Pink Pistols Membership Increases Among LGBT Community in Wake of Orlando Shooting
Significant jump in LGBT membership following national tragedy
In the aftermath of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the LGBT community is reacting. Pink Pistols, a national gun club that declares itself to be “dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community,” is seeing a staggering increase in membership.
The organization consists of 45 branches in 21 states. The Washington Post reports that membership more than doubled within days of the shooting. It went from 1,500 members to 3,500 in two days.
Pink Pistols began in 2000. Dozens of new chapters are in the works.
As Pink Pistols posts on its site, members can join for free and must “believe in the basic core principles of the Pink Pistols, that all people have the right to defend themselves from harm, and that everyone has the individual right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment.”
Many in the LGBT community don’t want to be sitting ducks when it comes violence. A trans-woman wrote an article on Bearing Arms that spelled out the escalating attacks against homosexuals and transgender people.
“If you’re gay or transgender, you can’t sit and hope that laws will protect you. They won’t,” Nicki Stallard writes. “And you can’t rely on the police. Orlando is proof you could bleed out in the time it takes for them to arrive.”
Stallard goes on to reveal that she once had reservations about concealed carry permit holders, having a “perception based on an emotional reaction, and not fact.” She continues that “CCW holders have proven themselves to be among the most lawful in America. Studies have found them to be more law-abiding than the general public, and even more law-abiding than police officers. I encourage everyone to consider this fact. Gun owners are just like you and I – except they have guns.”
The Orlando shooting left 50 people dead, including the gunman, and injured dozens of others. In light of the tragedy, support for firearm ownership has increased among the LGBT community in an effort to better protect themselves from being the next victim of an unprovoked attack.