Help 50 Gets Boost From Local Press

When you’re giving guns away, you can’t expect the mainstream media to give you a lot of attention. If you get a story from a lot of media outlets about it, it’s not likely to be unbiased. Instead, it’ll be all “look at this man, trying to arm just anyone!”

Of course, Robert Bertrand, the mind behind Help 50, which seeks to arm 50 women in Illinois with shotguns, isn’t arming just anyone. He’s fully complying with state and federal law. He’s just raising the money to pay for the guns. That’s it.

And it’s good to see him get a little press in the state that’s fairly unbiased.

A Mt. Vernon man is giving away free guns to those who meet his requirements: pass the “babysitter test,” have a FOID card and be a woman.

Robert Bertrand started Help 50 to give interested women a pump-action shotgun after a background check.

“Especially in Mt. Vernon, some areas are kind of rough. A lot of people are worried about burglars in the middle of the night,” Bertrand told the BND.

Bertrand, who says he’s “not a gun person,” partly modeled the program after a now-defunct program in Texas. He says those women interested in a free gun must pass a background check, must possess a valid Firearm Owners Identification and be someone he would trust with his own child, or what he calls “the babysitter test.”

So far, Help 50 has managed to arm four women, which is awesome.

But there’s a whole lot more to do. Four out of 50 is a drop in the bucket. It’s a good drop, mind you, but it’s still a small percentage of the overall goal.

We in the gun rights community argue that guns make people safer. Help 50 holds to that belief as well, hence arming women who otherwise would be vulnerable to violent crime with shotguns. The idea is that they can be safer as well. Armed people are less likely to end up described on the six o’clock news as “the victim.” We all know this.

Throughout the nation, there are countless non-profits dedicated to combatting violence, but almost none address the problem. They do things like buybacks that take a handful of guns off the streets but are also useful for disposing of guns used in violent crimes or create sports programs that are designed to give people positive outlets. Some of this may help, some may not.

But when other plans fail, people get hurt.

Help 50 does wonders for those times. It helps to make sure that the person who gets hurt is the person with evil intent.

While some people become bad guys by not having positive experiences and role models, some are just bad from the start. There’s always been evil intent within the hearts of some men. They call prostitution the oldest profession, but I personally think the violent thief has been with humanity for longer.

So, Bertrand is trying to arm women so they can be safe.

But he needs some more help. Four new gun owners are great, but Bertrand needs more. What do you say? Hit them up at and let them know that Bearing Arms sent you.