From today’s Miami Herald:
In response to escalating hate-crime violence against gays and transgendered individuals in Florida, Broward County resident Keith Jackson is planning to start a chapter of Pink Pistols, a nationwide organization of gays who pack heat to beat hate. The Pink Pistols have more than 7,000 members in the U.S. and British Columbia.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics, in 2003, 55 hate crimes were committed against homosexuals and transgendered people in Florida — the largest proportion of hate crimes ever attributed to sexual orientation, as opposed to other hate crime categories.
”I love this one, because the bullets just fly out and you don’t have to reload,” [Jackson] said, ejecting a clip from a nickel-plated .45-caliber semiautomatic Smith & Wesson. And if some redneck decides he’s going to harass or harm me, he’ll be thinking twice about it pretty quickly.”
”A lot of gay people want to feel protected, but when I first tell them about the Pistols, they laugh hysterically for five minutes,” Jackson said. ‘When I ask them, `Why haven’t you considered getting a gun?’ they just say, ‘Well, because I’m gay!’ ”
”It’s a ridiculous stereotype,” he said. “That we’re too queeny or that guns scare us. I don’t have to be straight to have good aim.”
”Hopefully, you never have to shoot anyone,” said Jackson. ”We’re not about violence or vigilantism. Gay people are constantly aware that they are extra vulnerable. So having something like this” — he fingers the Smith & Wesson — “is just a confidence booster.”
Note to intolerant morons: The next gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered individual you harass may be armed and dangerous.