America the beautiful; it’s the home of the brave and land of the free. It can be, at once, breathtakingly magnificent and downright dangerous.
In the blink of an eye, one can go from purple mountain majesties to a carjacking on a remote highway or a drug-fueled home invasion on the fruited plain. Violent crimes such as rape, robbery and murder lurk in the darkness of our cities and rural country roads.
Worse yet, mass murderers may visit us in our most frightening nightmares or in our schools, outdoor concerts or nightclubs. We are all vulnerable to the evil actors who dwell in the murky latitudes between martyrdom and insanity.
But, some of us refuse to be victimized because we have a plan. We are aware of our surroundings and we are prepared for danger because we carry a concealed weapon (CCW). The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States recognizes our right to protect ourselves from mayhem and allows us to possess a firearm to deter and prevent any violence.
One such group of individuals, who in the past has suffered immeasurable hate-violence and abuse at the hands of an intolerant, criminal element within our society, is the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community (LGBT). They have, over the last 18 years, organized themselves into an unincorporated, international association known as the Pink Pistols with 51 chapters in 33 states and 3 countries.
Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the National Chapter, said, “The Pink Pistols are an organization with a single mission. “We teach queers to shoot, then teach the world that we have done it. This serves two key purposes, first, to prepare members of the sexual-minority community with the skills and knowledge necessary to take individual responsibility for their own protection, and to spread the word of this fact, so anyone considering performing a bias attack on a member of the GLBT community might think: “Gee, this person might have a gun. I can’t tell which gay person might be armed, and which are safe to attack. Maybe I should go to a movie instead…” — or something similar. In short, it is meant as a deterrent. When weapons are concealed, one cannot tell who is or is not armed.”
The Liberty First Foundation agrees with Ms. Patton and applauds their recognition that when the specter of violence rears its ugly head, the best first responder is you. Self-defense is not only an individual right, it is an individual responsibility. Courts have held that, even if police are available, they have no duty to protect you, especially in your home!
The intellectual origins of the American Constitution and Bill of Rights are many. They include the prevailing common law doctrines of sixteenth and seventeenth century England, as well as, the writings of English political philosophers John Locke, Algernon Sidney and William Blackstone, all of whom influenced Thomas Jefferson. Paramount and predominant to all, were the general principles of liberty or natural laws described as the absolute rights of individuals, including the three great and primary rights of personal security, personal liberty and private property. These principles are clearly embodied in the Second Amendment.
So, it is plain to see that many, including the Pink Pistols, see the Second Amendment as their license to defend themselves with an armed response. When flight is not an option and fight is your only recourse, a gun is a great equalizer. All of us hope and pray that we will never have to use one, yet we find comfort in the knowledge that we are safer with a gun, than without one.
Gay bashing is now risky business and this is just one of many beneficial effects of the Second Amendment. If it didn’t exist and the possession of firearms was prohibited by law, what adjustments would you have to make in your life? Your security is in your hands. Do you have a plan?
We ask our readers to comment on what the Second Amendment means to you? Tell us why you own the guns you do, and if you don’t own any firearms, please tell us why not.