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"I doubt if many of them have the money to afford the 16-hour class and permit fees," she said. "Which is just another example of how, when it comes to guns, this country discriminates against its so-called 'second-class citizens.'"
Hawk said Arm the Homeless hoped to recruit a Department of Public Safety certified firearms instructor to conduct concealed-weapons permit classes for the homeless.
"If they donate their time, we'll come up with the permit money and do our best to round all [the homeless] up and get 'em back here for a CCW class, so they can legally carry concealed.
"Obviously, it's not as big a problem with the SKS and the shotguns, unless they get their hands on a hacksaw.
"In any case, we consider what these people do with the guns after they get them to be their business. Our business is to make a forceful statement in support of the Second Amendment, and that statement is that when guns are only for people with homes, only people with homes will have guns."
As if to punctuate Hawk's point, a rapid-fire pop-pop-pop volley of shots rang out from 100 yards away, where homeless gun recipient Habbie "Abe" Rafuls was busy emptying the pre-ban, 15-round clip of his newly acquired Smith and Wesson 9mm. Rafuls whooped as he pumped an old mattress full of lead.
"Seeing that gives me a warm feeling inside," Whippit said.
He grabbed the sleeve of a passing Arm the Homeless member and pointed to Rafuls, just as the man fired his last bullet into the ground. The ricochet kicked up a spoof of dust and sang off into the distance. Rafuls began spinning circles, repeatedly pulling the trigger on a spent clip.
"Go ahead and give that man another box of ammo," Whippit ordered. "Let's make his day."
At press time, Arm the Homeless announced a second firearm giveaway, to take place in the America West Arena plaza on Friday, April 2, starting at 5:30 p.m. (one half hour before tip-off of the Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers basketball game). For volunteer information or to donate a firearm, call Arm the Homeless at 440-1136.