Will more guns reduce violence and make dangerous communities safer? Former Tucson, Arizona, mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky says arming citizens is the answer. He wants to hand out free shotguns to residents living in three Tucson neighborhoods plagued with high crime.
The national campaign that started in Houston, Texas, is meant to empower, but the concept is controversial. Hear from McClusky tonight, and a local councilman who's opposed to the initiative.
The plan includes advertising which areas are participating in the program, while keeping the specific homes with shotguns confidential. The intention is to keep criminals guessing which families are protecting themselves with firearms.
The Armed Citizen Project will give shotguns to residents who simply ask for them, provided those interested pass background checks and complete a day of training. The non-profit purchases guns with donations - McClusky says he has raised about $12,000 so far.
The group's website explains how they want to eventually use the program as evidence to support the pro-gun argument in the country's gun control debate. "The goal is to find if there exists a causal link between an increase in the presence of firearms and the level of crime."
At 8 and 11 p.m. ET, we'll talk with Mark Kelly, an Arizona resident who is strongly against the distribution of guns. Kelly's wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot, and six others were murdered, during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson. Tune in tonight for Miguel Marquez's report on the free shotgun campaign and tell us what you think on Twitter @AC360.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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