OPINION | Barry Richard: Arming the Homeless Against Violence?
And you thought it was a dopey idea to arm teachers against school violence!
A candidate for public office in Michigan thinks we should give guns to homeless folks for their own protection.
Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Brian Ellison, who is expected to be the party’s candidate in the upcoming midterm elections, says the homeless are at high risk of becoming victims of crime and should be able to protect themselves. Ellison tells The Guardian he favors issuing shotguns to homeless residents who qualify:
“Frankly, I think the ideal weapon would be a pistol, but due to the licensing requirements in the state we’re going to have a hard enough time getting homeless people shotguns as it is. Getting them pistols is probably next to impossible. The pistols need to be registered, people have to have addresses.”
Ellison is expected to face off against long-time incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow in November.
What could possibly go wrong with this idea?
Ellison tells The Guardian there is currently more to fear on the streets than homeless people with guns:
"The world we live in is a scary world, where the police who used to dress in short-sleeved shirts and carry a revolver now have long rifles with scopes and bulletproof vests and armored vehicles. And quite frankly that scares me much more than a homeless person trying to defend themselves with a shotgun.”
Considering that many of the homeless who live on the streets are suffering from dependency or mental illness, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that this is not a good idea and I suspect that most of you will agree, no?