pink pistols
June 12, 2001 9:48 AM   Subscribe

pink pistols
"Thirty-one states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "
posted by riley370 (35 comments total)
This strikes me as a singularly bad idea. Putting more handguns on the street, particularly in the hands of people who just bought them yesterday - and who might be prompted by fear or unwarranted self-confidence to actually use it - is irresponsible. I'd go for just about way you can think of to reduce gay bashing violence; the shooting of the perpetrators by their intended victims isn't one of them.
posted by m.polo at 10:05 AM on June 12, 2001

Did you read the bit about learning to use them safely, m.polo? No one is advocating that masses of untrained people start carrying weapons. They are advocating that a group of people who are regularly targeted for harassment and, occasionally, physical violence consider responsibly arming themselves in response. If I felt like I had a target on my back just because I chose to live my life openly, finding a means of self-protection wouldn't be such an outrageous idea.
posted by Dreama at 10:13 AM on June 12, 2001

OK, I'm surprised the first two posts didn't contain the obligatory "liscence to pack" joke...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:17 AM on June 12, 2001

but there are no guarantees that those who choose to carry firearms will take the initiative and educate themselves on their safe use.

besides, responding to a violent situation with more violence is by no stretch of the imagination an effective means of resolution. there are many factors involved here, and the addition of guns only complicates the matter further.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:21 AM on June 12, 2001

I think Salon Magazine knows better M.Polo, if that's your real name. hummm?

I don't see anything wrong with it being used safely. Hmm.. I wonder what would kids resort to for tauntings if gays suddenly got this 'tough' image - "Don' mess with maah hommies or I'll bust a cap in yo sorry ass DAWG!".

Ha! Wait, isn't that what Fox News says gays are? I could have swore there was a special on gay gangs like a month ago. They run around in packs with guns and have gang wars over boyfriends. Remember thats 'gang', just note the not so subtle erotic overtones.

Atleast they don't run people over.
posted by tiaka at 10:23 AM on June 12, 2001

I'm with m.polo on this one. Carry mace or a stun gun or something if you feel threatened, but for the sake of everyone, don't bring a gun into the situation.
posted by howa2396 at 10:28 AM on June 12, 2001

Using the logic that a group that feels threatened ought to start carrying concealed weapons, why just stop with the homosexuals? Give every woman in America a gun, give every geek kid a gun, give every black teenage male a gun, fukkit, just let everybody carry a concealed weapon and let the bullets fly!

Teaching someone gun safety doesn't mean they'll never draw their weapon irresponsibly, it just means they'll know it's wrong while they're doing it.
posted by briank at 10:38 AM on June 12, 2001

maybe the next time some neanderthal wants to go out and 'smeer the queer', he might think twice before he does it.

"but there are no guarantees that those who choose to carry firearms will take the initiative and educate themselves on their safe use."

i think the same thing when i wait in line at the local dmv.
posted by jcterminal at 10:49 AM on June 12, 2001

Such anger briank...

The simple point of this is that these people are taking advantage of the american right to bear arms and defend one's self. There is nothing wrong with that.

Remember ... Guns don't kill people... people kill people.
posted by racer271 at 10:56 AM on June 12, 2001

Not more anti-gun paranoia... I'm still worn out from the last time.
posted by jammer at 11:06 AM on June 12, 2001

Good for those guys. If I thought I was a target for gangs of idiots, I'd certainly have a gun. My mom, who commutes 140 miles through rural East Texas to work everyday, has carried a 9mm for years. She started packing when a car full of punks tried to run her off the road.

There's no crime in self-protection.
posted by CRS at 11:11 AM on June 12, 2001

I'm not angry, racer, just dismayed that people think carrying guns solves anything.
posted by briank at 11:23 AM on June 12, 2001

Just because it isn't a crime, CRS, doesn't make it right. And while that may well be a good solution for East Texas, I'd hardly say that was a recommendation for a good solution along Castro Street, or in Lakeview, or West Hollywood, or the West Village...

I am opposed to the use of handguns as a purported deterent for crime - there's no research that I'm aware of that supports that premise - and even in this case, when I am personally acquainted with men who have had the living bejesus beat out of them with baseball bats and a tire iron, I still say it's not the right solution to introduce even more firearms onto the streets.

(And for the record, save your "God given right to carry guns" cracks - Yes, I have read the 2nd Amendment and enough of the legal debate to have an informed opinion about its intent. Just so we're clear, I'm also for amending the Constitution in such a way as to eliminate the debate over its wording by ensuring that its original meaning is clear to everybody, not just people who really bother to research it. "People" may "kill people," but they do it faster and a lot more often when they have a gun...)
posted by m.polo at 11:28 AM on June 12, 2001

It doesn't? People carry guns anyway, the thugs, what harm will some self protection do? The same can be applied to drugs - people take drugs and get high, what harm will legalization do? People will be free to try harmless pot and not be able to buy harder drugs that are being pushed by illegal thugs today. Besides these things are like airbags, they save more than they kill, or is it seatbelts? Humm.
posted by tiaka at 11:33 AM on June 12, 2001

Too bad is already taken, isn't it? It would fit too well.

Unfortunately, here in California, they'll likely be unable to get a permit. It requires a valid reason, far beyond simply being a member of a harrassed group, and even then a great deal of police chiefs and sheriffs refuse to issue permits. Mcsweetie, you'll be happy to know that CA also requires a sixteen-hour training course before issuing the permit, as do a good many other states.

BTW, it's a good thing that criminals don't have to go through this rigorous process in order to arm themselves, or there would be a lot less of them.

m.polo, I'm glad that you'd be willing to have more of your friends have the living bejesus beat out of them rather than having one of them take an ignorant, intolerant bastard out of the gene pool. I'm glad I have a permit, and that I'd gladly do so if someone were assaulting me simply because I have red hair, I support abortion, or some other trivial reason.
posted by OneBallJay at 11:40 AM on June 12, 2001

jammers: from Not saying that it might not be true, but could we have at least two other sources, and ones of varying agendas?
posted by raysmj at 2:00 PM on June 12, 2001

The study quoted there was done by the University of Chicago. Footnote four cites as follows:

4 One of the authors of the University of Chicago study reported on the study's findings in John R. Lott, Jr., "More Guns, Less Violent Crime," The Wall Street Journal (28 August 1996). See also John R. Lott, Jr. and David B. Mustard, "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," University of Chicago (15 August 1996); and Lott, More Guns, Less Crime (1998, 2000).

There is an analysis of the findings of the study, an argument against it, and a rebuttal here. [Long page; search for "Lott-Mustard".] The study itself is available at

It's up to you to provide results from a different viewpoint if you wish to disagree, isn't it? :)
posted by jammer at 2:18 PM on June 12, 2001

The only thing that frightens me as much as queers with guns is straight people with guns. Missouri defeated conceal carry laws a year or so back; if they had passed, I'd be looking for new digs.

If I see somebody with a lump in his trousers, I want it to be because he's glad to see me.
posted by bradlands at 3:05 PM on June 12, 2001

The thing that should be frightening is criminals with guns, not law-abiding citizens who wish to protect themselves.
posted by Dreama at 3:19 PM on June 12, 2001 [1 favorite]

I actually have no quarrel with the right to bear arms except guns. I would fully support a revision and adoption of a Second Amendment with that proviso.

Go ahead, stock up on anything you want except pistols, rifles or Uzis. It's hard for me to picture getting mugged in the park by a bandit brandishing a thermonuclear weapon. It's much, much harder to carry a concealed crossbow.
posted by bradlands at 3:53 PM on June 12, 2001

jammer: Oh, I'm semi-neutral here. I don't keep a gun. I do think I'd probably shoot someone accidentally. And I'm not Mr. Coordination in the first place. I do, however, keep mace around after having one severe a-hole neighbor who wasn't there when I moved in (and was soon kicked out and tailed by cops, apparently). I've lived in some quasi-dangerous places before, though, and tried to be safe in other ways, such as, Live in an obvious place, preferably with security around. I've lived in a place within a block of a post office/school admin. building/visitor's bureau HQ/private investigator, etc., and a hospital, as well as across from a hardcore Bible school (my next door neighbor worked there, thought of himself as super-liberal, it was screamingly funny). I think all this out, in a sort of intuitive fashion. As in, "Hell, this looks safe." I could go on, but then you'd be forced to shoot yourself in the head out of boredom curiously mixed with anxiety.

One thing that worries me about untrained gun ownership, though, bigtime: Go to any city or town over 30,000 or so, and look through police records for reports about home and car burlgaries. You'll be sure to find plenty of reports of people having guns stolen, oftentimes with their doors unlocked. This is, frankly, criminally stupid and should consequently be subject to a fine or time in a county jail.
posted by raysmj at 4:00 PM on June 12, 2001

I'll donate the first 10,000 rounds
posted by clavdivs at 4:18 PM on June 12, 2001

So, bradlands, you're fine with people defending themselves, then, as long as they use an inefficient method of doing it? Is that what you're saying?

Or is it that you're afraid that the bad guys will have guns? And, if so, that you're certain that the people with criminal intent will obey the anti-gun laws because they are law-abiding citizens?

Which one is it? Or is there something I'm missing?
posted by jammer at 4:32 PM on June 12, 2001

brandlands. Sorry, but that's the best typo I've seen in years.
posted by bjennings at 4:56 PM on June 12, 2001

Which one is it? Or is there something I'm missing?

A sense of humor?
posted by rodii at 5:21 PM on June 12, 2001

That doesn't answer my question. ;)
posted by jammer at 5:33 PM on June 12, 2001

I'm pretty sure that if I went on a date with a guy packing heat (and I wouldn't; does this mean I have to add handgun ownership to the checklist that I go down before going out with a guy? sheesh) that the chances of him accidentally shooting me would be a lot greater than the chances of him using his firearm to keep someone from bashing us.

This is a silly, silly debate. The pink pistols angle adds nothing to the many other gun control debates I've seen around here. The bashing angle is a red herring. There are far more effective ways to reduce bashing than by encouraging gays to carry weapons. Even crossbows.

Besides, don't most bashings take place near gay bars (because it's so much easier to find us there)? So basically you're encouraging men to carry firearms while they're drinking. And in an environment where they're likely to face a certain amount of rejection. Sounds like a recipe for having guys shoot their guns to make up for other inadequacies.
posted by anapestic at 6:39 PM on June 12, 2001

So, bradlands, you're fine with people defending themselves, then, as long as they use an inefficient method of doing it? Is that what you're saying?

No, I'm saying I believe that having fewer guns in anyone's hands is preferable to having more. Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

Or is it that you're afraid that the bad guys will have guns? And, if so, that you're certain that the people with criminal intent will obey the anti-gun laws because they are law-abiding citizens?

q.v. above. I don't expect that the "bad guys" to automatically hew to the gun laws; it certainly doesn't happen with the already somewhat stringent-though-poorly-implemented/enforced regulations we have today.

I suppose what I was advocating for was essentially outlawing the manufacture and sale of guns to the hoi polloi, period. Put the gun shops out of business. Beat Colt's pistols into ploughshares. Fold up the gun show tents. Make it harder/impossible for anyone to get a gun. Ain't gonna happen but, then, neither is a "well-regulated militia" -- queer or not -- under the current system.

Which one is it? Or is there something I'm missing?

Strange game, Prof. Falcon. The only winning move is not to play.
posted by bradlands at 7:43 PM on June 12, 2001

The only winning move is not to play.

So, Grasshopper, you have solved Ancient Riddle...
posted by m.polo at 8:06 PM on June 12, 2001

So, Grasshopper, you have solved Ancient Riddle...

Well, the secret of MeFi, anyway.
posted by bradlands at 8:20 PM on June 12, 2001

anapestic, if the chances of you being shot by an otherwise attractive MOTAS are that high, it's because he's an irresponsible gun owner, not because he's simply a gun owner. The vast majority of accidental discharges are because of people failing to follow the four basic rules of gun safety; if you follow them, your odds of harming yourself or someone else with an AD practically disappear.

[You do know what the four laws are, right? If not, you have no business demeaning the safety of responsible gun owners. For the record:

  1. Always treat every gun as though it were loaded
  2. Never point the muzzle at anything you do not want to destroy
  3. Be certain of your target and what is around it
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot

Follow those rules, and its remarkable how much longer you and those around you live.]

bradlands, you can fantasize about removing all guns from society all you want, that doesn't mean your utopia is even close to feasable. They will always be there; the only way to stop guns from ever being made is to purge all knowledge going back to that of black powder from all of human memory, and that ain't going to happen.

When it does, I'll agree with you. Take them all away. But until that point, let me keep my guns so that I may defend myself from the bad guy who has them too, please.
posted by jammer at 9:14 PM on June 12, 2001

Jammer: Shouldn't there be a way to enforce those rules, given that the militia should be well-regulated and all. I'm absolutely not joking here. I wasn't joking about the people leaving their guns behind unlocked doors of cars and houses either -- happens all the time, every day. There are responsible gun owners out there. There are also lots of irresponsible ones.

It would be impossible to totally make sure everyone's responsible, just as it would be impossible to stop gun sales in America today. Too late. Then, no official can be omnipresent. But what about more training than immediate training required? What about fines or jail time for people who leave their guns in a way that they can be easily stolen, etc.? What about not issuing concealed weapons permits except to people with a absolutely damned good reason for having them, such as a person required to regularly take a deposit to a bank as part of their job? Also, how can you remember those responsible rules when drinking? Anyone who goes into a bar and drinks with a concealed weapons permit should have the permit revoked if caught and fined to the max, if not jailed for one to six months. Judges send people to jail for less all the time.
posted by raysmj at 9:53 PM on June 12, 2001

Actually, raysmj, here in Texas, at least, it is a violation of the CCW law to even carry a weapon into a place of business where alcohol sales for the purpose of on-site consumption form 51% or more of the revenue. I'm not opposed to this law. Most gun training will mention not even touching a gun if you're not sober. I have one friend who owns guns, and keeps then accessable in the house; but whenever a party is hosted there, he locks them up.

And sure, there is a way to enforce those rules. It's even there currently: "reckless endangerment" or, in worse circumstances, "reckless discharge". I'm completely in favor of enforcing those to maximum effect when it is desirable.

BTW, the "well-regulated" phrase in the Second is understood by some scholars on the matter to mean "well-trained". Federalist 29 says:

"To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss."

The Journals of the Continental Congress for 1774-1789 contain the passage:

"Resolved , That this appointment be conferred on experienced and vigilant general officers, who are acquainted with whatever relates to the general economy, manoeuvres and discipline of a well regulated army."

The OED even shows that at the end of the 17th century, this was the meaning when applied to troops:

"[obsolete sense]
b. Of troops: Properly disciplined. Obs. rare-1.

1690 Lond. Gaz. No. 2568/3 We hear likewise that the French are in a great Allarm in Dauphine and Bresse, not having at present 1500 Men of regulated Troops on that side."

posted by jammer at 9:36 AM on June 13, 2001

jammer: I know, Jammer. I know, I know. It's more or less exactly what I was talking about. Train the living crap out of people. Such an elegant way of putting it, right? Out with the 16 hour initial training or whatever.
posted by raysmj at 10:34 AM on June 13, 2001

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