Armed Citizen Project: Refusing To Be A Victim
I did the research. I conducted the interviews- one with the founder of Armed Citizen Project, Kyle Coplen, and one with Indianapolis Director of ACP, Brandon Backer, and Indianapolis Media Relations guy, Collin Gehrlich. I sat down and repeatedly went over the recordings to pick the perfect quotes (these guys know their stuff and if you want the interviews I can type everything out and provide the transcripts). I hope these men will forgive me for not using more of the information they gave me, but something happened as I began to put together a picture of what Armed Citizen Project is doing for Americans and for Indianapolis.
I stopped at a place in my neighborhood to grab takeout. I’ve driven by it more times than I can think but this was my first time actually going into this place. While I was waiting, I scrolled through my emails on my phone. Three men walked in. One man walked so close he almost brushed against me as he passed by. A second man did the same saying, “Mm. Mm. Mm.” as he walked past me. The third man stood close to me. The second man asked how I was. I looked up, smiled, said, “I’m fine. How are you?” Waited for a response, then went back to my emails. The second man crossed by me again, sucked his teeth, and said to the third man, “Sexy sexy huh?” He replied “Awh man, I can’t get in no mo’ trouble.” The second man responded, “But she’s sexy, right?” The third man says, “Yeah man.” Like I wasn’t even standing there. And in case there’s any thought these men were referring to another woman and my concern was all made up, I was the only one in there.
The man doing most of the talking addressed me as if I didn’t hear a word he just said to his friend. ”You getting dinner for your family?” Me, “Yeah. Something like that.” The man, “Mmh. Yeah baby?” The entire time these men are standing so close they’re almost touching me while making noises at me that remind me of a cross between the Campbell’s Soup commercials and cave men grunting. When I left I had to almost push my way through the men because they wouldn’t move away from me. All the while, they made lewd noises.
I kept looking back as I walked to my car then watched my rear-view mirror the entire drive home. About 20 minutes after getting home, four people were shot within a couple blocks of my house. A friend who works police and fire dispatch texted me to make sure I was safe as soon as she heard the call.
Armed Citizen Project was founded to deter, prevent, and reduce crime in high-crime neighborhoods. Indianapolis Director of ACP, Brandon Backer said, ”Statistics get skewed but that fact is an armed society is a polite society. The more legal guns there are in the streets, the less violence there is, the less victims there are.” Armed Citizen Project trains and arms law-abiding citizens who pass a federal background check and go through a training course taught by certified firearms trainers. The program is as much about safety as it is about guns. Kyle Coplen told me, “I believe in private solutions to public problems.” The violence in Indianapolis and across the country is a very public problem that isn’t getting better with bureaucrats at the ready to yank the right to self-defense from the hands of law-abiding citizens by the cast of a vote or the stroke of a pen. Collin Gehrlich said, ”You don’t have to be a victim. There’s this victim-loving mentality going around the country now and that’s not who we are. And we can change that if we stand up right now and say, ‘We’re done being victims. We’re gonna scare the you-know-what out of these people [criminals].’” In the spirit of that concept, I’ll be going through the Armed Citizen Project training course this summer.
There’s a meme going around courtesy of the “Yay gun control!” crowd that states- from the standpoint of a woman- “Rape can last 3o seconds but a murder lasts forever.” What a load of hooey. Clearly the writer of such holier-than-thou drivel has never been in that situation nor understands the difference between murder (pre-meditated/planned) and self-defense. I pray none of those spreading that tripe ever experience that kind of violation. Ever. But ask a victim of rape how long it lasts. Most, if they can even answer you, will tell you it lasts forever. And when it’s over, it never leaves them. There’s no glory in self-righteously being a victim if a person can obtain the means of protecting his/herself. And there is no shame in taking responsibility for your own safety. No one should ever have to feel threatened in a public establishment in their own neighborhood. No one should ever have to feel threatened in their home or ANYWHERE in their neighborhood.