Up in Arms
While reading the April 1 article on Arm the Homeless ("Give Piece a Chance") by Inda House (she is very good, by the way; I'm looking forward to her next piece), I was inspired to form my own organization to take on another societal problem that also afflicts the homeless. I'm referring to alcoholism.

Just as guns are withheld from the homeless for financial reasons, for too long we have withheld alcohol from our citizens for the "crime" of being underage. As a result, we are unprepared for the powerful effect alcohol can have on us when we finally begin to indulge in serious drinking.

Therefore, I am calling on all decent, right-thinking Americans to contribute to my new organization, Whiskey for the Children. Our motto is "Drunk Before 8, or It's too Late."

If we can slowly begin to introduce hard liquor to our children while they are still in infancy or a little older, they will be better prepared to handle it when they reach the age of maturity. Also, by eliminating the "forbidden fruit" aspect of booze, children will be less inclined to binge drink when older. Once you've had to sit through a few kindergarten classes with "the brown-bottle flu," you'll be less inclined to forget important life lessons like not drinking on an empty stomach, not mixing your liquors and the paramount importance of proper vomiting etiquette.

These important lessons learned in childhood will stay with our young people for a lifetime of drinking.

We all know that in numbers there is strength, so I will soon be asking Arm the Homeless to join forces with Whiskey for the Children for a rally and press conference where we can both promote our vitally important missions. How about at Thomas J. Pappas School? There we could kill two birds with one stone, don't you think?

Dan Galvin

Okay, now can you tell us, is Arm the Homeless a real group or an April Fool's joke? If it's a spoof, it's well done; and if it's for real, it's a real indication of danger. The real danger is that even moderately intelligent people like me can wonder if it is a spoof, that it's that believable, that the gun nuts really are that nutty. If Arm the Homeless is real, thanks for your usual excellent journalism in letting people know what's going on. And if it's a spoof, keep up the good work!

Name withheld by request

We don't believe in giving firearms to irresponsible people, no matter who they are. We also don't believe in blindly throwing our money away to irresponsible governments. Both need to be educated of the proper handling and the rules that govern their use before being entrusted with firearms or money. The government would need to prove it knows and follows the Constitution, while a firearm owner needs to prove that they are responsible and can follow applicable laws before being given a firearm. We believe all people have the right to own a firearm; we're just stating what criteria we'd use before we give them away.

Mike Johnson
Arizona Constitutional Rights Committee

I respect(ed) New Times and feel that your publication has some of the best writers in Arizona. New Times is sometimes the only publication willing to pick up and expose controversial issues with names and facts. However, your April Fool's "joke" article about Arm the Homeless is not journalistic writing and is, at the very most, sick, especially in light of the recent police shootings and the continued downtown efforts to make our urban core viable again. You have done yourself a disservice by letting this article be published, and I can say only that it was a lapse of good judgment on your part.

Lisa Irwin
via Internet

I read "Give Piece a Chance" and viewed the Web site of the Arm the Homeless group (www.armthehomeless.com). As a law-abiding, taxpaying American gun owner, I and others are appalled at what they have done and are doing.

So I figure it like this: Either they are a very deranged group that is anti-establishment and anti-government, hoping that their deeds "get even" with the social evils done to them in their own self-righteous, delusional world, or they are a very clever militia-oriented (foreign-backed?) subversive group, hoping that their deeds create more negative media coverage and the public's demand for more gun regulations, which in turn leads up to more bans and the eventual confiscations, i.e., the decay of the Second Amendment as we know it.

Either way, Arm the Homeless is doing an injustice. It is a totally absurd concept. The homeless need food, shelter, education and the chance to earn an income--not guns! Second, in the free-gun free-for-all, many of the homeless are more than likely falsifying ATF Form 4473 (if they can read at all), and many may be in a questionable mental state of mind in the first place. That is not being insensitive. That is the unfortunate reality of many of their predicaments. Then there is the issue of concealed carry. Right off the bat, if they tuck away a pistol in their bag or bedroll, it is technically illegal to carry.

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