Nonprofit that 'Empowers Neighborhoods' By Handing Out Free Guns is Coming to Dallas

Categories: Guns

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Kyle Coplen can pinpoint the exact moment the idea came to him. He was visiting a 93-year-old World War II veteran on January 23 whose home had just been vandalized. Mementos were broken. The walls had been covered with spray paint. The man was distraught, and so was Coplen, who wondered whether the damage could have been avoided if the veteran had access to a gun.

He decided that it could, which led to his next thought: What if whole blocks were armed? Entire neighborhoods, even? A heavily armed populace might be able to stem the tide of burglaries, robberies, and home invasions common in areas of chronically high crime.

"If the criminal thinks there's even a 10 percent chance that they're going to take a bunch of buckshot to the gut," Coplen says, they'll probably go somewhere else.

He decided to test his theory, establishing the Armed Citizen Project, a nonprofit that, true to its name, gives people shotguns and teaches them how to shoot.

The program is in the process of launching in Houston, where Coplen has pinpointed areas of particularly high crime with a stable population of homeowners, whom the project will seek out and, provided they pass a background check, are willing to undergo training, and can prove they've lived in their home for at least a year, they get a gun. The same offer is available to single women.

ACP's tagline: "Deterring crime by empowering neighborhoods."

Already, though the group has only just armed its first group of single women in Houston (it plans to have 50 to 100 homeowners armed by the end of the month), the program is expanding. Coplen hopes to have 15 cities signed up by the end of the year. Dallas is No. 3 on the list, right after Tucson. Coplen's eying a few possible neighborhoods but declined to specify where.

As the Associated Press reported in its piece on ACP's efforts in Arizona, the research on the benefits of defensive gun ownership is inconclusive.

"People don't want to confront an armed person at home," Garen J. Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, told the AP. "But, separately, there is solid evidence that in communities with higher rates of gun ownership, burglary rates are up, not down, and that's because guns are hot loot."

Coplen hopes to prove the opposite. The 29-year-old is a graduate student at the University of Houston pursuing a masters in public administration. He plans to do a full analysis of crime stats in neighborhoods a year after the program's launch.

So far, Coplen says the response to the program has been "overwhelmingly positive," though he qualifies this by noting that the group hasn't yet started arming any homeowners. He also insists that his effort is very little about trolling liberals, though the ACP website belies this claim.

We are an organization that is not simply content to hold the line on guns. If the fight does not come to us, we will go to it. We are ... training and arming single women in high crime areas, competing against gun buybacks, calling out anti-gun politicians as being pro-crime, and fighting the anti-gun establishment in general. We are pissing off all of the right (left) people, having a blast doing it.

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83 comments
FreeShots
FreeShots

So to get a Free Shotgun from "Kyle Coplen's" nonprofit, you have to go through a background check and prove residency and be in a certain neighborhood? 

Wait, "Mr. Coplen." Does one have to provide you with all of this info? Are you providing the training? Are you verifying census data to prove home residency? If so, how? Oh, I forgot. The person who gets the free gun also has to be "willing to undergo training." By whom? 

This is all bullshit. Either another "Fast & Furious" or else Coplen thinks giving out free shotguns is a good way to meet the ladies. Which raises other questions about his character... 

Maricela Ann Vilchis
Maricela Ann Vilchis

sounds like an accident waiting to happen, the las DA to be shot, owned guns and his wife answered the door without even using a weapon............so guns do not necessarily protect. They are more for hunters and really how many times have we really been in a situation where we needed a gun, most of the time a knife would have been enough to gouge someone's eyes out or use pepper spray

MissMacy
MissMacy

Free guns? It's pathetic to think everything can be solved with bullets.

Diane Treider
Diane Treider

Over/under on which side of I-30 this happens?

Pete Townsend
Pete Townsend

Why do YOU think that everyone who disagrees with this, does so on the grounds that guns will get into the hands of criminals? There are plenty of reasons to disagree, including the fact that you are more likely to shoot yourself or a family member with your own gun than use it in self defense. Meditate on that. Also, the fact that no permit is needed here is equally ridiculous and ignorant, not a point to boast upon for being correct.

Steve Hunter
Steve Hunter

Youre right because they just walk into a gunshow, no questions asked. Or, in this case,get a straw purchaser to get one. Why would honest gun owners want to restrict a background check? Im guessing mr nazi white trash there wouldnt pass that five minute paperwork check. Or if his straw purchaser was looking at life in jail, would they still buy it, or tech that means the gun is bound to that owner and that owner only?

Gene Wiggins
Gene Wiggins

I'm not familiar with the Hasse case but if you are suggesting that it too was the Aryan Brotherhood's hit then the notion that they had to rely on a straw purchaser to get a firearm is ludicrous. If the AB or any other organized gang want a firearm they'll get one regardless of any legislation the federal government or any other pass.

Blake Wilson
Blake Wilson

1) Why do some people assume that anyone who is deemed ELIGIBLE for this program is going to commit a crime with the gun? You may need to meditate on your subconscious bigotry. 2) "don't wanna give you free food" - this is a non-profit, you know, like the non-profits that already feed more hungry people than the US government. Pull thy head out fool. 3) Permit for a shotgun? You must not realize that you are in Texas, no permit needed.

Dale Fresch
Dale Fresch

Brilliant. Can't afford a gun? We'll give one to you! Idiots.

Steve Hunter
Steve Hunter

It's also apparently a right for straw purchasers to give guns to criminals so they can shoot judges getting out of their cars and sitting in their homes.

Steve Hunter
Steve Hunter

Gene, this judge was the second one gunned down by these trash in as many weeks. Mark Hasse was the first victim, shot five times getting out of a car, using a gun bought by a straw purchaser, a friend of the murderer. The stricter gun laws would make this almost impossible, with extremely strict sentencing for straw purchasers. I'm sure the trash that did this would find other ways to get hold of guns, because our gun laws are comically weak, but perhaps if Congress wasn't in the pocket of the NRA, this guys life and thousands of others, could have been saved.

MattL11
MattL11

This can't possibly be as bad of an idea as it seems, right? 

Gene Wiggins
Gene Wiggins

I'm not sure what your point is Steve. There seems to be compelling evidence that the murder was committed by members of the Aryan Brotherhood. Are you suggesting that ANY sort of legislation could have prevented that crime or that citizens should not even think about trying to protect themselves because a pair were overcome by a gang of, no doubt, heavily armed thugs?

Russ Coffman
Russ Coffman

"Bare" arms?" Yes, you can go sleeveless. WTF?

Lisa Reid West
Lisa Reid West

We don't wanna give ya free food, you old moocher, but a free gun, oh hells yeah!

Terry Byars
Terry Byars

and how, pray tell, would stricter background checks and closed loopholes have caused a change for the worse in that particular situation? nice straw man though.

Vidhisha Babbili
Vidhisha Babbili

postulated from a grand total of 2 car rides. whack scientist / submachine highway warfare

observist
observist topcommenter

"We are pissing off all of the right (left) people, having a blast doing it."

This is like going door to door to solicit candidates for free abortions... you know, just to have some fun pissing off people on the right.

Mohammad Ahsan
Mohammad Ahsan

free guns for your crazy drivers, this city is leveling up, gta style.

Kyle McDaniel
Kyle McDaniel

Well Steve, no gun rights proponent ever suggested owning a gun was a fail safe against assailants. We only argue that it is the Constitutional right of an American to bare arms, if they so chose, as a form of protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nice straw man though.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

From this stupid group's site: "We are pissing off all of the right (left) people, having a blast doing it.  We hope that you join our fight today." I can't wait until they're sued for supplying a weapon that contributed to the injury or death of someone who isn't in the act of committing a crime.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

We'll see how long this bunch lasts after one of their shotguns is used in a domestic violence murder. I hope they have a good liability waiver, too.

Chuck_Schick
Chuck_Schick

But I thought giving free stuff to Americans who should be working for a living was socialism?

Cabe Booth
Cabe Booth

Well i wish they would hurry up. I'm feeling kinda pissed and/or sad and these (people, ex wife, kids, representatives, foreigners, opposed thinkers, my head) ain't gonna punch holes in themselves. Shit by th time they get here may have calmed down and/or cheered up and I won't wanna go sh-.......... Oh.

Steve Hunter
Steve Hunter

Kyle, didnt work for the Texas DA who was shot 20 times though huh

Coleman Chance
Coleman Chance

man, with the cost and scarcity of ammo these days, you may be on to something. It's like printers, you get screwed on the ink.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Steve Hunter That's amazing, you not only know who shot Hasse, you know who bought the gun that was used.  You are so far ahead of Law Enforcement, who have no idea who shot Hasse and have not been able to trace the firearm yet.  Further, you've exposed the media and law enforcement lie that Hasse was shot and killed in January.  Who knew it actually only happened within the last two weeks?


cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@observist Or like chaining yourself to the inside of an oil pipeline project just to piss off the people who are working on it while we are making stupid analogies. 

Notmadeomoney
Notmadeomoney

@CogitoErgoSum This is like suing Oprah if one of the audience members kills somebody with their free car.

As long as they're doing proper background checks, there's no liability except to the owner/user of the gun.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@CogitoErgoSum "We are pissing off all of the right (left) people, having a blast doing it.  

In Conservative speak it means Yes we know this is really a stupid idea but as long as we project that only the left will be upset we have covered our bases and can carry on.

Notmadeomoney
Notmadeomoney

@Chuck_Schick

 I, too, thought everybody who agrees with one aspect of a political party's platform, obviously believes in every aspect of that political party's platform.

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@Chuck_SchickGifts are not socialism. Charity is not socialism. Volunteering is not socialism. It's freedom. Of course stingy liberals who donate little in terms of time or their own money and only want to spend someone else's would get confused. 

And of course you would be incapable of seeing the difference between having something taken away from you and given to someone else vs you choosing to give it to someone else. The only 'choice' that exists in the minds of the left is if a woman wants an abortion. Everything else they want under state control. 

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@Notmadeomoney @CogitoErgoSum I don't buy it. People sue businesses when they trip and fall on their property -- and win. You don't think someone will be happy to sue these folks if one of their free guns is involved in a murder or suicide?

kduble
kduble

@cantkeepthetruthdown  When one discounts churches, liberals actually give away more of their income than conservatives. Most of what conservatives contribute is to their churches, and contributions to churches mainly serve the members. A church is like a country club for working people.

Chuck_Schick
Chuck_Schick

@TheCredibleHulk @Chuck_Schick Just saying as a Christian (and a left-leaning one at that), I tend to favor (and support with my time and money) charities that provide food, shelter, clothing and medicine over those that hand out guns.

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