“The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse. This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.”
— Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols — a group “dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community” — speaking about the Orlando Shooting. On their website, The Pink Pistols say, “Self-defense is our RIGHT… We teach queers to shoot. Then we teach others that we have done so. Armed queers don’t get bashed.”
We would like to note that Australia has not had any mass shootings since its government banned assault weapons (the same sort used in this weekend’s shooting) back in 1996. Yesterday, openly gay Deputy Director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Igor Volsky, spent most of the day asking politicians funded by the National Rifle Association if their “thoughts and prayers” for victims of the Orlando shooting would include any firearm regulation reform. Feminist and sci-fi author John Scalzi also wrote a moving column about the gutless political evasion offered by “thoughts and prayers” that is worth a scan.