Gay Gun Rights Group Says 'Don't Blame Guns' for Orlando Massacre

Friday June 17, 2016

Following last weekend's massacre at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando that left 49 dead, the Pink Pistols, a LGBT gun rights group whose tagline is "pick on someone your own caliber," issued the following statement. It reads in part:

"Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols, an international GLBT self-defense organization, warns people not to jump immediately to the assailant's guns as the object of blame, but to concentrate instead on Mateen's violent acts. "The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse," began Patton. "This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, 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. I say again, 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."

Patton's concerns are that knee-jerk gun-control efforts may make preventing future events harder rather than easier, as only the law-abiding potential victims will be affected by such laws. "It is difficult, if not impossible, to foresee such an event," continues Patton, "But if they cannot be prevented, then they must be stopped as fast as someone tries to start them."

Some bars and other establishments that serve alcohol are difficult to protect because many states forbid the carrying of weapons where alcohol is served, but that just as one might have a designated driver who stays sober, one might have a designated carrier with a concealed-carry permit who goes armed and does not drink. "It's sad that we must consider such things, but when there are persons out there who mean us harm, we must find ways to protect ourselves within the law." Patton concludes.

On their website, the group describes themselves as "an international organization dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community. Chapters may be found across the United States and Canada. Though the Pink Pistols is for the GLBTQ community, it is not solely composed of the GLBTQ community, and all are welcome to join." The non-partisan group is not officially affiliated with the NRA but has worked with the lobbying group in the past.

According to a 2013 EDGE report titled "Gays with Guns," the organization was founded in 2000 by libertarian activist Doug Krick. The group's activities include firing range visits, political activism and will occasionally produce report cards on politicians; rating them on their position on issues of interest to members. Other than that, little is known about the organization and it's even difficult to know just how big the Pink Pistols movement is because the organization doesn't keep a national count.