Gay Gun Ownership in a Postjudicial World

Pinkpistols

by Gwendolyn S. Patton, First Speaker, Pink Pistols International

I was interviewed for an article: Gay gun activists: Growing LGBT push to support the Second Amendment, by Hollie McKay, which was published by Fox News on October 2. I had a great talk with Hollie, and got a sense that she really cared about the topic. After you’ve given a few hundred interviews, you learn to catch the subtle hints, the subtext beneath the questions, general attitudes that aren’t spoken outright. Hollie is a fine reporter, and she asked excellent questions. The only problem I have with the article is…she had to pick and choose from our talk, and didn’t use some of what we talked about. I’m not upset by this, the article is excellent, and what she used dovetailed perfectly with Chris Cheng had to say. But some of what I said would have directly addressed what Ladd Everitt, communications director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said . . .

“The law contains explicit protections for members of the LGBT community,” he said. “If groups like Pink Pistols are feeling targeted or under threat, it might be from members of their own community in the pro-gun movement.”

When I read this, I had to look at it twice to figure out what Everitt was saying. Even then, I couldn’t believe it. Everitt appears to believe that the Pink Pistols should be afraid of their fellow shooters and believers in the Second Amendment. It didn’t take much thought to determine what Everitt meant — that gun enthusiasts and pro-rights individuals are violent bigots specifically because they are pro-rights.

It has been my experience with anti-rights agitators that they tend to hold views and opinions that don’t match reality. They believe that more guns equals more crime and violence, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They claim that concealed carry laws or reduced regulation on firearms will lead to “blood in the streets” or “OK Corral-style bloodbaths,” but these things never come to pass. They believe that owning or carrying a gun makes you far more likely to be killed with your own gun, that someone in your family will injure himself or herself, or you’ll shoot a family member or friend rather than an attacker. But this was the result of a flawed study so bad that the researcher who made the claim declared his own findings invalid. So when I see an anti-rights activist like Ladd Everitt make a claim such as this, it’s not so much that I assume his conclusion is specious, the fact that he could even entertain the thought makes me shake my head sadly.

I have been involved with the Pink Pistols since shortly after its creation in 2000. I founded the Delaware Valley chapter in the Philadelphia area in 2001, and officially became the organization’s Media Spokesperson in 2005. I took a brief leave of absence in 2011 due to complications of a car accident, but came back in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. At that time, Doug Krick, the founder of the Pink Pistols, was no longer able to effectively administer the organization, so he gave it over to my care. I rebuilt the website and took back the role of spokesperson, along with the founder’s administrative position. I call myself the First Speaker of the Pink Pistols as I hold the public honor and integrity of the organization in my heart and speak on its behalf. And when such a patently false statement as the one made by Ladd Everitt is made, it falls upon me to answer it.

Everitt’s assumption is based upon a belief that pro-rights persons who own and shoot guns are radical right-wing theists that “hate” gay people and want to hurt them. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

An observation I routinely make is that we are nearly universally welcomed by the pro-rights community. Our fellow shooters make it clear, time and time again, that our sexuality is irrelevant. Chris Cheng’s perception is the correct one — shooters don’t care who we love. They care whether or not we support the Second Amendment. They care whether or not we are safe and responsible armed citizens. They care whether or not we are serious about shooting. They only care that we can shoot straight, not whether or not we ARE straight. The animus towards GLBT persons is generally not seen among, as Everitt termed it, “the pro-gun movement.”

Paradoxically, we get far more negativity from other GLBT organizations than from other shooters, but even this doesn’t involve violence. We get two kinds of responses from them. First are the typical anti-rights rants, fearful or angry diatribes centered on inaccurate perceptions that our guns might “go off” and hurt someone. Or we get political complaints that we have “left the reservation”, betraying the community because we don’t adhere to the left/progressive ideology shared by much of the GLBT population. The former, we can discount because all anti-rights persons give us the same arguments. The latter, however, is more troubling, for it comes directly from an identity-politics point of view. Because Democrats engage in identity politics, essentially promising gay rights legislation in return for votes, engaging in something the Democrats don’t agree with is seen as “threatening” the gay rights movement. But even this animus does not sink to the level that Ladd Everitt did.

Everitt is saying that the people who violently attack GLBT persons because of the perceived perception of their sexual orientation or identity — the people that justify the existence of the Pink Pistols — are our fellow shooters. This is patently false and a shameful slander of the pro-rights community. While we may once in a while run into a shooter who doesn’t like us, he is still a lawful gun owner, among the most law-abiding persons in the entire nation. Pro-rights persons are so unlikely to violently bash a gay person, the probability is virtually nil.

Why do people gay bash in the first place? Everitt’s stated belief suggests that it’s because they hold right-wing views (because gun owners are ALWAYS right-wingers, even when they’re not), probably religious in nature, and the ones who own guns are particularly dangerous because they are armed. This is not a rational position, it is a prejudicial one. Or perhaps the right term would be postjudicial (yes, postjudice is a word), as Everitt has been exposed to enough gun owners that he should know how they actually behave, yet he still maintains a bias against them contrary to the facts presented.

I perceive gay bashing to be the result of a catastrophically challenged world-view. A person who maintains a judgemental view of how men and women “should” be, and when they are presented with a person that behaves contrary to that view, it causes strong cognitive dissonance. But rather than use this new experience to reformulate their world-view, the person converts their prejudicial belief into a postjudicial one — they cling to their original belief even though evidence has been presented that would refute it — and they are presented with a fight-or-flight dichotomy. Do they run and hide from the new world-view presented to them, or do they fight against it? In the case of the gay basher, they fight against this challenge to “how things should be” by essentially trying to kill the messenger.

Those who attack gay people out of boredom, or for the sake of a “thrill”, are also using a challenged world-view as a rationalization for their bad acts. They hold a prejudicial belief that “gay people are weak and passive,” that they are cowards, or “sissies” that can’t stand up for themselves. The “limp wrist” stereotype is a prejudicial belief in the “weakness” of gay people. Because of this imagined weakness, they are considered easy targets for bullying behavior. Because they present an identity contrary to the stereotypical norm, the attacker feels “justified” in attacking the gay person because they deviate from that norm. Gay bashers aren’t engaging in political discourse. They’re simply violent lawbreakers who have rationalized away their crime, and they can come from any political group.

The Pink Pistols is in the business of breaking stereotypes. We shatter the preconceived notions people have about both gay people and gun owners. We shatter the notion that gay people are always all about the differences, about how gay people aren’t like everyone else. We shatter the prejudices and the postjudices that make assumptions on how we “should” be.

The Pink Pistols builds bridges along roads of sameness, not of difference. We accentuate the similar, not the contrary. We point out how much we are just like you. We do love differently from you in some cases, but we still put our pants on one leg at a time. We are just like you in millions of ways. We feel that is far more important than the few, small ways we are different from you. We aren’t ashamed of those differences, but we aren’t so proud of them that we lord them over anyone. We’re just people.

We do, however, recognize that some individuals will judge us not on the ways we are the same, but on the ways we are different. And we will defend ourselves from those who seek to harm us because of those differences, perceived or imagined. One thing is certain, though: the ones who threaten us the most are not the gun owning community. They have accepted us because of how we are the same as them. As Chris Cheng intimated, the differences between us are irrelevant.

comments

  1. avatar TTACer says:

    I am a borderline single issue voter and I endorse this message.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      +1
      I think guns should own ‘gays’.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        And those guns should open-carry. : D

        1. avatar Robert W. says:

          As long as they are out of the closet…

          …The guns that is.

    2. avatar Cyrano says:

      I too vote the issues. I am fine with Pink Pistols as long as they are equally supportive of the First Amendment and try not to silence those who disagree with their lifestyle because they don’t like conflicting opinions.

      This is the problem with many Anti-Gun groups. They pick and choose which rights we have. Especially elevating the first and discounting the second. Is it better to be armed and free to arm oneself but have no voice or thought to mold the political process? Or to abandon the 4th? or loss of the 10th?

      As far as I am concerned Pink Pistols is stacking up to be the “I support the 2nd, but…” just like Brady does.

      1. avatar ReadMore says:

        What are you basing that on exactly?

      2. avatar Tom says:

        Anti gun groups hardly qualify as supporting the Constitution in general. They support gun laws that abridge not only the Second Amendment, but also the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, Fourteenth Amendments and clauses forbidding ex post facto laws. Groups like Moms Demand and Center To Support Government Violence have tried to suppress the First Amendment rights of pro gun citizens.

      3. avatar ChuckN says:

        Agreed. I think that groups like the Pink Pistols do get grief
        from other pro-gun groups. However, the issues don’t
        necessarily arise from being in the LGBT community but
        from the stances taken outside of pro-2A. Unfortunately
        instead of actually talking these differences out, many from
        the LGBT movement and especially the MSM instantly
        label it homophobia, sexism or whatever word is trending
        that day; and deny any chance of discussion.

      4. avatar Mark Whitley says:

        Nowhere in what the head of the Pink Pistols above article did I see a..but like the anti gun Brady people, Bloomberg or the crazy muthers against guns.
        Yeah, you can have your 1st amendment open opinion against the LGBT community but nowhere did I read that she’s against you speaking up, quite the contrary she upholds your right to do so.
        Reread the article. You missed a bunch by just skimming it in my opinion.

    3. avatar Jeremy S says:

      “The core of racism is the notion that the individual is meaningless and that membership in the collective — the race — is the source of his identity and value. … The notion of ‘diversity’ entails exactly the same premises as racism — that one’s ideas are determined by one’s race and that the source of an individual’s identity is his ethnic heritage.”
      — Peter Schwartz
      Source: The Racism of “Diversity”, (2003.12.15)

      The frustration expressed here is coming from the same place but due not to racism but, instead, sexual orientation. Gosh, you’re gay so you must have a certain set of opinions and political principals. That’s disgusting. Gun ownership, sexual preference, gender, or any other single “issue” conceivable does not lump you into a certain set of opinions across all topics. It’s insulting, dehumanizing, and racist (sexist/classist/sexual orientation-ist/etc) at its very core. It’s a clear example of the sickness of the statist or collectivist mindset. Everybody in their box so we can apply laws to all of you differently in the name of tolerance and equality, and should you not fit cleanly into the boxes we have defined we’ll ostracize you and marginalize you and dehumanize you.

      The single most liberal person I have ever known — like off the charts left in every possible way but one — was a gun owner and a fairly staunch one at that. A Charlton Heston “over my cold, dead hands” type. That’s it. Every other way on earth as liberal as it can get. GW Bush hater to the core haha. Politics does not define gun ownership and gun ownership does not define politics… nor any other facet of a person’s life. Believing otherwise is… well… see the quote at top.

  2. avatar Jay says:

    The People of the Gun own, carry and use guns predominantly for self defense. The Second Amendment exists to protect the people’s right to self defense. The Pink Pistols are into guns for the purpose of self defense. I think that they can help destroy the liberal narrative that the 2A is there for only hunting etc.

  3. avatar Cameron B says:

    did the term change from “LGBT” to GLBT? I learned it as LGBT.

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      I would think that’s merely a typo.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        There does seem to be some acronym confusion. It’s the whole equality thing, if you don’t (cannot) hold yourself out as equal, without ‘asking’ for equality, then you get a stupid acronym. Like the anti-gun lobby FNPOS.

    2. avatar Gwen Patton says:

      Cameron, it isn’t so much an acronym as an abbreviation. It stands for a simple list: “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender”. Some put the “L” before the “G”, some the “G” before the “L”. I use them interchangeably because as a list, the order doesn’t change its meaning.

      When you have an actual acronym, taking letters from the words in a sentence or short phrase, the order matters. If you change the order of the letters in such an acronym, you can change the meaning of the underlying phrase, even possibly negating it or rendering it nonsensical. “GLBT” is functionally equal to “LGBT” — or even “BGLT” or “TBGL” — the order of the list items does not change the meaning.

      I learned it as “GLBT”, years ago in my days as an activist. I had the same moment of confusion when I first saw “LGBT”. Now, I might use either depending on the circumstances. Sometimes I’ll use one over the other if I’m using the text as the basis for a speech, because “ell-gee-bee-tee” falls off the tongue easier than “gee-ell-bee-tee” in certain sentences. I’ll craft a speech so the tones and rhythms fall pleasantly on the ears as much as for meaning, so context is important. But when I’m not writing a speech, I’ll tend to “GLBT” because that’s how I first learned it.

  4. avatar Neil D says:

    Thanks for posting this. I have a relative that is gay and is a great person. Your message is right on target as far as I am concerned. Why should I care who anyone else loves as long as they are a good citizen? Your comments about other GLBTs being prejudiced against a gay gun advocate is very interesting. Seems like some folks want you to comply with ALL of their views even though they don’t like it when the general public stereotypes them or discriminates against them for their lifestyles. Seems very irrational to me.

    1. avatar Robert W. says:

      Granted, I live in a much more liberal area of the US (North Bay Area, CA), so I have been exposed to the Gay Rights fight since a fairly young age. At first it was difficult for me to understand, coming into my teen years was the beginning of the big push towards gay marriage rights, so here I am, just starting to realize that having close relationships with girls is AWESOME, then I all of a sudden realize that there is a minority of people that don’t think like that, and I instinctively thought it was gross and that I shouldn’t like people that thought like that.

      It took only a short time for me to come to the realization that not PREFERRING something, is not a reason to hate someone else for doing so. A relationship is a relationship and it has no detrimental effect on me or any others. Certainly, there are things that people do that effect me, or choices made that are suspect enough to make me think that they are not a good person, or even personality traits that are annoying enough for me to not want to be acquainted with them, but that can be said of any person.

      So all in all, for a Gay Rights group to be bashed by a “Gay Rights” group, is the worst thing for their cause. All gay and lesbian people that I am friends with have the mantra of “I am just a person, I shouldn’t be celebrated or hated just for being.” They want to whole world to just accept that and move on, and for their own support base to take them a step back is the biggest detriment that I can see.

  5. avatar J. Zoss says:

    “An observation I routinely make is that we are nearly universally welcomed by the pro-rights community.”

    I agree when “pro-rights” is the term being used. Someone that is pro-2A (or claims to be) is in no way a guarantee that they are also pro-rights. You need look no further than some of the comments posted to TTAG to confirm this. It is clear for many that the ONLY rights that matter are the rights that person personally cares about and it ends there. Even some of the people that claim to be pro-2A state things that show they only support the parts of it they personally like.

    1. avatar Evan in Dallas says:

      Freedom is messy sometimes, and some people don’t want to deal with parts of freedom that don’t suit them. I think that even though it doesn’t fit in a tidy little package all the time that always lands in my favor, it is still much better than the alternative.

  6. avatar George says:

    As a gay person who also shoots, I couldn’t agree more.

    Given a choice of being “outed” at a range full of shooters or as a shooter in a cocktail party full of antis, I’ll take the range scenario.

    1. avatar 277Volt says:

      That’s some powerful and enlightening info right there.

    2. avatar TheBear says:

      Very enlightening (and sad) indeed.

      As for the article above, I love this rebuttal to Ladd Everitt.

  7. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    Excellent. Sweet, sweet sanity. It gives me hope that America may yet survive.

  8. avatar juliesa says:

    Very well said. I value allies like the Pink Pistols. People who try to take away my rights and my best means for self defense are my enemies.

  9. avatar Michael says:

    Ok can we stop pretending like its so surprising that people make connections between homophobia and gun rights advocacy? I’m pro gay rights, as are a lot of other pro 2A people I know, but one only has to check out the comments sections of certain articles on here, namely the one about the gun range banning muslims, to see there are still plenty of pro gun folks who’d gladly swap the constitution for the Bible. While I think the typical 2A supporter would rather see gay people armed than disarmed for any reason, stereotypes are often based on the most controversial people in a group, rather than the most typical.

    1. avatar Renegade Dave says:

      Anecdotally, most of the guys I shoot with are extremely libertarian and are generally more “pro-rights” rather than pro gun rights, but I run with a bunch of younger guys who do competitive shooting, can’t speak for the OFWG crowd

    2. avatar publius2 says:

      Michael, you are always entitled to your opinion, of course, but your words betray you.
      Making accusations about an entire group based on a few is simply illogical, and says more about you, and your needs. Making moral equivalences about people who hold different religious views, and 2A rights is also a logical fallacy, and again, reflects on you, alone.

      1. avatar Michael says:

        I’m not judging by the group, I’m pointing out that many of the loudest pro gun voices are, unfortunately, some of the loudest anti-gay voices, and others pick up on that to label our cause as a whole. Rather than act like there is no problem in that regard how about acknowledge it, so the majority of us can be seen as the proponents of universal gun rights that we are.

        1. avatar publius2 says:

          Ok, I apologize, I misunderstood your point. We agree that 2A rights apply to all sexes, races, religions, and political beliefs. Its too easy, and a mistake, to misconstrue what a group believes, judging by the words of one single loud person.

    3. avatar Bruce Badger says:

      When the LGBT community starts cutting off heads, I’ll be ready to agree with you.

      I’m somewhat uncomfortable with the whole gay thing, though I’ve had some very good gay friends. (Yeah, I know exactly how that sounds. None the less, it’s true.) And I HATE the militant, “Our rights are more important than your rights.” stand the community so often has. (The cake maker whose religious convictions regarding gay marriage has been driven into bankruptcy as one example.) But one can disagree, even vehemently, with LGBT’s and not see them as evil.

      And though I don’t doubt there are members of that community who would welcome my death, as we are all aware of the bloodthirsty nature of many who oppose our gun rights, that is NOT central to their creed, their ideology Read the Koran, man. Islam IS NOT the religion of peace! And until this nation faces up to that simple fact, we are defenseless. I care not how many “moderate” Muslims you routinely have neighborhood cookouts with, they go home and read that vile text. They attend the same Mosques that nurture the terrorists. They DO NOT rise up with one voice and condemn this evil. They cannot, it is central to their ideology.

      Imagine that a significant minority of the Baptist Church endorsed the message and tactics of the contemptible Westboro Baptist Church. Could one be a Baptist without being condemned for their actions? And they have killed exactly zero people to my knowledge.

      So I welcome the LGBT to the fight for all our rights. I’ll go shooting with them anytime. And if two guys kissing makes me uncomfortable, I’ll just have to realize I have no more right to always be comfortable than do those who object to open carry because it makes them wet their little panties.

      I’ll accept your skin color, your sexual orientation, your behavior which does not encroach on my rights, your religion, your national origin, etc. etc.. I will not accept your evil ideology which encourages you to cut the heads off all those who do not follow your disgusting creed.

      2A rights are all about self defense. THE first right. Your right to exist. Your right to life. And yet you want to be us to be “tolerant” of those who are sworn to our destruction! I would say you are sorely lacking in situational awareness.

      1. avatar Bruce Badger says:

        Oh, yeah. Just for your reference, OFWG here.

      2. avatar Hal says:

        “So I welcome the LGBT to the fight for all our rights. I’ll go shooting with them anytime. And if two guys kissing makes me uncomfortable, I’ll just have to realize I have no more right to always be comfortable than do those who object to open carry because it makes them wet their little panties.”

        This statement is full of win.

        1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

          I think it is full of win…

      3. avatar Michael says:

        I don’t disagree with you about the Koran, but there are a few problems with your basic premise.

        1) the bible advocates things like slavery, the death penalty for taking the Lord’s name in vain or for taking part in unconventional sex acts etc. Just like most western Christians have taken a ‘making it up as we go’ approach to their holy document to better conform with modern society lots of Muslim’s have too, so they should be afforded the same rights as everyone else.

        2) if it’s a safety issue aren’t you doing exactly what the antis do? Taking a couple high profile cases and applying it to a group unfairly? I do contracting work at a local university that has a lot of Muslim students, and I’ve yet to get my head cut off. Statistically you’re far more likely to be killed by a cop than a Muslim extremist. So tell me, what’s the difference between a typical lefty saying “look guns kill people!” In reaction to every mass shooting and you saying “look Muslim’s kill people” to acts of terrorism?

        1. avatar Bruce Badger says:

          Here’s the list of Islamic terrorist attacks for the past thirty days. Want’a show the list of all the Baptist victims? Catholics? Methodists?

          Didn’t think so, yet in your mind they are morally equivalent.

          The Bible also comes in two parts. The New Testament says, “All that killing and sacrificing I told you do? Forget it. “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) This was the Second of the new commandments.

          Which part of the Koran tells beheading everyone in sight is no longer called for? Mein Kompf spelled out Hitler’s plan for the world. There were many who did not hear what he was plainly saying. Any translation of the Koran will tell you exactly what the Islamic plan is as well..

        2. avatar Michael says:

          @Bruce

          where exactly did I say Christian’s commit acts of violence like you describe, oh yeah, I specifically say that they don’t.

        3. avatar Roy says:

          This is demonstrably false:

          “the bible advocates things like slavery, the death penalty for taking the Lord’s name in vain or for taking part in unconventional sex acts etc.”

          The Bible once tolerated slavery, but its core cannot tolerate it, because the very concept of owning the image of God is blasphemous. Once Christ came, that was emphasized pointedly.

          Reading the Bible to claim that all the punishments and rules of the Old Testament, which were clearly given to a particular people in a particular time and place, are endorsements of things in this day, is like reading a detective novel and refusing to admit that the last chapter is the point of the book, instead insisting that earlier, failed proposals for the solution of the crime mystery are just as valid.

          Only the principles endure — that’s really the main theme of the prophets. And the principle of concern to us is that self-defense was endorsed by the Bible — and no principle overrules it.

        4. avatar doesky2 says:

          Michael’s equating of Muslim extremism with conservative Judaism/Christianity is the the most common Leftist tripe that is widely taught in primary schools and universities. It’s really sick.

    4. avatar Hal says:

      “I’m pro gay rights, as are a lot of other pro 2A people I know, but one only has to check out the comments sections of certain articles on here, namely the one about the gun range banning muslims, to see there are still plenty of pro gun folks who’d gladly swap the constitution for the Bible.”

      I reject your generalization. I am not religious. I am pro gay rights. However, I am very wary of any religion that mandates theocracy and violence. Christianity doesn’t even figure into the equation. Bill Maher isn’t exactly a poster child for christian fundamentalism but when it comes to Islam even he gets it. This isn’t to say muslims are bad, but rejecting theocracy and jihad as anathemas to liberty is no vice.

      The automatic generalization that pro gun = anti gay is just bigoted nonsense.

      1. avatar Michael says:

        I never said pro gun is equal to anti-gay, I said I understand where that perception comes from. I also think there are problems culturally with Islam and jihad. Believe me my blood boils when the same media that makes everything about white privilege, gun culture, rape culture etc. does everything they can to distance Islam from jihad motivated violence and child rape ( just look up Rotherham for more on that). That doesn’t mean it’s ok to discriminate against all Muslim’s. We want to be judged as individuals, then we need to do the same.

        1. avatar doesky2 says:

          That doesn’t mean it’s ok to discriminate against all Muslim’s.

          I don’t want to discriminate against ALL Muslims….just the 19% of American Muslims that think it’s okey-dokey to don a suicide-vest if they feel Islam is being attacked. That’s from the whole population of American Muslims (old/young/women/men)…you can be sure that the 20-40YO males is a much higher percentage….I’d venture to say the majority of them.

          From a lefty 2011 Pew Poll page 65.
          http://people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/Muslim-American-Report.pdf

  10. avatar Tim McNabb says:

    I am about to introduce a tangent, so let me begin by saying as it pertains to enjoying the shooting sports and defending the 2nd amendment, what one does with one’s wedding tackle is not relevant. Glad to see there is such a thing as Pink Pistols. That said the author stated:

    “I perceive gay bashing to be the result of a catastrophically challenged world-view. A person who maintains a judgmental view of how men and women “should” be, and when they are presented with a person that behaves contrary to that view, it causes strong cognitive dissonance.”

    First, it depends on what you call gay bashing. What Westboro Baptist Church does is awful, and I think this is definitely bashing. Cutting off a family member who is “out” is pretty obnoxious too. That said, there is a lot that is called “bashing” that is not, like opposition to same-sex marriage.

    I will leave it to others to determine if there is enough evidence to convict me of being a Christian, but I do believe in Christ and his message of redemption from sin. At the core of Christianity is the belief that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory, but that Christ will cover that sin with His sacrifice.

    Broadly that’s Christian soteriology – take it or leave it, that’s between you and God. I care only in that I think the peace I feel is a good thing and I do want people to be at peace. I have no interest in my theology having the force of law, or even the force of a robust social more.

    That said, one does not need redemption if one is not a sinner. Sins are defined in scripture though I am open to discussing what they are and what they mean. Indeed, there are a whole list of things I like to do that I wish were not sins, but I cannot just wave my hand and declare that which God says is a sin and say it is not, because the awareness of sin is what makes us aware of our need for salvation.

    I really do not care what people do in their private life, I have enough of my own troubles. Even so, Scripture defines sin, describes the effect of sin, then describes the cure for sin. If you get into the habit of redefining sin, you strike at the core of the Gospel.

    On those occasions when I am invited to talk about sin, am not bashing sinners. I am a sinner telling another sinners how God and I made peace. I really wish my friends and neighbors could understand this, and not call an essential aspect of my faith “bashing”.

    It is very likely this is not what the author intended, she seems to be a reasonable person and well spoken, but I felt like saying it.

    1. avatar Merits says:

      Very well said, and I happen to agree with your sentiment.

    2. avatar Hal says:

      “I really do not care what people do in their private life, I have enough of my own troubles. Even so, Scripture defines sin, describes the effect of sin, then describes the cure for sin. If you get into the habit of redefining sin, you strike at the core of the Gospel.”

      Let people redefine sin any way they like. That does not affect your own relationship with god or the code by which you live. If you think homosexuals or other sinners aren’t in line with “the Gospel,” then as you stated that is between them and a higher power.

      I fully agree with your caveat that your beliefs should not carry the weight of law. However, I don’t feel as if you’re nearly as tolerant as you think you are. Your disapproval is pretty apparent, despite duality and neutral wording. However, it takes all types to build a society I suppose. Everyone can’t agree on everything. We don’t have to univerally accept every belief, lifestyle and practice so long as we’re all generally tolerant of one another.

      1. avatar Julio says:

        It seems to me that he was merely disagreeing with their beliefs–not rejecting them or refusing to tolerate them.
        Definition of Tolerance:
        1. the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior that one dislikes or disagrees with.
        2. the capacity to endure continued subjection to something such as a drug or environmental conditions without adverse reaction.
        I believe that forcing someone to change their beliefs reflects intolerance. We can disagree and leave it at that. This is similar to what the anti’s want to do–I don’t agree with your beliefs about the 2nd Amendment, so I will force you to comply with MY beliefs with threat of more laws, arrest, confiscation, etc. Bullying, bashing, belittling, threatening, and marginalizing are tactics they use to gain their ultimate goal: control. If you can win someone over with logic or show that those beliefs are unfounded, you are influencing this individual. You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
        Redefining sin is an attempt at justification (this is “socially acceptable” and therefore cannot be deemed as “morally” wrong) and not-so-subtle wordplay. IMHO, that’s kind of like saying that someone expired from sudden cessation of terminal velocity rather than died from a fall. I believe that we all sin; our very nature is sinful. But this is something we all need to address with our Creator and come to terms with Him. I don’t patronize people about it. If you ask my opinion, I’ll give it. Nobody particularly asked, but I can still express my opinion here. Guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. It’s all about unalienable Rights: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. If loving someone of the same sex makes you happy, so be it. But don’t try to force me to change my religious beliefs simply because we disagree.

      2. avatar Tim McNabb says:

        I made no claim to being tolerant. What I was trying to say is that I cannot be more tolerant than Christ. Quoting him “Neither do I condemn you…go and sin no more” sounds pretty tolerant to me.

      3. avatar Tim McNabb says:

        “Let people redefine sin any way they like. That does not affect your own relationship with god or the code by which you live. If you think homosexuals or other sinners aren’t in line with “the Gospel,” then as you stated that is between them and a higher power.”

        Indeed – but one of the mysteries I have yet to resolve is why we who believe are called to evangelize by the God who says salvation is from call of the Holy Spirit.

        Given this command to share the Good News, perhaps it is better said that I cannot redefine sin, and when invited to speak on such matters I must be as honest and thorough about what that means. Others redefine sin all the time, which is their choice, but when I stand firm on something, it is called “bashing” as if I have the authority to rewrite scripture or mold its plain meanings to fit modern conventions. It is this I lament.

    3. avatar Dex says:

      Gwen, smack me if I misspeak, here.

      I’ve been a PinkPistols member since around 2001, and am currently the chapter coordinator for Northern Virginia. My wife, by the way, finds this mildly amusing.

      I think you’ll find that the definition of “bashing” usually used in describing the Pink Pistols’ mission, involves physical assault. You can’t shoot a Westboro Baptist member for screaming at you. Nor can you force a baker to make a cake for you, at gunpoint. The mission is self-defense against a credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm.

      1. avatar Bruce Badger says:

        “Nor can you force a baker to make a cake for you, at gunpoint. ”

        But they tried. And that’s exactly what the next cake baker will have learned.

        Make us a cake or else…We go to court. The government finds in our favor and hit’s you with a fine designed to put a small business under. And if you refuse to pay the fine – we will send men with guns after you. If you put up to big a fuss, they will shoot you dead.

        When the government enforces social policy, it is ALWAYS at the point of a gun.

        1. avatar Dex says:

          Bruce, my point is that refusal to bake a cake, or yelling about “SIN!”, is NOT bashing. When I said force a cake-baking at gunpoint, I was being literal, not using “at gunpoint” to men “siccing the power of the State on them”.

        2. avatar Bruce Badger says:

          Dex, not sure what my point is. Guess without writing my own personal essay, it might be summed up as – Some disputed individual differences should remain personal rather than enforced on either party by the power of the government.

          I realize there is a conflict here. Does a black man or a gay man have right to equal service at a public business? Of course they do. Does a privately owned business have the right to operate under the owners personal religious and ethical code? Hobby Lobby case and my respect for personal self determination says they do. How do we reconcile these diametrically opposing sets of rights? A lot fewer government mandates and a lot more personal cooperation might be a damn good start.

          Don’t mean to sidetrack the discussion here. Again, I welcome the Pink Pistols as Brothers of the Gun. And I ALWAYS favor more individual freedom rather than less.

          Guess my point is – using the power of the state to bludgeon me into accepting the dogma of an interest group is antithetical to individual freedom.

        3. avatar doesky2 says:

          How do we reconcile these diametrically opposing sets of rights?

          It’s very easy if you use common sense. Public accommodation of the only hotel for miles is a must. Public accommodation for a wedding cake and arts supplies …not so.

          The gay mafia values their feelings over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion and conscience.

  11. avatar publius2 says:

    Thanks, Ms Patton. Very well said, and so much common-sense, I’m book-marking for the occasional troll that comes here accusing 2A rights activists as being homophobes.

    Please share more, when you can, and thanks for your service getting the word out to the LGBT community.

    RESPECT.

  12. avatar Hal says:

    The right to keep and bear arms is a universal human right.

    Thank you so much for this wonderful piece of writing. I would be proud to have the pink pistols next to me on the range any day.

  13. avatar emfourty gasmask says:

    Occasionally you get the whacko that things gays are breaking the “laws of god” (like in the case of the fox news article. I’ve ran into this alot.) but the good news is that this hard edge stance is pretty much on the verge of extinction.

    ultimately, those types of people are hurting the 2A cause more than helping, and I often see the POTG community correcting and alienating those types more than anything. Hopefully that trend continues so that we can bring more people into the fold.

    1. avatar CoolBreeze72 says:

      So emforty…as soon as we get rid of the”wackos” and get everybody’s mind right we can be a truly advanced peaceful society? Why can’t I hold the belief that people have the right to be wrong as well as right to self defense?

  14. avatar Scythian Arrows says:

    “Because Democrats engage in identity politics, essentially promising gay rights legislation in return for votes, engaging in something the Democrats don’t agree with is seen as “threatening” the gay rights movement.”

    Bingo. They don’t care about your well-being, unless you vote the way they want. Notable author Jack Donovan is homosexual, but he doesn’t get to be part of the LGBT community due to his un-orthodox views. You have to pay to play.

  15. avatar Tommycat says:

    As I said before, If you want to see for yourself how the gun community would react to you being GLBTQ, Go to a gun range. I see OFWG helping anyone willing to learn regardless of race or sexual preference. To some degree they do tend to be wary about Muslims, but that’s understandable as they are the “big bad” now. Kind of like if you met a Russian in the 80’s

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      I would not refuse to help someone at a gun range – or anywhere – because they were gay, though I’m not sure how I would find out they were gay…I have a gaydar so unreliable I don’t use it any more, and I am pretty sure polite people do not blurt out to strangers I’M GAY.

  16. avatar IdahoPete says:

    “It has been my experience with anti-rights agitators that they tend to hold views and opinions that don’t match reality.” And that is a profound problem – how do you convince someone that they are living in a fantasy world? I have had several lengthy discussions with fairly rabid anti-gun individuals, and after showing them the factual failures of the anti-gun propaganda groups, and logically refuting every “talking point” they are using, the end result is them stating “Well, I just don’t like guns.”

    Hey, I don’t like Brussels sprouts, but I not trying to ban them for everyone else.

    And thank you for your very succinct summary of my (OFWG) approach to anyone who supports the 2nd Amendment: “An observation I routinely make is that we are nearly universally welcomed by the pro-rights community. Our fellow shooters make it clear, time and time again, that our sexuality is irrelevant. Chris Cheng’s perception is the correct one — shooters don’t care who we love. They care whether or not we support the Second Amendment. They care whether or not we are safe and responsible armed citizens. They care whether or not we are serious about shooting. They only care that we can shoot straight, not whether or not we ARE straight. The animus towards GLBT persons is generally not seen among, as Everitt termed it, “the pro-gun movement.” ”

    Single-issue voter here, because the right to bear arms is the key difference between freedom and serfdom.

  17. avatar Pascal says:

    Thank you Gwendolyn S. Patton for a most excellent post. I support you and your organization. In my two encounters with your organization, you guys are a lot of fun.

    Regarding this statement:

    “Because Democrats engage in identity politics, essentially promising gay rights legislation in return for votes, engaging in something the Democrats don’t agree with is seen as “threatening” the gay rights movement. But even this animus does not sink to the level that Ladd Everitt did.”

    Truer words could not be spoken. If you are LGBT, Black, Hispanic, a women or other favored Democratic group and you do not fit their mold exactly, you are told “you are not ( LGBT, Black, Hispanic, a women or other favored Democratic group ) enough” — unless you fit exactly into their mold or ideal of a certain group and you also tow the line for the Democrats without decent, then you are not one of them.

    As an aside, apparently even companies that develop web filters for corporations have a bias. While my company has banned everything gun related and has blocked those websites, pink pistols website is unblocked because while gun related, it is also a LGBT organization — so it gets a pass.

    Double standards like this suck from any direction your look at them.

    Anyway, carry on the good work. Hope TTAG has you post here more often.

  18. avatar BDub says:

    I’m open-carry/open-marry.

  19. avatar MaxHedrm says:

    It’s good to see the Pink Pistols site back up & in action. I looked at it a few years back & it was quite stagnant. Thanks for dedicating your effort to it!

  20. avatar Bob72 says:

    When we the people have the right to agree and disagree, and yet in the end allow people to live how they want, then I think we will be truly free. I will not be dictated to by anyone, especially regarding the 2nd amendment, and as such, I think I have a lot in common with gays, blacks, native-Americans, Jews, and any other group that the government has tried to squash, silence, enslave, imprison, and kill.

  21. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    How about we address this from both ends, many hands making light work and all, and quit pretending that “homophobia” is a real word describing a real psychological condition?

    “Oh, but it is! It’s clinically DOCUMENTED!”

    No it isn’t, but suppose it were, in that case, then let’s agree to employ the word ONLY against those who’ve actually been clinically diagnosed, and not just level it against anyone who dares defy PC orthodoxy on the topic of so-called gay rights.

    Really, it was only as recently as 1973 when homosexuality was still officially recognized as a mental disorder. Only through activists’ efforts to remove the stigma, as opposed to scientific consensus, was it de-listed as a disorder. Given that ou would think homosexuals today would be more sensitive to “medicalizing” differences of opinion in order to marginalize, ostracize and silence dissenters, huh?

    Use of the term “homophobia” is as offensive as those of “gun nut”, “firearm fetishist” and the like. They’re all just slurs intended to give mean people license to say mean things under an inarguable medical mantle of legitimacy.

    1. avatar Grindstone says:

      I assume you never use the term “hoplophobia” either?

  22. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    Bravo Gwendolyn, Bravo….
    As a regional coordinator for GRAA we fully support The Pink Pistols.
    Personally growing up on the left coast I am pro rights. Doesn’t matter which. I think that private business owners can run their businesses as they wish, the government should not be involved in marriage at ALL, and the fact that I need a permit to change out a window in my home is STUPID!
    Yes living in California has it issues, but from an LGBT perspective it is a pretty positive place to be.
    While I fit the OFWG image I am by no means limited on my world view, or how I think anyone should live.
    Just because you disagree with someone on something does not mean you can’t get along and care about humanity and those within our community as a whole.
    I really hope the LGBT / GLBT community begins to push for more gun rights. This is something we agree on, and believe in. My opinion is that regardless of who you are, or where you are from the gun community at large doesn’t care. When I posted the first article on CalGuns, 99% of the comments where like so what? Not that it doesn’t matter, but it was like, ok so they are gay, who cares! We are pro gun, pro rights, that is all that matters.
    Like anything political, people can graciously agree to disagree, find common ground and fight together on those.
    The Pink Pistols is the epitome of that. It takes all the stereo types of gun owners and tosses them on it’s head. I had the honor of doing a rally with Nikki Stollard. She kicked butt, and it was a blast.
    In the end I like to call who and what we are as pro freedom. Defining being anything or doing something as a right always causes conflict. We are freedom lovers. We want to be free, live free, and make sure that the government doesn’t infringe on those freedoms. Pretty simple really.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      You make a lot of good points. So many that I feel a little sheepish disagreeing on one point, but not having enough time at the moment to address it in depth.

      It’s the part about no government involvement in marriage. I know, the layout to date has left some people out, but let’s not forget what marriage is at its core: a contract. Contracts imply define rights and responsibilities, which individuals must be able to resort to government, if needed, to enforce. Contracts aren’t unenforceable, and the rights/responsibilities contained aren’t universal and durable, unless the agreement doesn’t conform to court standards and isn’t subject to court review.

      All of the inconveniences and supposed indignities experienced by homosexuals for not having their unions recognized, would befall everyone else, too, were the government to get out of the marriage business.

      1. avatar Roy says:

        Jonathon, I think the point of saying government shouldn’t be in the marriage business is that government shouldn’t be allowed to define it. It’s an exercise of the right of freedom of association, which government has no business restricting. Government’s only job should be to acknowledge whoever tells it they’re married, and protect the privileges bestowed by that status, not to tell people who they can or can’t marry.

    2. avatar publius2 says:

      Thanks Daniel, for all your good work at Calguns.

      My experience has been same, when someone comes out – its like 99% say,
      “Oh, ok, you’re gay? Thats nice, welcome here, and lets get back to the important arguments –
      “whats the best caliber for home defense?” (obv .40 S&W…;)

  23. avatar Kyle says:

    I believe firmly in gun rights and LGBTQ rights.

  24. avatar Azrael says:

    I welcome all shooters regardless of whom they love, I especially enjoy teaching new shooters the proper and safe method of how to shoot. In reference to the LGBT, GLBT, BLT or whatever the new acronym is being used this week, I welcome you and all your brothers and sisters who want to learn how to shoot or are just curious to learn more. My only conditions is (1.) Leave the “But” at home (Stop laughing). In other words stop saying I support the 2nd Amendment but… (2.) Come in with an open mind and eager to learn. (3.) Finally ask questions! Don’t be afraid to stop and ask questions, I don’t judge. The only stupid question is the one that is not asked or asked a 1000 times with the same answer.
    Seriously the only thing we (shooters) should be arguing about is whats better Glock or a 1911… BTW the answer is neither because H&K rules them all… 😀

  25. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    An observation I routinely make is that we are nearly universally welcomed by the pro-rights community. Our fellow shooters make it clear, time and time again, that our sexuality is irrelevant. Chris Cheng’s perception is the correct one — shooters don’t care who we love. They care whether or not we support the Second Amendment.

    Yep; that about sums it up. Though some may challenge you on your choice of caliber, or you might get called a Pink Ninja if you dare to open carry. 😉

    This is not a rational position, it is a prejudicial one. Or perhaps the right term would be postjudicial (yes, postjudice is a word), as Everitt has been exposed to enough gun owners that he should know how they actually behave, yet he still maintains a bias against them contrary to the facts presented.

    The easier way to state that is simply to say that Everitt Ladd is a bigot.

    The Pink Pistols builds bridges along roads of sameness, not of difference. We accentuate the similar, not the contrary.

    ‘merica!

    There was a time when being the great Melting Pot was a point of pride for our country. Then the progressives took over.

  26. avatar Grindstone says:

    Rights for ALL

  27. avatar Independent George says:

    It’s funny, but I routinely refer to my status as a gun owner and recreational shooter living in Chicago as being “in the closet”.

    Anyway, I go even further than the Pink Pistols on the matter – I not only support gay rights, but I tie gun ownership in directly with preserving those rights.

  28. avatar Esteve says:

    Still confused by the headline. What exactly is a gay gun?

  29. avatar Carry.45 says:

    I’m sure some gun owners are homophobes. Every punch bowl has its turds.

    1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      That’s a stupid analogy. Just because some gun owners are homophobes (and how that should come up as an issue, I don’t know why), means we have to throw the whole 2A movement (the punch bowl) out?

      C’mon.

  30. avatar Stinkeye says:

    “…we get far more negativity from other GLBT organizations than from other shooters, but even this doesn’t involve violence.”

    Well, of course it doesn’t involve violence. You guys are way better armed than they are! 😉

  31. avatar Fanfare Ends says:

    “They believe that owning or carrying a gun makes you far more likely to be killed with your own gun, that someone in your family will injure himself or herself, or you’ll shoot a family member or friend rather than an attacker. But this was the result of a flawed study so bad that the researcher who made the claim declared his own findings invalid. ”

    Can someone point me to this ? I have seen discussion saying the the stats in the original claim are bogus, but not the part that the original “researcher who made the claim declared his own findings invalid. ”

    TIA.

  32. avatar DetroitMan says:

    Good article. I would suggest that part of what Everitt is doing is the modern progressive practice of attaching an evil label to people, policies, and ideas that they don’t like. We see it time and again. Most commonly, they try to portray things they don’t like as racist. Trying to portray them as anti-LGBT is another aspect of the same.

    By attaching these evil labels, they hope to start a moral crusade against that which they don’t like. The practice has the added benefit of removing anyone’s need to think or examine the issue further. After all, if something is racist or anti-LGBT, it’s just plain evil. No need to examine it on a deep level. It must be crushed immediately! These labels also allow progressives to conveniently package an issue into the tired old narratives that they live by. They fight for the rights of the oppressed minorities through protests and legislative action from their politicians, then declare great moral victories, etc. etc.

    In short, this is a conscious tactic, not just a failure of logic. It is an attempt to turn out their base at the polls and deceive the swing voters into supporting their candidates and positions.

  33. avatar GS650G says:

    The LGBT team should think about who they are supporting for the social issues, it might come back to haunt them big time.

  34. avatar Erin Palette says:

    we are nearly universally welcomed by the pro-rights community

    Yes, the key word there is “nearly”. I will forever treasure (/sarcasm) being told by a gun owner that “people tend to shy away from associating with folks of his [my] persuasion.”

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