Why Pink Pistols?

Papa Libertarian helped to organize and promote several Pink Pistols chapters; groups of LGBT folk and friends who meet to practice and advocate for the safe, responsible, and legal use of firearms for self-defense and recreation.

While LGBT folk come from everywhere, including gun-friendly homes, beginning shooters are not always comfortable “coming out” in gun organizations. There’s a negative stereotype about red-necked NRA members. It’s true, a lot of older members, especially from the military, aren’t going to be our best buddies when it comes to gay rights. But the younger generation has different attitudes; and I have delivered talks and competed in competitions; nobody has ever given me grief for being gay. When everybody is armed, grief-making tends to be minimized.

On the other side, I’ve taken flak from gay rights activists who really don’t understand why people would arm themselves; why not just call the police?

Recent events may cause people to reconsider the advisability of calling the police for help; all too often, you might become a victim of a beating or choking or shooting incident – by a person with a badge and uniform! A lot of us would prefer to stay away from the police nowadays. Much of the news has reminded us that minorities are often presumed to be “thugs” or “perps.” Sexual minorities aren’t in much better position, are they?

So, then, self-defense. A black man, asked why he carried an AR-15 in Arizona, replied “It’s easier than carrying a cop around.” Dialing 9-1-1 and waiting seems like a nice theory, but when you think about the response time, and the possibility of being harmed by your “protectors” and “servants”, that prescription starts to smell of pink unicorns and rainbow farts.

There are a hundred reasons not to pick up a weapon, some of which are valid. You might, for whatever reason, be incapable of taking a human life, even in self-defense. You might be too crazy, too prone to taking life for bad reasons. If so, by all means, self-limit; do not purchase a weapon. You may be concerned about training – nothing you can’t fix, by taking lessons and applying yourself.

Or you might have a hundred bogus reasons. For help with those, turn to Gun Facts, a free PDF which debunks many of the common myths. As I post this, they’re up to version 6.2.

One of my favorite books is Negroes With Guns, by Robert F. Williams.

Williams, in Monroe, NC, had a problem. His friends and neighbors were getting beaten, lynched, and harassed, and the local police were no help at all. In fact, some of the local police were wearing white sheets at night and riding with the KKK. If the police would not defend Negroes, if the police were part of the problem, then Negroes had to defend themselves. And so he formed the Deacons For Defense.

He heard many arguments against, and refuted them all. One was that armed Negroes would be dangerous – the answer is “only to those who mean them harm.”

Another argument is that this would spiral out of control, into a war of Negro against White. The gist of his argument is that armed, peaceful defense is self-limiting. Actual defense does not lead to war. Let the KKK withdraw, and there would be peace.

Williams and his armed neighbors did face the KKK. A few shots were fired, and the folks under the sheets did an existential re-calculation; when people can and will shoot back, your own life is at risk. This isn’t as much fun as attacking defenseless people. It is no longer risk-free. So the KKK withdrew. They did not want a level playing field.

When all is said and done, that’s what Pink Pistols is about: a level playing field. A declaration that our queer lives are worth defending, and will be defended.

1 thought on “Why Pink Pistols?”

  1. Hello, as another member of the PPs of Pittsburgh, I want to add, that not all NRA members fall into the stereotype you mention above.

    Any group of 5 million people, like the NRA, is going to have a wide ranging and diverse member type, and I am sure you could find anti LGBTQ folks.

    We NRA members have faced derision for years from the liberal left in this country, and that I believe is part of the mistrust that many would face is, the belief that nobody from the left could actually be pro gun. Further, we have been called Bubba’s, hicks, rednecks, and have been accused of being anti government militia members only because we have the protection of guns, gun rights, and the shooting sports as our primary driving force.

    On at least two occasions on the PPP forum, “Queer people”, their words, have joined and left because they didn’t feel comfortable associating with straight members.

    Point being, both sides have a past, and to join the gun culture, you are going to have to put up with the people who ARE the gun culture, and at least, come to accept that while our beliefs may differ, owning guns, and self protection, is the one thing we can agree upon, and move on from there.

    For every case of anti gay speech, or agenda, I see one that opposes gun control, and keeps labeling us, the gun culture people as somehow being evil, or subhuman.

    As a Libertarian, I think we should be focusing on the things that bring us together, not the issues that drive us apart, and acceptance, of each side, and tolerance of each sides beliefs, must at least be quietly accepted as valid, by each side.

    While some on the right will find your sexual persuasions and choices as repugnant, so will some on the left, will find it repugnant that we feel its ok to own an assault weapon, machine gun or suppressor.

    The bottom line IS, no weapon is going to hurt you, and no part of your personal life, gender choice, or partner, is going to hurt anyone of us.

    Focus on the people, not the weapon, or the lifestyle, or gender……..


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