Gay and Gun-Happy

LGBT community arms itself post-Orlando tragedy: 'without the ability to defend yourself, there are no gay rights'

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 14 Sep 2016 at 11:51 AM

Many members of the LGBT community have become the newest constituency vigorously fighting to defend their Second Amendment rights. The development has occurred in the wake of the June 12 Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub.

The shooting, which was carried out by Islamic jihadist Omar Mateen and claimed the lives of 49 victims while wounding 53 others, has spurred many members of the LGBT community to purchase legal firearms and take defensive handgun classes. In the days after the shooting, a chapter of the national LGBT gun group called Pink Pistols opened in West Hollywood — one of the most liberal neighborhoods in the nation.

“There is an appetite among members of the LGBT community to support the Second Amendment, despite what many on the Left would say.”

“If someone was to try and break into my home, and especially if someone were armed, I don’t want to fight back with a kitchen knife,” chapter founder Jonathan Fischer told The Los Angeles Times. “I don’t think that’s extremist or crazy.”

LGBT gun advocates find their greatest political adversaries come from within the community itself, which has largely aligned itself with the liberal agenda.

“Some people say you need a gun to protect yourself from the bad guys. We just fundamentally disagree with that,” Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, told The Times. “We don’t want to live in a world where you have to be packing heat to live your daily life … Orlando made it very clear to us that common-sense gun safety laws are part of what we needed to be working on.”

Some LGBT centers have even turned on their own members and banned the Pink Pistols from the facilities because of the group’s enthusiastic support for gun ownership and usage — two things the Left has demonized for decades. After the Orlando shooting, more than 100 LGBT organizations signed a pledge calling for stricter gun control legislation, and the group Gays Against Guns began directing protests throughout the country.

"The fact that you have so many members of the LGBT community largely defined by the LGBT Left standing up in opposition to the Second Amendment just continues to reinforce the narrative that the Left tries to perpetuate that if you are gay, you can’t just be gay," Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, told LifeZette. "You can’t just support things like marriage equality. You must also support the entire liberal litany of everything from abortion to opposition to the Second Amendment, and the list goes on."

The Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization seeking to "make the Republican Party more inclusive, particularly on gay and lesbian issues," as its website notes, believes "opposing gay and lesbian equality is inconsistent with the GOP’s core principles of smaller government and personal freedom."

"The Second Amendment offers the LGBT community the constitutional right to defend ourselves and our families. And that’s something I don’t think we should take lightly, nor seek to erode," Angelo said. "Without the ability to defend yourself, there are no gay rights."

The Pink Pistols traces the initial momentum behind its roots to an article written by gay journalist and author Jonathan Rauch in Salon back in March 2000. In his article, Rauch wrote, "It is remarkable that the gay movement in America has never seriously considered a strategy that ought to be glaringly obvious" and advocated that LGBT Americans "should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them."

Angelo said the Orlando massacre really "hit home" because it was a direct attack on the community’s core. And as such, Angelo was not surprised that groups such as the Pink Pistols have been gaining ground, opening new chapters and defying the LGBT community’s liberal roots.

"After Orlando — after the sorrow and the tears — came a very real understanding that now in this country there are terrorists who will target LGBT people, not just for violence but for death, simply because of who they are," Angelo said. "Many LGBT people saw that as a wake-up call to learn more about the rules and regulations regarding firearms ownership in their states and municipalities, and have pursued gun ownership to defend themselves."

The Pink Pistols have now opened more than 45 chapters across the country in its continued defiance against the liberal narrative that requires LGBT individuals to support the entire ideological package.

"There is an appetite among members of the LGBT community to defend ourselves, to support the Second Amendment, despite what many on the Left would say," Angelo said.

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