What the world needs now, is guns, more guns. Not just for some, but for everyone. – Dawn Wright
By Dawn E. Wright, Ph.D.
I read Niki Stallard’s June 22 op-ed in the NYT titled The L.G.B.T. Case for Guns. It made me both sad and angry, as it could just as easily have been written by Donald Trump or a NRA shill. It contains nothing more than the tired arguments we have heard so long by the so-called 2nd Amendment folks after each of our increasing numbers of mass gun killings. The only difference I see is that Stallard is attempting to ride the paranoia into profits for her Pink Pistols group, bragging that her membership supposedly has jumped over 400% since Orlando.
Stallard’s rationale is the same we hear too often: paraphrasing a bit, Good queers with guns will stop bad guys with guns. She suggests that there are no statistics yet to show that allowing concealed carry in bars in the 12 states that allow them has led to increased shootings, at least in the bars themselves. And we know that often disputes are carried outside where resulting gunfire would not be necessarily be reported as occurring in the bar.
Another obvious fallacy is that there are no good studies of that premise because the NRA prohibits the CDC from conducting thorough studies about shootings. The so-called evidence Stallard references is anecdotal at best. But, common sense would seem to indicate that having young people with immature minds drinking and carrying guns would not be a good thing. Is it really unrealistic to surmise that the many pushing’s and shoving’s, and raised voices common among drinking young people would not escalate if guns were readily at hand?
Turning to the other ‘point’ about good queers with guns, if a terrorist were to enter a club, would the relatively untrained good guys – I sincerely doubt a few days training at Pink Pistols would make someone competent in an active shooter situation – become more of a hazard to innocents and first responders than a help? Even the police chief in Orlando, as have other knowledgeable first responder leaders, stated he would not welcome good guys with guns in such situations.
Finally, I take issue with the anecdote about a gay man, Tom G. Palymer in the past flashing a gun and discouraging a group of anti-gay punks to run away. Maybe that was true in the distant past. But if we follow the logic of Stallard and the NRA and encourage more people to carry guns, the punks would have many guns themselves and would probably blow away a gay with a single gun.
Dawn Elizabeth Wright, Ph. D., lives in Mobile, Alabama. She is an Alabama native, trans woman and Professor teaching statistics for Excelsior College. Dawn is a Former Executive Vice President BCM Engineers, a Founding member of Bay Area Inclusion, and a Vietnam vet flying F4s. She is also a father and grandparent.