In the aftermath of the outrage committed in the Orlando nightclub, Pulse, a new gun control group has been formed, calling itself Gays Against Guns. They claim to be acting “with love in HEART + freedom of MIND” in support of gun control.
Other than opposing the “life-threatening convergence of homophobia and flawed gun policy,” there’s nothing new here. They want magazine capacity limits, bans on “assault weapons,” more background checks, and no sales online. In other words, the same old tedious list of demands that might as well include blue skies on a sunny day, considering that most of what they want is already the law.
I could easily take offense to what this group is doing, considering the fact that I was a supporter of marriage equality in deeply red states when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act and when Hillary Clinton insisted that marriage is between one man and one woman, but as Christopher Hitchens used to say, if someone claims to be offended, the person has yet to explain what the point is.
One point is the acknowledgement that this group has attempted a slap in the face of those of us who support all rights. That’s not a feeling of mere pique. We gun owners are not in the majority in this country, and that gives us a natural affiliation with other groups whose rights have been attacked.
Unfortunately, some among us, including the NRA’s leadership, have had hateful things to say about LGBT Americans, so suspicion is understandable, but more and more, I find that supporters of gun rights that I talk to take the attitude that adult consensual relationships are the business only of those who are involved. This libertarianism on matters of personal choice is a logical position to take, summed up in the saying that I support a gay couple’s right to defend their pot farm with the firearms of their choice.
It’s important to note that Gays Against Guns do not represent the entire LGBT community any more than Ted Nugent represents all gun owners. As I’ve discussed before, the Pink Pistols—with their tag line, pick on someone your own caliber—have been defending gun rights and educating people about the subject for a while now.
Their approach is the one that makes the most sense—not just in practical terms of self-defense, but also as a means of building alliances. If I’m asked to support the rights of others, I answer that indeed I already do so out of a basic respect for humanity. But it’s reasonable of me to ask that the rights that I value will be defended in return.
Gays Against Guns declares their intention in “formalizing our responsibility—and finding our place—within the larger pre-existing gun control movement.” But in doing so, they contradict their claims about love in their hearts and freedom in their minds. You can’t claim to have love in your heart when you work against rights, and you can’t claim to be free in your thinking when you make demands that aren’t supported by logic and evidence. As Benjamin Franklin told our founders, we can all hang together or hang separately. The people who yearn to curtail rights have no respect for any of us—not for those who object to their schemes and not for those who go along in hopes of being spared. The only path to saving rights is in standing together.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.