Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Did you know that there's a small, but active, movement that seeks to perpetuate the use of guns as a way to minimize hate crimes against GLBT people? Gays with guns. The Washington Independent published an article on this topic today, highlighting some of the organizations that support both gun rights and gay rights. GOProud, for example, is a conservative gay rights group that holds the right to bear arms near and dear. According to the executive director of GOProud, Jimmy LaSilva:
We support this because we think it's advantageous to make it legal and relatively easy for gay people to arm themselves so they can protect themselves. In the next few weeks we want to start highlighting some of those stories. There are people who have averted gay bashings because of their ability to use guns.
Another organization that is a cornerstone of this "right to self-defense" movement is the Pink Pistols. According to their website:
We are dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community. We no longer believe it is the right of those who hate and fear gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or polyamorous persons to use us as targets for their rage. Self-defense is our RIGHT.
Basically, what those in this movement are asserting is that guns are an effective and appropriate way for GLBT people to protect themselves from gay bashers.
...That is, until the haters acquire guns themselves of course.
Undoubtedly, it's tempting to, as a person who has been shit on by society for years and years, whip out a large weapon and point it in the face of some ignoramus who dares to mess with you and yell, "WHAT NOW?!?" But what was that quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. again?
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
We cannot fight hatred with violence. What we will ultimately create is an even deeper division between queer people and their haters. We will have the scared and angry oppressed, and the pissed off and ignorant oppressors... with bullets. No good can come of this.
Take a few minutes to contact both the Pink Pistols (firstname.lastname@example.org) and GOProud (email@example.com). Say anything to convey your opposition to this. If you're at a loss for words, simply send them that Martin Luther King, Jr. quote.
And please contact GLBT rights organizations, blogs, and news sites. Ask them to address the issue of frustration leading queer people to pick up guns. Ask them to take a public stance against it.