Give Gays Guns

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The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have multiple good guys with guns. Often the bad guys with the guns won’t contemplate trying to kill people someplace where there is a high chance of being shot back. You don’t hear of mass murders at gun ranges or gun shops do you?

So, how do you prevent gay people being gunned down in night clubs? Well you arm them, of course.

Within hours of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Gwendolyn Patton was on the case. She sat down, banged out a press release and posted it on her website. “This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence,” it read. Swatting away the pleas for gun control she knew would follow in the wake of a high-profile mass shooting, Patton wrote: “At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns,” she went on. “A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul.” She lamented that the revelers mowed down at the Pulse were practically sitting ducks: In Florida, even though gun laws are quite loose, you’re not allowed to carry firearms in a place that serves alcohol. What if there were a designated carrier, she wondered? Someone tasked with remaining sober and toting a gun around a bar? “It’s sad that we must consider such things,” she concluded, “but when there are persons out there who mean us harm, we must find ways to protect ourselves within the law.”

It’s a similar argument to the one voiced after all such shootings: shooting in a school? Arm the teacher. Shooting in a movie theater? Arm the theater-goers. What makes Patton’s call to arms a little different is that she is not part of the NRA or the Republican Party. She is a Libertarian at the head of Pink Pistols, which describes itself as “an international GLBT self-defense organization” and whose slogan is “Pick on someone your own caliber.” And so: Shooting at a gay nightclub? Arm gay people.

Pink Pistols have often been at loggerheads with the NRA, but they also use the same tactics and have been on the same side more often than not.

If some people might detect a tragic irony in the fact that the Pink Pistols helped overturn an assault weapons ban, and then an assault weapon was used to kill 50 gay club-goers in Florida, Patton doesn’t see it. “It doesn’t make a difference,” she says. “He could’ve had a much more powerful handgun than that rifle.” After a long disquisition about the relative power of a hunting rifle versus a handgun versus the AR-15 the Orlando shooter used, Patton explains that the AR-15 is actually less lethal because it uses more harmless bullets. “It’s a tiny bullet,” she says. “It’s not particularly heavy, or have much kinetic energy. It’s not a powerful round. The reason that caliber is used by military is that it’s light and more of them can be carried into battle.” And what if the attacker had a suicide bomb strapped to his chest? What of that? “That will do far more damage than a gun,” Patton says.

The group’s ethos goes back to its founding in 2000, during a different time both for gun rights and gay rights. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act were still the laws of the land; it was two years after Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a Wyoming fence. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was still in effect; gun sales were half of what they are today.

It was in this environment that Jonathan Rauch, a prominent gay journalist, wrote a column called “Pink Pistols,” from which Patton’s organization takes its name. Rauch called on gays to band together in “Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible.” The point, Rauch wrote, was to change the image of gays, both in the heterosexual and homosexual universes. “Since time immemorial, weakness has been a defining stereotype of homosexuality,” Rauch wrote. “Think of the words you heard on the school playground: ‘limp-wrist,’ ‘pansy,’ ‘panty-waist,’ ‘fairy.’ No other minority has been so consistently identified with contemptible weakness.”

But if gays carried concealed weapons, he argued, and homophobes didn’t know which gays did and which didn’t, it would drive down attacks on gays, and it would change their self-image from one of weakness to one of empowerment. “If it became widely known that homosexuals carry guns and know how to use them, not many bullets would need to be fired,” Rauch wrote. “So let’s make gay-bashing dangerous.”

Most Open Carry States have lower incidents of violent crime; Florida, unfortunately, is not an Open Carry State. Worse, their concealed carry laws prevent concealed carry in any place that serves alcohol.

Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose

Meaning that if Florida allowed concealed carry anywhere then Orlando might not have happened.

Mass murders happen in places where the criminal can’t get shot back at…places where the politicians, ironically, made gun-free zones to create safe spaces. It turns out that the safest places are those with an abundance of firearms present. People become very, very polite around firearms.

Years ago, before I was even married, I bought the missus this belt buckle:

nobody-ever-raped-a-38

It is the same sentiment. One way of stopping violent homophobia is to put a few holes in some attackers.

 

– Politico


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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