Houston Gun Group Fights The ‘War On Women’ By Handing Out Free Shotguns

Kyle Coplen, founder of the Armed Citizen Project. Credit: New York Daily News

The Armed Citizen Project recently began handing out free shotguns to 50 residents of a Houston, Texas neighborhood. Like the name suggests, the group wants a maximum number of armed residents in cities with higher crime rates, once applicants complete a firearms course and background check. Founder Kyle Coplen’s goal is to spread to 15 cities, although a gun giveaway is already underway in Tucson, Arizona — the site of a mass shooting two years ago.

Beyond encouraging residents with minimal training to fight crime themselves, Coplen wants to provide guns specifically for “vulnerable women.” The Armed Citizen Project website says this is, “Fighting the war on women, one free shotgun at a time.”

Women are an increasingly important consumer base to gun manufacturers and the NRA, a trend visible in the rise of typically exploitive, sexist marketing. But the real effect guns have on women’s security is exactly the reverse. A gun in the home often risks accidental deaths or suicide attempts, while it is also invariably more dangerous to women in abusive relationships. Women are not safer with guns, despite the NRA and allies’ insistence that gun violence prevention is anti-feminist.

Coplen hopes to eventually use his initiative as a type of field experiment that proves that guns have a “deterrent effect” on crime. However, the best research out there shows that the number of guns and gun deaths go hand-in-hand.