance abuse or being a domestic abuser. Sometimes some members of our first response teams are not any more mentally fit then some of the homeless. This is his thought.
The homeless are often easy targets for violent crime and easily exploited. In Michigan, the state makes it difficult to seek assistance and makes it a crime to occupy an otherwise unoccupied public space. They are being attacked from all sides and no one is there to help.
So lets give them a gun.
Lately, this seems to be the running theme from our neighbours to the South. Unprotected? Heres a gun. Feeling victimized? Have a gun. Bored? Get a gun.
After all, as per the Second amendment, it is every American’s fundamental right to arm themselves. Ellison thinks that there is too much hypocrisy around this act with a lot of people saying they support the Second Amendment … but. In his opinion, there shouldn’t be any middle ground. You either support it or you don’t. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
In a country where gun control is such a huge debate, and such a huge issue with mass shootings and gun death on the rise, should they really hand out more guns to more people?
I’m sure the majority of Canadians will agree that this idea is completely out of line.
That being said – we have a slightly better handle on our guns, and for the most part, we try to treat our homeless population with more support. We have programs and shelters to try to help them. We take to the streets with blankets and coats and take them indoors when it gets too cold. If they’re in trouble – we help. Granted – not everyone feels the same and we are far from perfect. But Canadians tend to have a reputation for being more helpful and kind.
However as helpful and kind as we are, I don’t think you’ll find too many Canadians in support of handing out shotguns to the homeless as a method of self defence for them.
There would be too many in fear of vigilantism and a spike in crime rates and gun related incidents. This would most likely be our thoughts on handing out more guns to more people in general.
GoFundMe has twice shut down campaigns to try to raise money to buy guns for the homeless and I’m sure aren’t shy of doing it again.
From a security standpoint. This whole theory seems like more of a nightmare then a good idea. Thankfully I don’t think in Canada we’ll ever have this issue – and in reality, I don’t think too many members of the US Senate are about to jump onboard with it either.
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration. Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent. She currently is on maternity leave and providing daily close protection for a baby and a toddler and spending time with her husband who is a Police Officer.