Gun Rights = Gay Rights

by Azreel | March 31st, 2008

Finally, someone is coming out and saying it. In light of the recent Supreme Court hearing of Heller v. District of Columbia, Jonathan Rauch has come out and written an opinion piece on Gay Rights and why the Heller decision affects them so strongly. His words could easily be applied to any group actively targeted by hate groups.

From the article: to gay Americans, and other minorities often targeted with violence, Heller is about civil rights, not shooting clubs.

Nine years ago, one of the first columns I wrote for National Journal told the story of Tom G. Palmer. One night some years ago in San Jose, he found himself confronting a gang of toughs, as many as 20 of them, intent on gay-bashing him. Taunted as a “faggot,” threatened with death, Palmer (and a friend) ran for their lives, only to find the gang in hot pursuit. So Palmer stopped, reached into his backpack, and produced a gun. The gang backed off.

If no gun? “There’s no question in my mind,” Palmer told me in 1999, “that my friend and I would have been at least very seriously beaten, and maybe killed.”

Today Palmer lives in Washington, D.C., which has the most restrictive gun-control law in the country. You can’t own a handgun in Washington unless it was registered before 1976 (or unless you are a retired D.C. police officer). You can own a shotgun or rifle, but it must be disassembled or locked (except while being used for lawful recreation or at a place of business; you can protect your store, in other words, but not your home). In Washington, therefore, Palmer could not legally protect himself with a gun, even if the gay-bashers had chased him right into his home.

Although gay life in America is safer today than it once was, anti-gay violence remains all too common. The FBI reports more than 7,000 anti-gay hate crimes in 2005 alone, and since 2003 at least 58 people have been murdered because of their sexual orientation. Perhaps because gay-bashings often begin in intimate settings, the home is the single most prevalent venue for anti-gay attacks. In public, of course, gay-bashers make sure that no cops are around.

Rauch hits the nail on the head: Gun Control is about oppression. From its roots in the Jim Crow laws of the old south prohibiting blacks from owning guns or ammunition, to its current incarnations that attempt to disarm the average Joe while allowing the elite to hire their own armed bodyguards and security forces, gun control is discriminatory at its very core. Democrats above all parties should recognize the inherently discriminatory nature of laws that disarm those who would only like to be able to legally defend themselves.

The gun was referred to as “The Equalizer,”and for good reason.  Whether in the hands of a gay man or woman surrounded by hate mongering thugs who would kill him, or in the hands of a Goth attempting to protect her boyfriend, or in the hands of a woman repelling a would be rapist – the gun is a necessary tool in our society.

Oleg Volk
said it best with his photography:


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