(MA) Group challenges notion that gays, guns don't mix


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Drizzt
January 10, 2003, 03:43 PM
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

January 9, 2003, Thursday, BC cycle

SECTION: State and Regional

LENGTH: 683 words

HEADLINE: Group challenges notion that gays, guns don't mix

BYLINE: By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press Writer

BODY:
Lisa Miner had just let her dogs out one afternoon when she noticed a stranger inside her enclosed front porch.

"I'm not afraid of you. I'm going to hurt you," the young man told her, according to Miner.

Miner, who is 38, grabbed her handgun from a nearby television, slipped a bullet into the chamber and told him to leave. "He looked at me and he looked at the gun and I shot him," Miner recalled last week.

Miner, whose intruder survived the neck wound last March and was charged with breaking and entering, doesn't know if she was targeted because she lives openly with her girlfriend in the Boston suburb of Arlington, Mass.

But like other members of a burgeoning group called the Pink Pistols, she's challenging the notion that gays and guns don't mix.

"My gun rights are more important than my gay rights," said Miner, who runs a pet-sitting service and often ventures into unknown neighborhoods.

"They're both important, but people shouldn't assume that just because I'm gay, I should buy into a certain political party, like the Democrats," she said.

Doug Krick, a bisexual Internet engineer from Massachusetts who once ran for office as a Libertarian, started the Pink Pistols in July 2000.

The club has no dues or even registration rolls, but about 35 chapters have sprung up across the country, with a few thousand members who gather to target shoot and have dinner.

Krick, an avid sportsman, envisioned the group as a social club, but it's taken on a political agenda.

Members have lobbied against gun-control laws, even attacking an openly gay Massachusetts legislator who, like the majority of gay civil rights groups, supports gun control measures. Others have been vocal in opposing hate-crime legislation, in keeping with their less-is-more philosophy of government.

"It once again speaks to the great and wonderful diversity in the gay community, but it's not something to build public policy around," said Clarence Patton, executive director of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a coalition of gay, transgender and other groups that supports gun-control efforts.

"We just generally don't believe that more people carrying more guns is going to create more safety," Patton said.

Andrew Greene would beg to differ.

About eight years ago, the Philadelphian was leaving a gay bar when four drunk thugs leapt off a stoop to follow him, hurling anti-gay epithets.

With a wave of his concealed handgun, the four scrammed, and the potential attack was averted, he said.

"There are far more people that would mug me just because I'm available, not because I'm gay. But at the same time, I see that gays are seen as an acceptable target, like blacks, because traditionally they're not armed," said Greene, who once sold firearms for a sporting goods store.

In 1999, there were 1,317 hate-crime incidents involving sexual orientation, according to the FBI.

Some lawmakers who support gun-control measures, including Democratic Assemblyman Paul Koretz of California, have called the Pink Pistols a tool of the National Rifle Association. But Krick and other members actually fault the NRA for accepting compromise gun-control legislation.

They're one of several groups that cater to an atypical crowd of gun enthusiasts, such as Geeks with Guns and Jews for the Preservation of Gun Ownership.

About a third of Pink Pistol members are heterosexual, including Brian Hepler, who leads the Northern Virginia chapter, whose 83 members make it one of the larger clubs. Hepler took over the reins when a bisexual friend stepped down.

He likes the idea that the club tweaks several stereotypes - that gun owners are mostly redneck Christian-right males, that gays are limp-wristed victims.

"The idea is to try to show both stereotypes are wrong," said Hepler, who lives in Fairfax.

"It's kind of funny," he said. "We have one or two gay members who haven't come out to their gay friends that they are gun owners yet."

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Dad-Gummit
January 10, 2003, 05:11 PM
And the decorations for their meetings are wonderful. This just goes to show that if you don't want to be a victem-then believe in the Second.

David Roberson
January 10, 2003, 05:27 PM
Good news, and in a surprisingly unbiased article.

The more different types of people we have working to protect our rights, the better the chance we have of keeping them.

Dad-Gummit
January 10, 2003, 05:51 PM
And the decorations for their meetings are wonderful. This just goes to show that if you don't want to be a victem-then believe in the Second.

Gray Peterson
January 10, 2003, 09:56 PM
We rock! ;)

Calamity Jane
January 11, 2003, 12:21 AM
Go, Pink Pistols! :cool: Y'all are fabulous allies in the fight for our precious freedoms.

islander-11
January 11, 2003, 10:51 AM
Good for them. They want what we want - to be safe and to exercise our Constitutional rights. The more Americans that feel this way, the safer our society is.

cratz2
January 11, 2003, 11:08 AM
More power to 'em!

http://charlesdaly.com/images/firearms/pistols/DDA/DDA%20CS%20Fuscia.jpg

SASS#23149
January 11, 2003, 11:51 AM
GO AND GROW!!
I have a friend who is just learning about handguns in the Pink Pistols,and has figured out that we aren't a bunch of Bambi Blastin' crazies after all.
OK,some of us are....
She and her friends are very safety conscious,and their agends is self defense oriented.Plus they have matches,and practice.
I am glad another group is up and coming to help in the fight!!
MIke

4v50 Gary
January 11, 2003, 12:29 PM
They're learning that power isn't just from the ballot box but also from the muzzle of a gun.

TallPine
January 11, 2003, 12:36 PM
It's time to come out of the gun closet.

(or gun safe, or whatever)

:)

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