A failed Republican mayoral candidate says that he has raised enough money to give away dozens of shotguns in the same town where former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 18 other people were shot.
Former mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky told Tucson Weekly that he was leading a Tucson chapter of the Armed Citizen Project, which launched in Houston earlier this year to prove that more guns mean less crime. McClusky said that he had already gotten $12,000 in pledges, enough to arm at least three dozen people.
Participants in high-crime neighborhoods “will receive a cleaning kit, they’ll receive the shotgun, they’ll receive slugs, they’ll go through a background check and they’ll also go through the training class,” McClusky explained.
The shotgun giveaway program was expected to kick off in Pueblo Gardens, Midvale Park and the Grant-Campbell area in the next 30 to 45 days. Residents could have new shotguns in their hands within 60 days.
But Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik (D) insisted that the people with the Armed Citizen Project “have lost their minds.”
“For someone to say it makes sense to be giving away loaded shotguns in high-crime areas is absolute lunacy,” Kozachik explained.
Democratic Councilwoman Regina Romero accused McClusky of “stereotyping” neighborhoods like Midvale, where she said people “don’t need a gun to survive.”
“McClusky is not only out of touch with Midvale, but he is reckless in promoting such a ridiculous idea,” Romero told the Arizona Daily Star.
Arizona State University professor of criminology Travis Pratt called the giveaway a “a dangerous political stunt” that was “unlikely produce any crime reducing benefits.”