It happened again recently. Rather than pull my hair out, I'll ask you:
Will you organize a "LBGT-friendly" Basic Shooting class at your home range? Will you make the effort to specifically welcome openly lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered people to the shooting community? Will you advertize such in our community newspapers, even going so far as to post "Gay Friendly" signs in your neighborhood gun stores?
I can't stand hearing another variation of "Isn't that what Pink Pistols is for? Why don't you just open another chapter?"
In our diversity, we must be united. I applaud Pink Pistols for opening dialogue on 2A relevance to the larger political environment, but this too easily segregates us!
I do not believe we can dismantle the Liberal Socialist Democrat stranglehold on the LBGT community as long as there is any revenant of "us" and "them" in the 2A movement! Providing any segmentation by demographics only facilitates the LSD's efforts...
Please. As individuals, know and celebrate our diversity. Incorporate David Codrea's "Inclusion Statement" (GunTruths.com) into your gun club's by-laws.
As "Women-friendly" Basic Shooting Classes have historically had overwhelming support and turnout, there is a reasonable chance that such focused on welcoming the LBGT community will be cause for celebration as well.
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January 2, 2003, 05:04 PM
...welcome a particular group by name. Everyone should be welcome.
Otherwise you've got a situation where you're going to the effort to specifically invite GLBT's, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, Pagans, Feminists, Anarchists, Liberals, COmmunists, Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Immigrants, Moms, Dads, and so on and so forth.
Why stress if people don't invite you by name? I never get invited specifically -- I'm just a person.
January 2, 2003, 05:07 PM
To answer your question: "No"
But you are always welcome as far as I am concerned (I know it's not your area). I don't care what your other interests are, as long as it doesn't involve tromping on anybody else.
By the way, you won't see me at church either - not anymore. Been burned too many times.
Good to have you around, Trisha.
January 2, 2003, 05:11 PM
Will you organize a "LBGT-friendly" Basic Shooting class at your home range? Will you make the effort to specifically welcome openly lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered people to the shooting community? Will you advertize such in our community newspapers, even going so far as to post "Gay Friendly" signs in your neighborhood gun stores? No. Live your life however you want and I will do the same. Don’t shove your views on me, and I will do my best not to shove mine off on you thereby allowing us, with perhaps wildly divergent views, to function pleasantly together. Of course I also don’t, and won’t, organize “heterosexual-friendly” basic shooting classes. Nor do I make the effort to specifically welcome openly heterosexual men or women to the shooting community. I also don’t post “heterosexual-friendly” signs in any businesses.
Of course if you’re ever at my range please say howdy. I’m sure an enjoyable shooting occasion can be had by all without wearing ones politics/sexual views/race/religion/etc on ones sleeve.
January 2, 2003, 05:21 PM
Trisha I personally do not ask about the sexual orientation of a shooter shooting next to me..I just dont care....
I for one can ssure you that every gun shop I know of here in Alaska is "gay friendly"...which means tro me that a gay persons money is as good as anyone elses...
January 2, 2003, 05:29 PM
Concur. It's not the sexual orientation. It's about safe and responsible firearms ownership. In the struggle for our Second Amendment right and our personal freedoms, we cannot afford to fragment ourselves.
January 2, 2003, 05:43 PM
Ultimately, the problem of course is that almost all gun owners ARE right-wing types who don't like the idea of God-hating homosexuals being around them and giving them cooties. Or to be more fair, they don't like the whole concept of creating special interest groups based on who you like to poke in the dark, and think everyone should mind their own business. Somewhere between the first two sentences are probalby 90% (and yes, I made that number up) of shooters in America. Thus, your suggestion will never happen.
January 2, 2003, 05:49 PM
For your honesty, I have to thank you!
Derek, in theory, it's true that everyone is welcome. In the physical environment of the 2A community though (gun club, gun show, gun store), congruent demographics aren't present. Rather than delve into too much of the whys , I would rather recognize that, and try to make constructive inroads.
I see the LSD's as being determined to specifically connect with identifiable demographics - and in doing so, they gain recognition. As the 2A environment has voiced (directly or indirectly) homophobia and racism historically, then even if now such aren't predominant, where is the active unification?
TallPine; I know as a sociopolitical tag, we who are comfortable with the simple reality of being self-determinsitic are typically a pretty "alpha" group, it's easy to relate to a passive "I'm OK, you're OK" mindset. I would ask you to consider whether that's adequate now , in the current political environment of the Republic.
ahenry; I hope you wouldn't mind seeimg someone like me at the range someday, as I do wear a Rainbow Triangle sewn on my left sleeve, just below Old Glory. There's also an GOA Life Member pin on my lapel.
That's two on the sleeve, and one obvious, I'm afraid - and I'd still enjoy sharing the range with you...
Wildalaska; I do know about home (Kenai). Thank you for the reminder...
One, and all:
I speak not of some act of entitlement, but of bridge-building. I believe in some idyllic society, our truths would of themselves harken an unmistakeable welcome to any who woke up and smelled the coffee - but the horrific bias of all major media slants reality into sound-bytes, and My. Dewey's nightmarish legacy of the public school system rewrites history every day for millions.
When and as the media berates us for our innate cognition of our inherent rights for decades it is understandable that something fo a bunker mentality developes. I would forward, as the antithesis, that we risk growing as individuals, to make new effort and time to build new friendships and political alliances.
For we are in a war for the very soul of our Republic - and intrisic, dogged emotional isolationism may not be a course for our hearts that our inheritors can afford.
January 2, 2003, 06:03 PM
ahenry; I hope you wouldn't mind seeimg someone like me at the range someday, as I do wear a Rainbow Triangle sewn on my left sleeve, just below Old Glory. There's also an GOA Life Member pin on my lapel. That's two on the sleeve, and one obvious, I'm afraid - and I'd still enjoy sharing the range with you... Of course not. Shoot, the best neighbors I ever had were lesbians. They were nice, polite, enjoyable to visit with, etc, much better company than any of the other people in that apartment complex. I don’t agree with it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t associate and get along just fine. However, if I might, I believe you would get much farther if you made less effort to shove a particular view in the face of somebody else (I say you in a generic sense). I have extremely solid and strong conservative views, yet I function just fine with those that have differing views. We manage this by my not telling them all about my views all the time and they do me the same courtesy. There is a time and a place for airing different views on a subject and everyday life isn’t it. Just a thought.
January 2, 2003, 06:04 PM
4v50 Gary; would you support a comprehensive, broad-based initiative; a new front to be opened to connect with specific demographics to the end of point-for-point counters to the LSD's efforts? In itself, that would almost be revolutionary for the shooting community, yes?
Sean; actually, I feel a bit overpowered when I go to a gun show wearing a Gay Pride pin, and my Wiccan pendant for that reason and more - and I do so to reach for open inclusion .
The stereotypical parody of "Them god-hating, queer, foreign-types will be the death of the USA!"
Ah, I've felt like I've seen that look a thousand-fold; and when I make the effort to befriend such as the opportunity arises, we frequently become fast friends - and the stereotype is dismantled, one person at a time yet again.
My devotions frequently include a prayer that somehow, it may occur faster than one-person-at-a-time.
January 2, 2003, 06:12 PM
The stereotypical parody of "Them god-hating, queer, foreign-types will be the death of the USA!" Are you sure that is the sentiment or might it be more of, “man, enough already!”
Just playing devils advocate for the sake of this discussion.
January 2, 2003, 06:30 PM
Welcome to the forum.
It is a shame that people mistreat anyone that just wants to get along, work hard, and get a piece of the American pie. It is not the spirit of tolerance that I have always believed this country was based on. Also being Catholic our doctrine dicates tolerance, love, and kindness toward homosexuals.
I have practiced this since a good friend of mine's mother came "out of the closet" several years ago and lived with a woman. They treated me like one of their own children and I returned the kindness whenever possible. Also, I have had two Jewish friends who were picked on down here in Texas quite a bit yet their families treated me in a similarly kind fashion.
I am staunchly conservative and progun. This seems odd to many, but I think of it as the proper way to behave.
With all of that said, I would not support the special interest group you suggest for the simple reason that I do not support the "special interest" group approach on any level.
That said, why don't you organize your own shooting group for the people you mentioned above?
Although I don't support the women's only classes for training reasons I would be remiss if I didn't recognize that they have increased the number of women in the shooting sports today. Just because most of us don't support your idea doesn't mean you shouldn't try it. Striking out on your own with an unconventional idea is the kind of spirit that brought us aircraft, telephones, etc.
Be a pioneer and give it a shot. You might be surprised what a local range might be willing to do to increase business. If you keep getting road blocks, compromise and offer to simply bring a group of your friends to the range without a banner announcing what the group is all about.
Good luck with the idea.
January 2, 2003, 06:43 PM
Anthony; my latest efforts to do just that saw me the recipient of the comments I included at the beginning of this thread - so I thought I'd bring up the subject with friends here.
No obfuscations here, dear. I'm actually about the quietest middle-aged woman you'd likely meet - and thanks for playing devil's advocate: clarity is a good thing, second only to a warm sense of humor even in the most dire of straits!
January 2, 2003, 07:01 PM
I missed that part. Working and posting at the same time causes that sometimes. :)
I'm not sure you've tried this , but try going to the nearest city (e.g., Denver) and pushing your idea IN PERSON. If you show up in person instead of a random phone call, present a professional image, and show a willingness to compromise a bit you just might succeed.
You also might find more open minded folks in the city. That seems to be the way it goes around here at least.
January 2, 2003, 07:03 PM
Before anyone goes off on Trisha about "special interests" and so on....
Gun owners NEED all the allies they can get. By far the biggest impression of gun owners is White Male, age 45, pickup truck, shotgun in the back of a pickup truck. What is the biggest antithesis to this? 21 year old gay male, takes public transit and doesn't have any long guns. (This would be me)
It's all about perception. If the Democrats want to create ethnic and minority specialized groups for *their* causes, then we shoudl do the same. The entire premise behind not supporting such grounds on our end is the belief that no one should be different from others, and that encouraging "divisiveness" would hurt our cause.
Bull. You see the anti-gun groups falling apart along those lines? Of course not. They're united. If it's a matter of honor on our end, then we should eschew it, because the other side won't stop attacking our freedoms because we follow the "honorable" path.
January 2, 2003, 07:17 PM
Anthony; feel free to pm me with your thoughts, thanks.
Back on topic:
We see the incremental destruction of gun rights continuing - that is, in the overall perspective, unarguable, I think.
I voice a sentiment openly from countless conversations with gay friends (thanks to the internet) who remain in the closet at the range in the presence of, too frequently, crudeness unanswered.
Why do some stay closeted? Go to GLBT web sites and search for "Remembering Our Dead."
I opened this as a calll for assistance both because of my frustration, as well as the fact that I am physically disabled. Significant travel is impossible, as is public speaking. I work to the extent of my abilities where none have to focus beyond my halt speech, my awkward gait, my intermittent concentration - where the message can be the focus, not the messanger. I speak through a keyboard, living in physical isolation and quiet mandated by the inflexible limitations of my now decades-old brain injury.
I ask for your help, your willingness to grow and participate beyond the familiar boundaries of your lives - to heal old wounds and build new awareness, new and open trust.
January 2, 2003, 07:28 PM
Lonnie, nobody's "going off" on anybody.
We all just said we can get along with differing personal lifestyles, but we aren't going out of our way to specially invite anyone because they are XXXXX. If we specifically invite XXXXX, does that then mean YYYYY isn't welcome? It could look that way to someone reading an ad.
An armed society is a polite society - I don't think when you show up at the range with your gun, that some one is going to harass you. It might not be healthy for them. ;)
Do you see or hear any bashing or divisiveness on this forum? (other than between the "nines" and the "45's" - now that IS an irreconciliable difference!)
Oh, by the way - the guy you saw in the pickup was me. :D
January 2, 2003, 07:29 PM
Trisha - you may be a good "poster girl" (pardon the term) for an "I'm the NRA" ad. Lonnie mentioned that the media protrays gunowners as white, truck driving males. In fact, there are a lot of them. But there are also a lot of white car driving males and a lot of females of all colors and minorites too driving trucks, cars, or motorcycles. "We the people" meant "us", not the media protrayal of us.
January 2, 2003, 07:45 PM
Oh, by the way - the guy you saw in the pickup was me.
Right on! :D
January 2, 2003, 09:30 PM
If it's a matter of honor on our end, then we should eschew it, because the other side won't stop attacking our freedoms because we follow the "honorable" path. Life without honor is a poor life indeed.
January 2, 2003, 09:49 PM
Life without honor is a poor life indeed.
A life without freedom is even worse. Trying to do things honorably is great, but there are enemies with whom trying to do something that is honorable only results in even greater horror.
Warsaw Ghetto, anyone?
January 2, 2003, 11:19 PM
A life without freedom is even worse. I disagree. Anyone more powerful than you can take away your freedom, but nobody can take away your honor. You can only abandon it.
Trying to do things honorably is great, but there are enemies with whom trying to do something that is honorable only results in even greater horror. In the words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try”. You either live with honor or you don’t. The choice is with each person. Myself, I choose to live honorably and let the consequences be what they may. Moreover I would like you to point out where a person acted with honor and was wrong to have done so.
Warsaw Ghetto, anyone?
January 3, 2003, 01:20 AM
You and your friends are welcome at my gunclub! All I care about is if you are a "fun bunch" with a sense of humor, and can shoot safely. "What goes on behind closed doors" isn't anybody's business.
BTW, I am a Jewish, hetero, Caucasion, White-Ford truck-driving lover of rock, country/western music, shooting, good Deli, good BBQ and good companions!
January 3, 2003, 03:19 AM
I agree with you that the RKBA movement needs a broader appeal. You are focused on GLBT people; I worry about appealing to women. Some other folks on here worry mostly about young people coming up, or about young hunters, or about teaching new CCW holders to shoot, or about lobbying the politicians.
My perspective? The RKBA needs all of us.
For a long time, I tried to chide others into worrying about 'my' issue. Don't you guys all care about getting women into the shooting sports?
Answer was, they don't. They don't care about it, because it's not "their" issue. If it were their issue, they would already be doing something about it ... or would jump up, with eagerness, when the opportunity to do (not just talk) is presented.
As for, "Isn't that the focus of the Pink Pistols?"-type comments. I think about this from two angles. First, I think, yeah, that's what the Pink Pistols do. That's their focus. If I were concerned mostly about the GLBT community getting involved in shooting, I'd join PP, in addition to whatever else I did. And I'd make sure to urge others to join them too.
The other thing I would think about that is that it wouldn't be too hard, when faced with such comments, to acknowledge that that's what the PP does, but that they aren't the only ones allowed to do it. Simple response would be, "Yeah, the PP does that, and we're trying to do something similar at a local level..."
As for comments above, re women's only classes being something Not Good, I've got to say I used to think so too. But after attending a couple and assisting with more, I've discovered that many women need just that little bit of extra encouragement of a comfortable environment before they will get to the range and learn. If you are facing a similar reluctance from your GLBT friends, by all means, get a GLBT-friendly class or club going. Eventually, the range will become a comfortable environment and they will be ready to move out on their own.
Hope that helps and isn't too rambly.
January 3, 2003, 03:26 AM
If they need an adjective to narrow down their personhood, no, because that would mean they're insisting I sign on to their narrowness.
People are people, and they're all equally important to the people maker.
January 3, 2003, 04:00 AM
The short answer is no. Here's the long answer:
I wouldn't because I'm not about to list the people that would be welcome. I don't think you should list people by their labels, whether unwelcome ones or self-constructed ones. I'll shoot with anyone who a) won't shoot me, b) likes to shoot, c) has an interesting point of view, and d) isn't a pain in the rear. You say that the LSD's are doing it and it's working for them. Maybe so, but I am NOT an LSD, and I don't intend to start behaving like one. Unlike Machiavelli, I don't think that the ends justify the means. I get the impression that you are saying that these folks are reluctant to get involved because they are unsure of their welcome. Well, yeah. That's called LIFE. To say that they require special attention because of their label, according to the way I look at things, is to offer them grave insult. Besides, to take The High Road ;) of the struggle to defend and preserve rights and independence requires positive action. The LSD's can troll and beg for supporters, because nothing is required of them in the way of reason or strength. For those who would join the struggle, this is not the case. To them I say, "Come on if you're coming, and welcome." However, I'm not going to plead with anyone to join the fight. It's their decision, as in all things.
January 3, 2003, 08:49 AM
I'm with Derek, you start calling out somebody's name or category you are bound to offend the ones you didn't recognize. Best to just say "Come one, come all."
January 3, 2003, 11:50 AM
I'm completely overwhelmed with everyone's honesty - it's priceless!
Guys, my only view is that what seems to be a predominant attitude of "come one, come all" feels a little like passive superiority, where nothing is ventured or risked - and hence, nothing gained.
I understand how both our political perspective as well as out enduring our strugle against the slippery slope would foster such a mindset.
Thank you with all my heart!
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