Big news from the LGBTQ community: Pink Pistols has united with Operation Blazing Sword. The two pro-gun, gay gun owner-oriented groups have joined forces to promote, educate and empower gays in America under the leadership of Erin Palette (pictured above). After all, armed gays don’t get bashed.
Pink Pistols started almost twenty years ago. Its purpose: to educate members of the LGBTQ community about the proven benefits of firearm ownership. Its “armed gays don’t get bashed” slogan resonated with many both within and outside the gay community.
Operation Blazing Sword came about following the Orlando terror attack at the Pulse nightclub. While Pink Pistols advocated the benefits of gun ownership, Blazing Sword worked to put volunteer instructors together with gays wanting to learn safe gun handling. And to help gays get carry licenses so they could defend themselves against a homophobic, crazed lunatic looking to commit a hate crime or massacre.
Gays looking to take some mystery out of guns can call one of these volunteer instructors who will take them out for a range session at no charge. Or simply provide solid information and advice about gun ownership. Thousands of experienced gun owners and firearm instructors including myself have volunteered for the program nationwide. We work to build bridges between gun owners and the LGBTQ community, so they can join America’s gun owners.
Guns Save Life’s former Sangamon County regional director Jay Ater, one of the gun community volunteers, says he’s helped several LGBTQ members in Central Illinois. One lesbian couple he coached went out and secured their carry licenses and purchased handguns in the months following his lesson. Later, they told him how coming out as gun owners among their gay friends proved more difficult for them than coming out as gay to their friends and family.
Operation Blazing Sword has the formal announcement…
The 33rd Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC 2018) in Chicago became the site of a historic announcement for the LGBTQ community. The Pink Pistols – the nation’s first pro-gay, pro-gun group – is joining forces with Operation Blazing Sword, a program dedicated to firearm education, training and support for the LGBTQ community. This merger results in the creation of the single largest queer pro-gun group in history. In further news, Gwendolyn Patton, legendary First Speaker of the Pink Pistols, has been succeeded by Erin Palette, the Founder of Operation Blazing Sword. Ms. Palette will serve as Coordinator for both factions of the newly-formed LGBTQ Super Group.
Founded in 2000, Pink Pistols had a simple mission: “We teach queer people to shoot. Then we teach others that we have done so.” Beyond training, the Pistols also successfully filed numerous amicus briefs in high profile cases. Their membership at the time of merging was estimated to be 30,000 across North America.
Operation Blazing Sword was formed in response to the Pulse Massacre of June 12, 2016. Led by Erin Palette, this fresh platform provides members of the grossly under-served LGBTQ community with access to education in safe firearms handling as well as encouragement to obtain Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permits where legal. At the time of its merger, Operation Blazing Sword was powered by 1,600 volunteer instructors from all walks of life – conservative, liberal, straight, queer, transgender, and cisgender.
During her acceptance speech, Ms. Palette recalled the early days of Pink Pistols, when being outed as queer often resulted in loss of one’s job or worse. It was for this reason, Palette explained, that national member lists were not maintained. By keeping Pink Pistol factions regional its members’ privacy was protected from subpoena, but this dramatically limited the scope of Pink Pistol chapters’ community outreach.
The announcements at GRPC 2018 herald in a new era of LGBTQ Second Amendment support and activism. On this topic, Palette passionately asserted that “the ability to connect…is crucial.” Since Operation Blazing Sword is a 501c3 tax deductible charity, funds can now be raised at a national level to help chapters in need, whether that is to rent a booth at a Pride Festival, buy ammunition for a range day, or hold a community seminar.
“After all,” reminded Palette, “the most powerful sword is the one wielded by two hands.”
OPERATION BLAZING SWORD
800 Belle Terre Parkway, Suite 200-302 Palm Coast, FL 32164-2310
Pink Pistols has chapters across America. By teaming up with Operation Blazing Sword, the new group will have even more resources and opportunities to empower and educate gays about the proven benefits of firearm ownership.