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A US Senate candidate wants to give shotguns to homeless people to make a point about gun rights

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U.S. Senate candidate Brian Ellison wants to give shotguns to homeless people to make a point about gun rights. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

A longshot U.S. Senate candidate in Michigan is trying to raise money to train homeless people and arm them with shotguns to make a point about the Second Amendment, according to Vice News.

What’s his plan?

Brian Ellison is a libertarian making a third-party run in Michigan. He may be best known for his efforts to arm homeless people with pump-action shotguns. Here’s his explanation, from an interview with Vice News:

When people say, "We support the Second Amendment and we believe in gun ownership rights," they want to turn around and say "except for…" They want to pretend that the fundamental responsibility to protect yourself only applies to people that they want it to apply to. That’s hypocrisy that deserves to be exposed.

Ellison said he has established a GoFundMe campaign that’s been shut down multiple times to fund his plan:

So the idea is to go around and pre-qualify people who we think will meet the criteria by simply having a conversation with them and trying to get a feeling of who they are, whether or not they seem like they’re stable, seeing if they have an ID and if they’d pass a background check.

Then, once we pre-qualify enough people, I will coordinate an event day where we will go get like a limo or a party bus and we’ll take them to an outdoor range. We’ll go through some basic fundamental safety training with some actual trainers. Then we’ll work through a firearms dealer and get the background checks done and get them outfitted with an inexpensive shotgun and a handful of shells.

What about safety concerns?

When asked about the potential dangers of giving a bunch of homeless people shotguns, Ellison argued that no one has a problem with arming police or military, a third of whom, he says, are domestic abusers.

“I think if we started allowing government to dictate who is mentally stable or unstable in order to meet criteria to allow somebody to have their natural rights, how long is it before we’re all deemed crazy?” Ellison asked.

While Ellison said arming the homeless isn’t “a hill I’m going to die on,” he said he wants to expose people who are intellectually dishonest about their support of the Second Amendment.

“I want people who are opposed to this to think about why they’re opposed,” Ellison said. “Is it because you are fundamentally opposed to the basic national right of self determination and self-defense? And if that’s the case, then be intellectually honest about it.”

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