God, Gayz and Guns!

As any oppressed minority will tell you, winning civil rights that put one on a more even footing with the rest of society usually comes at a pretty hefty price—and the bills keep coming in long after the celebrations and victory parties are over.  It’s no surprise, at least to the gay community, that more legalized gay weddings are triggering more gay bashing backlash around the world. 

We LGBT people are used to this. In my lifetime [which includes pre-Stonewall days], we have gone from literally cowering in the closet to marching in Pride parades down the streets of our home towns.  That’s quite a leap, in under a century, but each step of the way has been hard-fought and exacted huge costs in terms of career options, family life and isolation.  Favorable public opinion and community support are only very recent boons to my community.

Given all of that, I hope that at least some of you will forgive my cynicism regarding the recent spate of “mystery posters” (see below) appearing on the streets of at least two cities in the state of Washington which also, just happens to be a state that recently legalized gay marriage.

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So far, no one has actually taken credit for anything other than the photo of the “Annies that got their gun.”  That photo, by “Oleg Volk: An American”, is in the public domain, sans text, and his reaction on learning of the posters using his photo was:

The photo poster is my design, the line drawing isn’t. I encourage re-posting of my graphics, so I approve of the use in general. The specific use wasn’t coordinated with me but that’s just fine, pre-approval is not necessary.

I have no idea who posted them but they acted as my allies in the cause. I want everyone -— especially people who have been traditionally facing discrimination and danger — to be more secure and independent. Minorities of all kinds are in that exact predicament.

The QR code links to Volk’s pro-gun website a-human-right.com.  The funny little flag next to the QR code is known as The Doug Flag [for Douglas Fir] and is the official flag of Cascadia, a secessionist notion whereby parts of Canada and the Pacific Northwest become an independent country—a sort of eco-topian pipe dream that’s been kicking around for over a hundred years and just adds that little soupçon of crazy to the whole thing.

The line drawing of the male guntoters is signed by a “Nale Dixon” who is off the GoogleGrid.

These posters, as amateurish and lacking in 21st century realSHOCK!!1! value as they are, have set off quite a flurry of political debate having mostly to do with the rightful “ownership” of American political ideologies.

Allow me to demonstrate:

Katie McDonough of Slate opines that:

A new campaign cropping up around Washington state is intended to strike a chord with gay and lesbian gun owners by comparing gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination.

In this “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” reading, gun rights proponents are suddenly anxious to welcome gays into the Don’t Tread on Me Club and claim their 2nd Amendment rights, while they’re at it.  Surely, now that they’ve won the right to marry, teh Gayz are going to understand what it means to protect one’s rights with real firepower, like a real American.  God! Gayz! Guns!  it’s a marriage made in heaven!  especially with all of those newly-incensed anti-gay whackadoos out there on the hunt for some gays to bash.  Underestimate Cardinal Dolan’s Flying Monkey Squadron at your own risk!  Scare gays enough and they’ll buy beaucoup guns [in designer wraps]. 

Tip for the NRA: Market guns as a fashion accessory and the gays will bring home 50 states of “open carry” for you.

Libertarians, as one might expect, have had a very interesting reaction.  This from personalliberty.com:

In Washington State, gay rights advocates and gun rights advocates intersect in a series of posters appearing around the State Capitol in the past several days linking gay rights and opposition to gun laws.

The posters, which direct people to a pro-gun website, have liberals complaining — seemingly appalled that homosexuals might also value 2nd Amendment rights.

Well, Libertarians have always sort of courted the LGBT community, on paper, to no great effect.  The Libertarian Party is for equal marriage and adoption, equal military service, and the end of sodomy laws.  But, Libertarian gays often find themselves in the awkward position of having to oppose expanded protections for sexual minorities as intrusive and unnecessary government regulations into private affairs.  For example, Libertarians are all for allowing the Boy Scouts of America to ban gays, outright, because they’re a “private organization.”

As a result, there just aren’t a whole lot of Libertarian gays.  And little fallout if a Libertarian writer just can’t resist the opportunity to say that this issue has “liberals complaining . . . and appalled.”

Along the same “appalled liberals complaining” line, there’s this commentary from one Dave Workman writing at the Examiner:

Hell hath no fury like a liberal confronted with reality, if reaction in today’s Think Progress and yesterday’s on-line commentary at The Stranger – the latter a popular Seattle alternative newspaper – to pro-gun posters aimed at gays that are reportedly appearing around the Capitol Campus in Olympia and Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

[Aside from the fact that Mr Workman appears to have lost his way somewhere between the beginning and end of that sentence, you can still sort of get the gist.]

Undaunted, he continues:

The posters seem to have hit a raw liberal nerve.

Now I have a few “raw liberal nerves” but these posters are surely not responsible for any of them.  For one thing, I know my community and these posters are just dopey.  Gay people don’t, as a rule, think like this—otherwise a lot more of them would be dead. 

Workman goes on to get all worked up over the fact that Think Progress covered this story and that:

. . . the reaction in Think Progress . . . suggests that trying to educate the gay community about firearms, personal responsibility, voting and self-defense is tantamount to heresy.

Well you condescending American bigot.  As if gay people need some gun-toting TEA baggers to educate them on “personal responsibility, voting and self-defense!?!”

and, finally:

One might ask critics of the posters what offends them more, the firearms educational effort or the possibility that it just might erode what they consider a core voting bloc, which they take for granted that they own, and influence some in the gay community to vote for gun rights? It’s a valid question, considering that a handful of Seattle anti-gun liberals are presently preparing to launch an initiative effort aimed at eroding gun rights by violating the privacy of gun owners.

Well, Mr Workman, I suspect that it might have occurred to one or two gays, beaten to a pulp for being gay, that a gun might have worked to their advantage.  Gays are generally pretty smart and pretty well-educated so it’s unlikely that they need further “educatin” by people who make posters of lesbians embracing assault rifles.

As a matter of fact, about a year ago Blake Zeff, writing for capitalnewyork.com, flipped your hypothesis on its ass head and wrote a well-thought-out article about how much gun control advocates could learn from the very successful gay rights movement. 

A sampling of headlines from the Intertubes on this topic demonstrates that if anyone’s hair is alight over this, it’s gun nuts:

Uptight Seattle libs furious about pro-gun posters aimed at gay citizens

SWEET! Statist ‘Liberals’ go Ape over Grassroots Campaign to Empower Gay Gun Owners!

Libs worried about pro-gun gay influence

Ad Campaign Compares Gun Control to Gay Marriage, Enrages Hippies

Try as I might, I wasn’t able to find anything that sounded like outraged liberals, headlines like:

Conservatives trying to steal our Gayz

or

Cons Vow Open Carry Attendance at Gay Weddings

or

Gun Nuts Signing Up Gay Fiances to Gun Registries

Personally, I think that most politically active gun enthusiasts would rather turn in their guns on the White House lawn than recruit gays to show up at their gun shows, firing ranges and weekend pig-roast-and-shoot ‘em-ups.”  I could be wrong . . .

From my lifetime-of-gayness perspective, I think it’s highly likely that the only other gay perspective I could find on this topic pretty much nails it with this:

Without someone to credit, it’s impossible to glean the posterer’s intentions.

Perhaps being courted by a traditionally right-wing, conservative movement is refreshing and progressive, but it could also just be really effective concern trolling. What better way to make people feel unsafe in gay-friendly Capitol Hill than by slyly referencing homophobia and hate crimes in pro-gun propaganda plastered on every street corner?

Makes the most sense to me . . . .

Posted by Bette Noir on 05/28/13 at 10:51 AM • Permalink

Categories: LGBTPoliticsBedwettersNuttersTeabaggery

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The bullet bracelet is such a nice touch. Creative accessorizing always makes the outfit.

In this “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” reading, gun rights proponents are suddenly anxious to welcome gays into the Don’t Tread on Me Club and claim their 2nd Amendment rights, while they’re at it.

My reading is that it’s a ratfucking campaign- the conflation of same-sex marriage rights won on the state level and wildly divergent state gun-ownership laws is supposed to point out liberal “hypocrisy”.  “What’s it going to be, libs?  Anti-gun laws and anti-gay laws are exactly the same!!!!!

Meanwhile, on planet Earth, a gay man was shot and killed in the heart of American gay culture, in the safest major city in the U.S.

Also, am I the only one getting an “American Apparelesque Borderline Kiddie Porn” vibe from the first poster? Those two look like they’re thirteen years old, and the effect is just a wee bit creepy.

@B4—not to mention the man-boy love going on in the line drawing.  Looks like Ward and the Beav bonding . . .  IMO, whether it’s intentional or not, it’ll have the effect of anti-gay fearmongering: all of a sudden, gays “aren’t taking any shit from homophobes”—that ought to get the homophobes reaching for their 2nd Amendment solutions.

Its a rather typical combination of ratfucking and defanging—the same thing they are always accusing liberals of doing when they “use” women, dead kids, sick people (Michael J. Fox).  What they really want is to put the gun in the hands of a little boy with leukemia and show the value of arming your sick child in the hospital—maybe so the zombies can’t kill him when you are off fighting them?—my point is that they are casting around for a new mascot now that kids with guns simply remind everyone that your child is more likely to be shot with your gun than protected with it.

But as for whether gays will fall for it—that I can’t say. Are they really smarter than the rest of the country? There are some gays in the 27 percent (presumably). One of the most vociferous blog commenters I know (and respect) celticdragonchick is, I believe, a trans woman ex military who is fairly rabidly pro-gun on exactly these grounds: the police and the government won’t protect her from the transphobics and homophobics so she needs to be armed.

At any rate, what I really wanted to add was that I’ve already seen in the comment threads on, for example, a recent military-civilian shooting in texas the creation of the neologism “hoplophobe” which they seem to think means “dislikes or fears guns.”  They are pushing on this “phobia” thing and the nutty slogan “you shouldn’t legislate against things because you dislike them” is a transparent attempt to link gun ownership to other potential social goods like equal marriage. 

But the reason its wrong to legislate against gay people isn’t because its wrong to dislike them—its because its wrong to let personal prejudices influence major policy issues and civil rights. I’m not opposed to guns and gun owners at all—and I don’t “dislike” them. I wish to see gun violence lowered in a number of ways. Making it harder to own them, or restricting gun ownership, or the locations in which guns can be used, is a means to an end—an obviously desirable end which is ending the use of guns deaths by criminals and by accidental shootings.  Its true that it might be seen as a limitation on the second amendment rights of gun owners, but death and injury are a total limitation on non gun owners who are shot by guns and their rights surely trump those of potential gun owners. 

The anti gay rights people were given their chance to demonstrate actual harm, as a result of equal marriage, and they were unable to do so. We can all demonstrate with numbers, pictures, and statistics the actual harm caused by guns. The positions are simply not parallel. Its a totally false analogy.

Actually, I’m in favor of this. Might be a good thing if gun nuts decided to give up their guns because their friends might think they’re gay.

OK, @Quaker, I think you might be on to something, here.  Actually, I’m in favor, too.

I like Quaker’s idea.

Perhaps inspired by this snappy number.

Looks like Ward and the Beav bonding . . .

I’m thinking Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.

That photo, by “Oleg Volk: An American”, is in the public domain, sans text,

Correction: I designed the poster and it is not in the public domain, merely available for use by pro-freedom groups and individuals.

Hi Bette,
I agree with some others that there is a distinctly Batman and his suspicious ward Robin effect in these posters.

However, my take is a bit different. I understand that about 10% of the population follow political news on TV and blogs.

As a consequence, the 90% that have things to do in their lives naturally bear little resemblance to the 10% who spend their time in endless arguments over abstractions.

Even before the end of DADT there were hundreds of thousands of gay Americans serving in the armed forces and being discharged from the armed forces, plus any number of gay police officers who also eventually retire.

Many of these gay Americans have used guns to defend their lives, the lives of their comrades in the defense of the country

None of these gay Americans are freaked out by guns. Many of them join 2nd amendment organizations strictly for the protection of their rights and not to advance the gay agenda.

I sometimes ges the impression that some of my friends on the left think that gay Marines instantly open dog grooming services as soon as they are discharged.  Believe me, there are a lot of gays who do things in this world besides run a bed and breakfast.

I am a Vietnam vet, and I know some gays that would respond with lethal force if you broke into their house.

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