There are two polar-opposite positions regarding the Second Amendment currently being pushed in the gay community. One points to the June 12, 2016, Orlando Pulse attack as evidence for why gun control is needed now. This position—espoused by popular LGBT magazine The Advocate, among others—encourages the view that lawmakers should target guns that were legally purchased as well as guns that are illegal.
The second position holds that members of the LGBTQ community need to quit blaming guns for crime and start arming themselves for self-defense. This is the view held by the Pink Pistols, a gun rights group in the gay community that quickly responded to the Pulse attack by warning people not to blame the actions of the attacker on the guns he used to carry out his horrific machinations.
In contrasting these two views, it is easy to see the shortsightedness of pursuing more gun control when compared to the rationale of buying a gun and learning how to use it effectively to defend oneself.
Consider The Advocate’s position: A recent column clearly states that “guns are the problem.” Not just illegal guns and criminal use of said guns, but also guns that are “legally obtained.”
The columnists went so far as to say:
Here’s the central fact that should guide our actions on gun violence going forward: The Pulse shooter, the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter, and countless other murderers were legally entitled to have firearms. They did everything right—until the moment they started shooting.Consider The Advocate’s position: A recent column clearly states that “guns are the problem.”
Our vision is simple, and unlike the gun lobby’s, it’s actually supported by reality—which is precisely why the gun lobby continues to oppose scientific studies on gun violence. Legally obtained or not, whether by “good guys” or “bad guys,” guns are the problem.
In an attempt to bolster his position, the columnist refers to a CNN story titled “The Next LGBT Cause: Gun Control,” and suggests, “Everything that has happened since Pulse has only served as a reminder that LGBTQ people must fight for their safety against the epidemic of gun violence, just as hard as they have fought for equality.”
However, lost in all of this tired rhetoric are some very stubborn, undeniable facts. Chief among them:
- The Orlando Pulse was a gun-free zone. This total ban meant it ostensibly had 100 percent gun control. But this ban—like similar bans at Sandy Hook Elementary, Umpqua Community College, and Virginia Tech—was only honored by law-abiding citizens. So when someone with a gun decided to come in and open fire, club-goers were literal sitting ducks.
- Far from deterring crime, evidence shows that criminals are actually emboldened by strict gun control laws. There are myriad real-world examples that passing gun control to fight “gun violence” actually feeds the violence it seeks to quell. One need look no further than Chicago and Baltimore for proof.
Now consider the way the Pink Pistols responded to the Orlando Pulse attack.
On June 12, 2016—the very day of the attack—Pink Pistols spokesperson Gwendolyn Patton urged Americans in general, and the gay community in particular, not to blame guns for the heinous actions of the attacker.
In a statement published on the organization’s website, Patton said:
“Let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. 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.”
Further emphasizing her point, Patton continued, “GUNS did not do this. A human being did this; a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.”There are myriad real-world examples that passing gun control to fight “gun violence” actually feeds the violence it seeks to quell. One need look no further than Chicago and Baltimore for proof.
During the past two years, European cities like Paris, Munich and Copenhagen have become unwilling testimonies to the fact that passing more gun control laws in the hopes of stopping evil people from carrying out their plans only serves to make the law-abiding more vulnerable. The lesson is not for Europe alone, but for everyone in the world who looks on and is willing to learn—including the LGBT community.
There is no actual safety in the empty promises of gun control pushed in The Advocate, but there is proven safety in law-abiding citizens arming themselves for self-defense, then carrying those arms in accordance with the laws of their state. This is true for people who are gay or straight; black, brown or white; religious or non-religious; Republican or Democrat.
It’s why Patton suggested members of the gay community who forego alcohol in order to be designated drivers ought to also carry a gun with which to defend themselves and those they are with. “It’s sad that we must consider such things,” she said, “but when there are persons out there who mean us harm, we must find ways to protect ourselves within the law.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter at @AWRHawkins, or reach him directly at [email protected]