Friday, March 14, 2008

Pink Pistols: Can Guns Protect Gays?

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Written by Daniel Blatt

Just over two years ago, Jacob Robida, a troubled 18-year-old who lived in a room filled with weapons, Nazi flags, and anti-Semitic writings, walked into Puzzles Lounge, a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts. After presenting a fake ID to the bartender and finishing off a drink, he asked if it was a gay bar.

Upon learning that it was, he ordered a second drink. Then he went to the back of the bar and started swinging a hatchet at bar patrons, striking two. When others tried to wrestle him to the ground, he pulled out a gun and shot one person in the face, another in the head (twice), and a third person in the abdomen. After fleeing the scene, he was cornered by police in Arkansas, where he shot and killed a policeman and his 33-year-old girlfriend before being shot and critically wounded by officers. He died later at a Missouri hospital.

The situation might have turned out differently had the bartender or a patron brought a handgun to the bar that night. Let’s say that in response to an increase in anti-gay violence, gay groups and individuals like the Puzzles Lounge bartender had joined the Pink Pistols, a group which advocates “gun ownership and training in the proper use of firearms by gay people.” Imagine that after participating in the program offering instruction from the National Rifle Association in the defensive use of firearms... MORE