Spencer Kellogg | United States
Michigan Senate candidate Brian Ellison was not joking about giving shotguns to the homeless population of his town. Making good on a campaign promise that has taken the nation’s late night & mainstream media by storm, Ellison posted a video to Facebook this weekend that showed him purchasing a shotgun and then giving it to a homeless man in his community.
Response to the Libertarian Senate candidate’s unique outreach program has been mixed. While some have poked fun at the move, supporters cite statistics that show the homeless demographic in this country to be the most unsafe and insecure of all populations. The argument goes that homeless people are not de facto mentally ill and should have the same rights as any other American citizen to own a weapon.
Ellison decided on a shotgun for his giveaway because, in Michigan, it is required by law to register a handgun with a permanent address. He had started a GoFundMe account that was quickly shelved by the fundraising platform and a second attempt was also met with suspension. Surprisingly enough, there has been a largely positive response on his campaign page and enough donations were made to perform the first of what could be many more shotgun dropoffs to homeless citizens deemed mentally fit.
In the leadup to his first giveaway, Ellison promised to perform basic safety training with the individual and in the video above you can see the Senate candidate and homeless citizen hit the gun range to go over some straightforward firearms safety. Ellison, a second amendment absolutist, is not the first person to suggest we arm the homeless. Famed Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello had the statement inscribed on his guitar and the 19th-century anarchist Lucy Parsons also spoke out in support of arming the ‘tramp’ population. Image Source JornaloPalco
Ellison has been called crazy on a number of occasions during the past month. Many believe that arming the homeless population will lead to murder and chaos (as witnessed in the cult classic Hobo With A Shotgun). Ellison, a veteran, has suggested we turn our critical lens onto the police and military populations of this country. He has pointed out that over a third of the police community are registered as domestic abusers and warned of the ability for a tyrannical government to deem compliant, free citizens as mentally unstable in an effort to take away their rights.
In the Libertarian community, Elison has garnered both support and derision. For a movement and political ideology whose successes are few and far between, Ellison’s campaign to arm the homeless is a rare rubber meets the road scenario where ideology becomes crystallized in the real world. Although some have labeled arming the homeless as the “dumbest idea they’ve ever heard,” notable libertarian firebrands like Adam Kokesh and James Weeks have thrown support behind the idea and Ellison’s Senate bid.
For more information on Ellison’s campaign for Senate and to learn about his drive to arm the homeless, please follow this link to Facebook.
Image Source Wikimedia