DIFFICULT QUESTIONS FROM ABOVE, SAYS PINK PISTOLS SPEAKER REGARDING LAS VEGAS SHOOTING

DIFFICULT QUESTIONS FROM ABOVE, SAYS PINK PISTOLS SPEAKER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA) October 2, 2017: Just after 10PM Sunday, Las Vegas time, a man, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, NV, opened fire from the 32nd floor hotel room he had checked into several days earlier. A storm of bullets rained down upon the Las Vegas Strip, upon people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival below. People reported that the gunfire kept up for a very long time, after which current tally is at 50 people dead, and 406 taken to nearby hospitals. The family of Paddock have no idea why he committed the act. Reports are that he would go to Las Vegas to gamble, and sometimes went to shows. This shooting is not thought of as associated with any international terrorism, and is being classed as a “lone wolf” shooting.

Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols, an LGBT self-defense organization, was stricken when she first heard of the event. “Once again, I’m shocked at the senselessness of it all,” she said. “I was left speechless when I learned of the Pulse nightclub shooting a little over a year ago in Florida, and now I’m just at a total loss about this act of senseless violence.” The Pink Pistols issues its heartfelt condolences to those who are hurting as a result of the actions of a clearly deeply disturbed individual, and hopes that answers regarding a potential motive will eventually become clear.

“I must, however, say one thing, and I deeply dislike having to repeat myself like this,” Patton said. “No matter what kinds of weapons Mr. Paddock had. No matter how many he had. No matter the sizes of the magazines, the caliber of the bullets, the color of the guns, or the style or design, the guns had no choice, for guns are not living creatures. A gun cannot choose to refuse to fire if the action is illegal. They’re just machines. I hate having to defend inanimate objects yet again, but I know that once again they will be low-hanging fruit for those who project their anger and fear onto them.” Her lips press into a hard line as she considers.

“People died because of the actions of a human being. He had a number of weapons, so clearly this was not a spur-of-the-moment situation. He chose this action. He chose the time. He chose the place. It was Mr. Paddock’s choice to do this heinous, horrible thing. What I pray for is that we learn why he did this, so we can prevent others from feeling the same way in the future. We need to intervene in the lives of our loved ones, to give them the love and help they need when they are hurting or suffering from emotional pain, or rage, or hate, that can cause them to lash out against their fellow human beings in such a fashion.” She shook her head and continued. “What we should not do, however, is allow ourselves to escape from the necessity of such intervention by taking the responsibility for the act off of the man and projecting it onto his tools. Guns did not do this. Guns were USED to do this, by a man with unknown motives and unknown thoughts. The man is responsible. Let’s keep the responsibility on the man, and try to solve the cause, rather than blindly blaming his tools.”

People around the world have been victims of anger, desperation, fear, hate, greed, and terror. They have been attacked with cars, trucks, rocks, bricks, bottles, bombs, bullets, and blades. In many of these places, the objects used to commit the acts either were already highly restricted, outright illegal, or became so shortly thereafter. But the laws against the objects have not prevented further such attacks. Such laws will be ineffective because the objects are not the source of the evil. Such evil can only come from the minds and hearts of human beings, and all of these objects must be wielded by human beings in order to cause death and injury. All of these objects have peaceful uses, but have been misused to commit terrible acts. We must resist the temptation to do the simple thing, to blame the tool when we must be trying to understand the individual.

It’s easy to blame the tool. When blame is settled upon an inanimate object, we stop questioning. We stop looking for deeper answers. We stop going to the greater effort to solve the greater problem. We take the easy way out — make a law against an object, dust off our hands, and go back to the television. We think our job is done, but it’s not, because it never was about the objects, but about the people. People are hard to fix. People are hard to understand. People are hard to stop when they are set on a goal.

But because these things are true, we can’t allow ourselves to stop with the easy solutions, because even if we ban one tool, they’ll pick up and pervert another tool. If we ban guns, they’ll pick up bombs. If we ban bombs, they’ll crash cars. If we ban cars, they’ll pick up knives. If we ban knives, they’ll swing sticks. If we ban sticks, they’ll throw rocks — and all of our evolution will be reduced back to the antelope’s thighbone against our prey all over again, once again, we’ll be sent back to what Cain used against Abel. Cain used a rock against his brother, but it wasn’t the rock that got marked as a result. These horrible things happen to us, and we need to take the more difficult path and solve the underlying reasons for them and become better human beings.

Let our sympathies be with those who lost loved ones last night. Let us help heal the wounds in their hearts, the holes in their lives. Let us try to understand why such a thing could happen, why this man did something his family members say was so out of character for him. And let’s not just take the easy way out. This time, let’s not just blame inanimate objects, post a hashtag, and go back to our cheeseburgers. Let’s take the more difficult route and work to solve the actual problems, whatever they may be.

The Pink Pistols is an international organization dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community. Chapters may be found across the United States and Canada. Though the Pink Pistols is for the LGBTQ community, it is not solely composed of the LGBTQ community, and all are welcome to join.

Contact:
Gwendolyn S. Patton
First Speaker, Pink Pistols International
firstspeaker@pinkpistols.org
http://www.pinkpistols.org
Ph: (610) 879-2364

Becoming A Member or Offering Training

It’s easy to become a member of the Pink Pistols!

First, it doesn’t cost anything. There’s no dues, and no membership form to fill out.

Second, you just have to believe in the basic core principles of the Pink Pistols, that all people have the right to defend themselves from harm, and that everyone has the individual right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment. If you believe those things, just raise your right hand and say “I am a Pink Pistol!”

That’s all there is to it! If you want to get together with other people to socialize, to practice, or to train, check the Find A Local Chapter page to locate a group in your area. If there isn’t one, consider starting one!

All members should download and read the Pink Pistols Utility Manual. It has lots of background on the organization, and if you want to start a chapter, the instructions are in it.

We have a public Facebook page for staying in touch with members worldwide. It is currently announce-only. We offer a full-featured forum for discussion. You don’t have to join either, or join a chapter, if you don’t want to, but this way you can find out what’s going on.

If you are an instructor looking to offer your services to Pink Pistols members, we are compiling a comprehensive interactive map. Please add your voice via Operation Blazing Sword.

Starting a Chapter

The response has been massive in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando. We have had many requests for information on how to start a chapter.

If you are interested in starting a chapter, the first thing to do is go to the Find a Local Chapter option on our website and see if there is one in or near your area. If there is one, the link on the page will put you in touch with them. If there’s one some distance away, but it’s within driving distance, consider joining forces with them.

If there isn’t one in your area, or one is listed as out of touch or closed, then download and read the Pink Pistols Utility Manual. It has all of the information necessary to start a chapter. Follow the instructions given in the manual. If you still have questions, please ask.

The Utility Manual is a useful resource for all Pink Pistols, whether starting a chapter or not.

Pink Pistols Saddened by Attack on Orlando Club

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA) June 12, 2016: Early Sunday, around 2AM Eastern Time, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was attacked by an armed individual. Approximately 20 persons were killed and over double that wounded when the attacker, whom police have identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from Fort Pierce, FL, pushed his way into the club and opened fire on patrons. Weapons carried by Mateen are reported as an “assault-type” rifle, a handgun, and a suspected explosive device. UPDATE: Reports are that the death toll is around 50, with over 50 more wounded.

“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” said Orlando Police Chief John Mina at a news conference on Sunday. Additionally, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said “This is an incident … that we certainly classify as a domestic terror incident.” Authorities say the FBI is involved. Preliminary information reveals that Omar Mateen’s family is from Afghanistan, though Omar may have been born in the United States. His family is reported to be distraught at the actions and loss of their son.

Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols, an international GLBT self-defense organization, warns people not to jump immediately to the assailant’s guns as the object of blame, but to concentrate instead on Mateen’s violent acts. “The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse,” began Patton. “This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.”

Patton’s concerns are that knee-jerk gun-control efforts may make preventing future events harder rather than easier, as only the law-abiding potential victims will be affected by such laws. “It is difficult, if not impossible, to foresee such an event,” continues Patton, “But if they cannot be prevented, then they must be stopped as fast as someone tries to start them.”

Some bars and other establishments that serve alcohol are difficult to protect because many states forbid the carrying of weapons where alcohol is served, but that just as one might have a designated driver who stays sober, one might have a designated carrier with a concealed-carry permit who goes armed and does not drink. “It’s sad that we must consider such things, but when there are persons out there who mean us harm, we must find ways to protect ourselves within the law.” Patton concludes.

The Pink Pistols is an international organization dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community. Chapters may be found across the United States and Canada. Though the Pink Pistols is for the GLBTQ community, it is not solely composed of the GLBTQ community, and all are welcome to join.

Contact:
Gwendolyn S. Patton
First Speaker, Pink Pistols International
firstspeaker@pinkpistols.org
http://www.pinkpistols.org
Ph: (610) 879-2364

Pink Pistols Pleased with Court Decision re Grace v. DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA) May 17, 2016: The District Court of Washington, DC filed a response today granting the request by Matthew Grace and the Pink Pistols for a preliminary injunction preventing the City of Washington, DC from enforcing the “good reason” clause in their concealed-carry law. This clause left it to law enforcement and other government officials to decide who had a sufficient reason to exercise an enumerated right under the Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.

“This clause was a travesty of justice from its inception,” said Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols. “It left the free exercise of an inherent human right up to bureaucrats and police officials. If your reason to carry a gun was deemed insufficient — if, by their measure, your reason to carry a gun wasn’t good enough — they could deny you that right with the stroke of a pen and the thump of a rubber stamp. This,” continued Patton, “was unacceptable to us.”

The “good reason” clause is a common tool under so-called “may issue” concealed carry laws, allowing the local government to deny a concealed-carry permit except under what they consider to be “circumstances of special need.” Typically, this consisted of persons who were required by their job to carry large sums of cash or objects of extreme value, or to transport same through dangerous neighborhoods. It was also typically used to prevent persons from acquiring a permit to exercise their natural right of self-defense. The Pink Pistols maintain that, since “perceived sexual orientation” is the second most common source of animus in bias-motivated crimes (FBI Crime Statistics, https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/november/latest-hate-crime-statistics-available). This common animus, they further maintain, constitutes a clear and present danger to the sexual-minority community that predicates just cause to carry a firearm for self-defense. Further, they maintain that nowhere in the Second Amendment is the concept of “good reason” enumerated, and a requirement to show such special need is fundamentally unconstitutional. Today, the District Court agreed.

“We clearly showed that our concerns have sufficient merit to justify this preliminary injunction,” Patton continued. “We thank the Court for its probity in this matter, and shall continue to move forward to safeguard the natural rights of our members and the public to exercise their rights.”

The Pink Pistols is an international organization dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community. Chapters may be found across the United States and Canada. Though the Pink Pistols is for the GLBTQ community, it is not solely composed of the GLBTQ community, and all are welcome to join.
Contact:
Gwendolyn S. Patton
First Speaker, Pink Pistols International
firstspeaker@pinkpistols.org
http://www.pinkpistols.org
Ph: (610) 879-2364

Pink Pistols Denounces WDBJ Shooting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Pink Pistols Denounces WDBJ Shooting

Philadelphia, PA – Wednesday, August 26, 2015 – The Pink Pistols, the world’s largest GLBT self-defense organization, expresses deep sorrow for the events in Moneta, Virginia. “I deplore the actions of Vester Lee Flanagan, aka ‘Bryce Williams’,” said Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols. “Flanagan wrote in a so-called ‘manifesto’ sent to ABC News that he was ‘attacked for being a black, gay man’. His pain at being allegedly rejected for his orientation in no way excuses an unprovoked attack against persons who presented him no threat. If Mr. Flanagan at any time professed an association with the Pink Pistols, we denounce it. We do not know him, and reject his acts as those of a base criminal. The Pink Pistols stands for lawful self-defense of the sexual minority community. He is not one of ours.”

To the best of their knowledge, Vester Flanagan has never communicated with the organization, and even though Pink Pistols members self-identify, and do not need to submit a membership form or application, the act he allegedly committed is a tacit statement that he does not hold with the organization’s precepts of lawful behavior, responsibility, and building of bridges between all people. “The only time a Pink Pistol would draw a weapon is when there is an immediate threat reasonably perceived as deadly,” says Patton. “This man supposedly felt so outraged by perceived racism and mistreatment, he killed two people and injured one other, persons who offered him no physical threat of any kind. This is not how we behave, ever.”

The Pink Pistols, which advocates lawful use of legally-carried concealed firearms for the self-defense of the sexual minority community, currently has 29 chapters in the United States and two chapters in Canada. All chapters are autonomous, but look to the international office for coordination.

Contact:
Gwendolyn S. Patton
First Speaker, Pink Pistols International
firstspeaker@pinkpistols.org
http://www.pinkpistols.org
Ph: (610) 879-2364

New Website Design

Due to a security vulnerability in our previous website management system, we had to take down the old site and redesign it with a more up-to-date and secure site. It is a work in process, and will improve over time, but we wanted to get a new site online as quickly as possible.

The main features, the About page, Find a Chapter page, and the Utility Manual page, are located on the sidebar to the left.

For more information not covered on this site, please send an email to Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker at firstspeaker@pinkpistols.org