There are all kinds of gun clubs across America. Some were created to further the sport of shooting, some with emphasis on home and life preservation. But one was created specifically to enable the LGBT community to protect themselves from being the targets of violence.
Members of the sexual minority community have long been objects of hatred and violence, and have been in need of defense. Pink Pistols, a group promoting Second Amendment rights, is dedicated to the legal, safe and responsible use of firearms and self-defense. Their motto is, Pink Pistols; Pick on Someone Your Own Caliber.
Pink Pistols, some 45 chapters strong in the US, convenes at least once a month at local firing ranges to practice shooting and introduce people new to firearms with gun culture. They help with gun selection, permit acquisition and proper training for safe and legal use for self-defense. The theory is that the more people know that members of the gay community may be armed, the less likely they will be singled out for attack.
The first chapter was founded in Boston in the spring of 2000, with the goal of promoting affinity at the shooting range. Gwendolyn S. Patton, First Speaker, Pink Pistols International, tells American Concealed, “We wanted to provide a feeling of kinship at the range. We thought if we went as a group, individuals would not be intimidated and then wouldn’t hesitate to ask questions or get involved. At first people may have some trepidation about going to the range, so we provide emotional support.”
Patton also explains that the group seeks to break down stereotypes about the LGBT community and gun culture. “There are stereotypes that gun owners are all right-wing and that the gay community is completely left-wing and wants nothing to do with guns—it’s not this big monolith. Some of the LGBT community thinks that people at the gun range are all a bunch of rednecks who won’t accept us. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We have had 100% universal acceptance from the gun community and at the ranges. If anything, we’ve had more pushback from the gay community.
“We want to pare down those conventions and find common ground and connections,” continues Patton.
You don’t have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual to join Pink Pistols. They are for the sexual minority community, but not exclusively of it. Their website states, “You don’t have to be gay to join us, any more than you have to be black to support civil rights.”