Pink Pistols, nicknamed the "gay NRA," has become one of the fastest growing gun groups in the U.S., its growing membership, now numbering some 10,000, increasingly rubbing elbows with the more traditionally conservative gun rights crowd — a development that's raising eyebrows on the Left.
In a report highlighted by the New York Post, Australian journalist Patrick Abboud traveled to the U.S. to find out why LGBT people, who generally align with leftist political positions, are increasingly embracing the Second Amendment.
"I would never have thought I’d see the LGBTI community siding with incredibly conservative, right-wing, pro-gun advocates that have been publicly homophobic and transphobic — that didn’t make any sense," Abboud told News.com.au in a sweeping smear of the diverse American gun community.
One of the turning points for many in the LGBT community, Abboud found, is the horrific mass shooting by a radical Islamist at the Pulse gay club in Orlando that resulted in 52 people dead. Pink Pistols' San Diego chapter president Piper Smith told Abboud that her decision to embrace her Second Amendment right to arm herself was directly inspired by the massacre.
"She decided to take up arms two days after Orlando because she said it was the 9/11 of [the] gay community," Abboud said of Smith. "She couldn't comprehend it and she genuinely didn't want to go outside because she felt threatened just because of who she was. There is a looming fear that if it can happen in Orlando, it can happen anywhere."
Citing the increased political division in the country, a general sense of anti-gay sentiment, and a growing lack of trust in the ability of law enforcement to protect them, Abboud said many in the gay community are increasingly taking their protection into their own hands.
"There is one murder per week of a gay person purely because they're gay, and that's really horrifying," said Abboud. "The level of homophobia and transphobia in the USA is out of control and some people told me a gun is the difference between living and dying."
The Post notes that LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Center (HRC) found that 52 gay people and 28 transgender people were murdered in the U.S. last year because of their sexuality, which the group connected to the election of Donald Trump.
"The HRC said there was more danger since Trump; that when the nation’s leader suggests or alludes to some minority communities being more disposable than others, that sends a message," said Abboud.
But pro-Second Amendment LGBT people have their own message. "Gays that are armed and trained, don’t get bashed and killed," said Pink Pistols "poster boy" Jeff Bloovman, a gun instructor.
"Some people might say he’s a gun nut, but I spent several days with him and he’s the sweetest, gentlest, most loving guy you’d know," Abboud said of Bloovman. "But he genuinely goes out every day and feels like he’s going to be attacked and his schtick is that if it happens, he’s ready."
Below is a clip of the coverage of Abboud's report by "The Feed":