Even in US politics it seems a strange match: the National Rifle Association and the Pink Pistols, an organization of queers fighting for the right to bear arms.
But an ongoing Supreme Court case over whether Washington, DC has the right to ban guns has united the two in a common desire: to allow anyone to pack as big a weapon as possible and to blow any threatening stranger away.
The website of the Pistols — mottos: “Pick on someone your own calibre” and “Armed gays don’t get bashed” — argues that guns are the most effective way to stop violence against queers.
“There are now over 45 Pink Pistols chapters nationwide, and more are starting up every day,” boasts the site. “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.”
The site also allows visitors to buy T-shirts or posters featuring guns and presumably queer models with such slogans as “Bash This!” and “Never Again.” One poster features a handgun next to several condoms and says, “Rapists are a social disease too. Protect yourself.”
On the website Gwen Patton, the Pistols’ media spokeswoman is quoted talking about a New York gaybashing.
“People attack queers because they’re convinced the queers either won’t or can’t fight back, because they feel justified somehow in doing so and because they don’t think they’re going to be stopped, caught or punished,” she says. “We change that perception at step one. We make it clear that, at least for some of the queer population, we can and will fight back.”
The website also contains the questionnaires distributed to political candidates. The 2006 version contains questions about support for the second amendment, reasons for owning a gun and about banning assault weapons. The questionnaire then asks about equal rights regardless of sexual orientation, support for gay marriage and candidates’ stances on state and federal legislation outlawing such marriages.
The website also contains a special treat for Canadians. Apparently the Pink Pistols have started their first Canadian chapter in the BC lower mainland, namely the “area comprising Metropolitan Vancouver and the bedroom communities of the Fraser Valley.”
The true north strong and free, damn it!