No this isn’t the sequel to the highly rated 2011 B-Movie Hobo With A Shotgun but instead one of the ridiculous things I’ve heard over the past week.
US Senate Candidate Brian Ellison is running under the campaign of arming the homeless with shotguns no less as local gun laws restrict access to handguns without an address. Throw in the fact you don’t need a permit to carry a shotgun and you’ve seen a gap and plugged it. You Hero Ellison. His reasoning for such extreme measures? Well, take away his Yanky fascination with anything that can fire metal at many feet a second and you’re left with his undeniable proof this is necessary. The homeless are statistically more likely to be the victims of violent crime.
I agree with him in principle, the homeless don’t have the protection of a locked front door and 4 walls to protect them from would be criminals or drunken egotistical psychopaths looking to beat out their childhood trauma on someone else. Some people in society see the homeless as sub-human or instantly disregard them as bad people. This is a disgusting attitude to have. Sure I sometimes get frustrated when I walk around town and get asked for money 20 times but that doesn’t mean I’m not considerate, I’m just not a rich man and can’t afford 20 quid everytime I leave my front door. In this modern climate though anyone is just a few mistakes/unfortunate situations away from ending up in similar situations. Not all of them are bad people, some are just unlucky.
However, let’s take a moment to think about this like adults, can we?
Let’s make one thing clear straight from the off, I’m not a fan of anyone having a gun. I don’t honestly believe anyone needs one in the big scheme of things, I don’t care what that bit of paper from 1791 says. The whole ideas of background checks I think is bullshit as psychopaths have an uncanny ability to lie, deceive and manipulate people, ever wonder how Ted Bundy got away with it for so long? People can have something happen to them that can completely change their personalities so just because they’re not showing signs of violence right now doesn’t mean in 3 years time once they already have the gun things won’t be different.
With that out of the way let’s continue to the madness of this suggestion.
I don’t want to generalise here but it’s well documented that some people on the street suffer greatly from mental health issues either prior to or during their time living on the streets. Furthermore, a lot of these people may feel like they have nothing to lose, prison may be tough but hell it’s food and shelter, something that many people on the streets don’t have access to. People can do some outlandish things when desperation strikes.
I’m just going to throw this out there as well, being approached late at night by someone asking for money can be quite intimidating, imagine them doing that whilst holding a shotgun in their hand? Jesus Christ, you wouldn’t know if you were being politely mugged or helping out someone in need.
I know this is only a very small minority of the homeless who would potentially be at risk of acting like this but society has to move as slow as its slowest member. If everyone could drive like F1 drivers there would be no speed limit right?
Ellison claims that just because someone is homeless that shouldn’t take away from their right to protection and I wholeheartedly agree but let’s look at this from another angle.
There are better ways of protecting these people. How about looking at the society around them that causes them to be in so much danger and doing something about that first? Educating a feeling of empathy towards the homeless and looking at eliminating this assumption of sub-human, instead of letting them potentially fire a buckshot into your abdomen.
How about providing better care for the homeless? Investment in shelter projects? That’s what you would do if you really cared about these people, instead of just dropping them a 12 gauge and being like, “Now you can fend for yourself”. Is he expecting some modern day Darwinism? Survival of the man with the quickest draw and better aim.
If this gets passed I will have no words (not great for a writer)
Honestly, don’t you just look at our cousins across the pond and wonder what the hell is going on.