“The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group, is veering from its normal set of priorities and on Friday announced that it would begin pushing for tighter controls on guns,” time.com reports. “‘Forty-nine members of our community were murdered on Sunday morning because of a toxic combination of two things: a deranged, unstable individual who had been conditioned to hate LGBTQ people, and easy access to military-style guns,’ Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin (above) said. ‘It is imperative that we address both issues in order to mitigate safety risk to our community.'”
Really? Omar Mateen was a regular patron of The Pulse nightclub. A man who used gay dating services. A man who took his co-workers to a gay bar after work. That doesn’t sound like a man conditioned to hate gay people. OK, sure, there may have been some vast, irreconcilable internal conflict between his sexual orientation and his adoption of Islamic extremism, but I’ve yet to encounter any evidence that Mr. Mateen opened fire at The Pulse nightclub because it was a gay bar.
More likely, he chose that venue because he knew it was as soft target. Because he knew Pulse patrons were disarmed. Frisked, in fact. Now if even a fifth of those 100+ gay party-goers had been armed in their own defense, the outcome would have been very, very different. A piercing glimpse into the obvious, but one which the Human Rights Campaign misses by a mile.
“As a society, we must hold accountable lawmakers, religious leaders and other public officials who put a target on the backs of LGBTQ people through hateful rhetoric and legislation, because they are complicit in the violence fueled by their words and actions,” Griffin said. “The safety of the LGBTQ community depends on our ability to end both the hatred toward our community and the epidemic of gun violence that has spiraled out of control.”
Epidemic spiraling out-of-control? A quick look at the FBI’s 2014 crime stats indicates no such thing:
– In 2014, an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the 2013 estimate.
– When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2014 estimated violent crime total was 6.9 percent below the 2010 level and 16.2 percent below the 2005 level. (See Table 1/1A)
– There were an estimated 365.5 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2014, a rate that declined 1.0 percent when compared with the 2013 estimated violent crime rate.
Anyway, I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. The LGBT community has every reason to arm up, more than some, and every reason not to rely on gun control measures to increase their safety, just like everyone else.