Bilerico Report

Gays Against Guns vs Pink Pistols: Two views on gun control debate

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Bil Browning

The United States ranks first among 178 countries researched in 2014 for the highest rate of firearms with 112.6 per 100 residents, with Serbia coming in a distant second at 69.7, Yemen third at 54.8, and Switzerland forth at 45.7.

Like individuals within most other socio-demographically constructed communities, LGBTQ people in the United States differ widely on issues of firearms along a continuum from imposing absolutely no restrictions on firearms ownership on one end to fully repealing the Second Amendment on the other.

Two particular groups embody at least some of the diverse attitudes of individuals within our LGBTQ communities: “Gays against Guns” and “Pink Pistols.”

Toward one end of the debate, Gays against Guns members and as a group are claiming: “Queer complacency is over.” The group is calling for a multi-pronged approach to gun safety in order to “Thwart the life-threatening convergence of homophobia and flawed gun policy.”

Included among its goals: “to ban access to high-capacity magazine guns and assault weapons, create stricter background checks for gun owners, close the loophole that allows sales of weapons at gun shows without background checks, ban gun sales via the internet, and block people on the FBI watch-list from purchasing guns.”

As other militant non-violent groups of the past, Gays against Guns conducts visible demonstrations to raise issues to the highest levels of public discourse like we did in the heydays of the Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance, Women’s Liberation, ACT UP, Queer Nation, and others.

At this year’s recent New York City Pride March on June 26, members shouted chants calling for firearms safety, as people then dropped to the ground in a “die in” to emphasize legislative inaction and silence.

Situated toward the other end of the firearms debate is Pink Pistols, a national group originally organizing in 2000, but whose membership has risen enormously since the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12 of this year killing 49 and wounding another 53.

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