by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
Guns and Gays go together like oil and water, right? Not so, claim the LGBT members of the Pink Pistols. They claim that statement is not only wrong - it's downright dangerous. The gun-wielding Gays say a Donald Trump presidency is not a time to bluff. The Pink Pistolers assert their Second Amendment constitutional right to legally carry a gun.
What are the Pink Pistols worried about anyway? The sudden surge in post-election hate crimes targeting minorities - specifically the LGBT community.
Last month, images of beaten and bloodied openly Gay film producer Chris Ball circulated on Facebook after he was assaulted in Santa Monica. Ball alleges that his attackers shouted, 'We got a new president, you fucking faggots,' before smashing Ball over the head with a bottle and slamming him onto the pavement. Four staples reportedly were required to close his wound.
'It's sickening to watch,' Fischer says, referring to the rise in LGBT hate crimes. 'I think, as always, LGBT citizens should arm themselves in a way that's legal to do so around the country. If they want to learn how, by all means, give Pink Pistols a shout.'
The Pink Pistols warning to would-be attackers is simple: Pick on someone your own caliber.
It's easy to become a member of the Pink Pistols. According to officials, it doesn't cost anything. There are no dues, and no membership form to fill out. 'You just have to believe in the basic core principles of the Pink Pistols, that all people have the right to defend themselves from harm, and that everyone has the individual right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment.'
Pink Pistols leadership states on the group's official website www.PinkPistols.org. 'If you believe those things, just raise your right hand and say 'I am a Pink Pistol!'
Pink Pistols leaderships says to would-be members, if they want to get together with other people to socialize, to practice, or to train, check the 'Find A Local Chapter' page on their website to locate a group in your area.
And what if there isn't a chapter in your area? 'Consider starting one,' says Pink Pistols leadership.
'All members should download and read the Pink Pistols Utility Manual,' a message on the group's website reads. 'It has lots of background on the organization, and if you want to start a chapter, the instructions are in it.'
Primarily, the Pink Pistols use a public Facebook page for staying in touch with members worldwide.
Pink Pistols does not shy away from making bold statements on their right to bear arms. Immediately following the deadly Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols, warned members not to jump immediately to the assailant's guns as the object of blame, but to concentrate instead on his violent acts.
'The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse,' began Patton. 'This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer's guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated Gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being's tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person's soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man's tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.'
'It is difficult, if not impossible, to foresee such an event,' continued Patton, 'But if they cannot be prevented, then they must be stopped as fast as someone tries to start them.'
Patton said some bars and other establishments that serve alcohol are difficult to protect because many states forbid the carrying of weapons where alcohol is served.
'But that just as one might have a designated driver who stays sober, one might have a designated carrier with a concealed-carry permit who goes armed and does not drink,' Patton continued. 'It's sad that we must consider such things, but when there are persons out there who mean us harm, we must find ways to protect ourselves within the law.'
Depending on your personal views of gun ownership, so-called common sense gun control, and whether or not you know much about the Pulse nightclub shooting - Patton straight up does not prove much by making that last statement. The Pulse nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, was immediately engaged in a firefight with an off-duty police officer at the nightclub who was working a security detail. Within two minutes more officers showed up to join the shootout with Mateen. Mateen still managed to kill 49 people and injure 53 in what has become known as the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
The 'designated shooter' theory would not have worked.
Patton and other Pink Pistols leadership opinions are not falling on deaf ears. Pink Pistol chapters are alive and well - now more than ever. There are now over 45 Pink Pistols chapters nationwide, and more are starting up.
Whether you know it or not, Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma all have Pink Pistols chapters. The Seattle Chapter, https://www.facebook.com/PinkPistolsSeattle/, has more than 1,000 people who 'Like' and follow their Facebook page. The group schedules monthly practices and trainings at a gun range. Additionally, Pink Pistols Seattle has a discussion page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1027501837328749/.
At the end of the day the message of the Pink Pistols is simple: 'Armed queers don't get bashed.'
'We change the public perception of the sexual minorities, such that those who have in the past perceived them as safe targets for violence and hateful acts - beatings, assaults, rapes, murders - will realize that now, a segment of the sexual minority population is now armed and effective with those arms,' Pink Pistols leadership state on the group's official website. 'Those arms are also concealed, so they do not know which ones are safe to attack, and which are not...which they can harm as they have in the past, and which may draw a weapon and fight back.'
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