Tucson shotgun giveaway grabs national attention
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Cory Marshall, Web Prodcuer: Sara Wright
TUCSON(KGUN9-TV) - It's not just Tucson politicians slamming one man's plan to hand out shotguns. Now, the move some lawmakers are calling "plain lunacy" is grabbing national attention.
One-time Tucson mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky wants to give a shotgun to neighbors in Midvale Park, Pueblo Gardens and Midtown.
McClusky says the idea is so hot, his google email account crashed after our story ran Wednesday.
"We're getting backlash from the state legislators and we're getting backlash from the city council. No one else," McClusky said Thursday before interviewing with CNN and The Wall Street Journal.
Tucson City Council Member Steve Kozachik is outraged by the plan.
"I think it's just dumber than hell frankly," he said.
McClusky did not spearhead the program. The Houston-borne Armed Citizen Project was first started by Kyle Coplen a few months ago. In Houston, Coplen gave all the shotguns to single women, he says, felt vulnerable living in high-crime neighborhoods.
"I have a passion for policy analysis, we want to try to look at the link between crime and increasing firearms in the community," Coplen told Houston's KTRK.
Still, lawmakers are livid.
"If he think it's such a wonderful idea he probably ought to try it in his own neighborhood with his own neighbors first. It's a lunatic idea. It just doesn't make any sense at all," Kozachik said.
"Neighborhood leadership has expressed strong opposition to this concept. McClusky is not only out of touch with Midvale residents but also reckless in promoting such a ridiculous idea. It is very upsetting and unfortunate that McClusky is choosing to stereotype the residents of Ward 1," Council Member Regina Romero said in statement released to 9OYS.
Now, residents are weighing in. The president of the Pueblo Gardens Neighborhood Association contacted 9OYS, and says she's not happy about the move. She says MClusky never even bother to ask residents their thoughts.
Despite the controversy, McClusky says the giveaway is still a go and will be underway within the next two months.