In the aftermath of the Orlando terrorist attack, there has been — predictably — renewed mainstream attention on the completely nonexistent “gun problem” in America. Fortunately, the narrative doesn’t stick so well when the perpetrator was a known radical Islamist on record as giving his acquaintances hell (or whatever it’s called in Muslim doctrine) over their pulled pork platters touching his burger at a barbecue. It’s even less compelling when the guy was allegedly on one (or more) of the federal government’s completely unlawful “watch lists,” demonstrating once
and for all again the abject folly of these affronts to due process. The death knell for #GunSense* in this attack, however, is the fact that it was targeted at a group already marginalized for centuries — one that has made tremendous (if mostly superficial) gains in the last several decades.
And for all that time, Democrats have taken the LGBT vote for granted, making assumption after assumption that “alternative” denotes “liberal,” that one’s sexual orientation or gender identity should and would net the party a “D” in every column come every election day. Unfortunately, due most recently to court rulings on gay marriage and the whole bizarre bathroom distraction, it seems to be working. But under the surface, these initiatives are unimaginably insulting: The LGBT community is being exploited like a circus sideshow of freaks by the government it believes serves their best interests. Gay marriage a big win? No, folks, this is mere capitulation to government’s assertion that it is the sole licensor of love between individuals, that it has any conceivable say in who and how you love yourself and others. And as much of a sham** as all marriage licenses are***, the bathroom brouhaha is even more of a joke. The state thinks that where you piss in public matters more to you than the basic civil rights it regularly withholds from you and everyone else. The bathroom stink is a literal shit show, as if baking brownies (or baking cakes) is what the silly, childish LGBT community is really all about.
Because, LGBTers, that’s what #GunSense — and the politicians who promote it — think you are: children. In Orlando, there are no kids’ graves to dance on, so you’re filling in. Just like it’s unthinkable to arm youngsters in the face of violence, so too is it unthinkable to arm LGBTs. After all, you cannot be trusted to make mature, responsible, traditionally “moral” decisions, can you? Just like kids, you need a parent or guardian to take care of you, to salve your skinned knee and hurt feelings, to tell you you’re great. You aren’t a real adult. You aren’t a real individual. You are a ward. You are property.
It is dehumanizing, it is marginalizing, and it is — in so many awful ways — the epitome of pandering.
Which gets me to my main point:
Pandering is an important concept post-Orlando, and the LGBT community would do well to pay close attention to where it’s coming from and how it’s framed.
The government, naturally, will continue to use the Orlando victims’ lifestyle associations to foment a false “minority issue,” making the push to further limit firearms rights based on the terroristic threats that “gun nuts” present to the so-called “othered” others. It is in the controlling agency’s interest to tell you that you are a target and must kowtow to authority in order to maintain your ever-more-tenuous, hard-fought freedoms. This is textbook pandering, and it is textbook unacceptable. Even to straight guys like me.
But it is “straight guys like me” who represent the other side of the pandering problem. And that needs to be addressed.
See, to those in the LGBT community, it may feel that, all of a sudden, the erstwhile anti-gay good old boys aren’t so bad. It may feel as if a bunch of formerly homophobic hillbillies are coming out of the woodwork from every end of the Internet to tell you to arm up and fight back, that they’ve got your back 100 percent when all they ever did before was look at your butt and laugh theirs off. It may feel like an uncomfortable case of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” It may feel less than genuine. It may feel like pandering.
At least, it mostly isn’t. The majority of pro-gunners I personally (or passingly) know do not now and have never given a single moment’s thought or concern to the non-aggressing lifestyle choices of others. Yes, there are some Second Amendment activists out there who only “support” LGBT rights as a simple means to the otherwise noble end of expanding pro-gun influence. That sort of manipulation cannot be avoided, but it also cannot be allowed to push the many new (and understandably tentative) pro-gun fence-sitters back over to the Straight Ticket For #GunSense side. Defense rights are too important an issue — too natural a necessity — to scare anyone off through such misgivings.
The reality is this: The “intolerant Right” really isn’t as intolerant as the Left and its media outlets have been telling you. Of course, as in all collectives, pockets of ugliness do exist. And those who claim to support Liberty while simultaneously denying the humanity of the LGBT (or any other) community are struggling with a cognitive dissonance not unlike that faced by targeted minorities who trust the very masters who openly seek to disarm them.
Of course, if you are at all unsettled by the potential pandering coming from the the Second Amendment side, it is important to realize that even if you’re just receiving lip service in the advancement of gun rights for all, the operative concept is “for all.” At the very least, you are getting valuable information that can help you develop the necessary attitude to see to your own safety and the active defense of those you hold most dear.
There is also this happy fact to consider: Many pro-gun, anti-LGBT bigots have also had their eyes opened and minds broadened by the events in Orlando. What once seemed like a sociopolitical impasse has been climbed over and conquered. For many “traditional conservatives,” it no longer matters who you love or what you do behind closed doors, because they’ve been awakened — like so many in the LGBT community — to the fact that the freedom to be is more important than the freedom to be gay or straight or otherwise. The latter freedoms are redundant, shielded under the umbrella of defense of the former. It should never take a tragedy to make intelligent people see the fragile nature of their freedom, nor should it take death and destruction to make folks put aside unimportant differences in deference to the only thing that truly matters. But the tragedy’s happened, and tragedies always will. We of all colors and creeds and genders and beliefs that comprise Gun Culture 2.0 merely hope everyone can learn from it.
You dont need permission (especially not mine!) to be who you are. Love wins. You just might need to defend it one day.
So go to the range, rent some guns, and become familiar with the tool that defines Liberty’s state of the art. If you dont have a rental facility in your area or can’t currently afford the expense (firearms training isn’t exactly the cheapest best thing ever), check out Operation Blazing Sword. There, you can get in touch with many good people around the country who are stepping up to offer free (or nearly free) shooting lessons for LGBT folks new to the scene.****
If you happen to be in the Florida panhandle, I hope to see you and yours at the range.
Remember, the best relationships are the ones that survive.
*Linguistically speaking, #GunSense is a blending of the term “gun control” and the word “nonsense.” Logically speaking, it’s a redundant, pathetic portmanteau, more French in spirit than even the word that describes it.
**You do get tax breaks on taxes that shouldn’t exist in the first place, so I guess that’s something.
***An interesting parallel between marriage licenses and gun control is that both concepts were constructed around governmental limitation of black integration. Freedmen were not allowed arms to fend off the rampant abuses they faced once unshackled, just as intermarriage between blacks and whites was to be stymied via the issuance of relationship permission slips. The gun license, like the marriage license, has its deepest roots in blatant legislated bigotry.
****Note to volunteer instructors: Dont screw up. The rest of us expect you to do a good job, to be patient, and to be familiar with the requisite dos and donts. So dont offer your range, time, money, or advice if you’re not going to follow the Four Rules and make the experience a welcoming one for all involved.