LGBT Gun Rights Group Sees Membership Numbers Rising
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Pink Pistols is a nationwide LGBT gun club that was started 16 years ago. The group has dozens of chapters (45 in 21 states according to their website) around the United States. Their website says they are “dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community,” and proudly proclaim that “Self-defense is our right.” The group allows anyone of any sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, or religion, to join.
After the terrorist attack in Orlando early on June 12, 2016, their membership has more than doubled. On Saturday, there were only about 1,500 people in the club, and on Monday, they had grown to over 3,500 members. In a statement, Gwendolyn Patton who is a spokesperson for Pink Pistols said in a statement that “At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns,” and to “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 just recently became a gun owner because I see what’s going on in the world, especially with the recent tragedy, and I want to be able to protect my friends and family,” says James Holcomb, a 30-year-old gay man in Washington who was speaking to TheBlaze. James also told TheBlaze that he wasn’t scared for his safety due to his sexual orientation before this attack, he is concerned about it now.
Reports of gun sales show that people are showing up in masses to buy guns to protect themselves; especially members of the LGBT community. George Horne, a firearms dealer & owner of the shop, The Gun Room, told Denver’s Fox affiliate that his sales have nearly quadrupled and says that he isn’t surprised by this spike.
A member of Pink Pistol’s local Atlanta Facebook group, Dylan West, told Atlanta’s NBC affiliate that he has seen changes within the LGBT group and their interest in gun rights and safety. “This group of people were targeted because of their sexuality — because they were members of the LGBT community. And I think that’s the driving factor” he told the news affiliate.
While I’m personally glad that groups of people who may not have liked the idea of guns or concealed carry before are now opening up to the idea, I hate the circumstances that this is happening under. We lost fellow Americans who were targeted due to their sexual orientation. But unfortunately, now more than ever, people need to be armed. Why? We just experienced our first domestic terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS. We know for a fact that there are ISIS sympathizers walking among us.
As the Pink Pistols slogan goes “Pick on someone of your own caliber.”
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