LGBT gun group membership spikes after Florida shooting

2016-07-03 07:00

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Salt Lake City — Memberships have more than doubled in a national LGBT pro-gun rights organisation since a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Florida, killing 49 people.

Pink Pistols Utah chapter President Matt Schlentz said Pink Pistols membership has grown from 1 500 to 4 000 since Omar Mateen's June 12 rampage, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

"It's really sad that something on this scale had to happen for people to realise this is a need for our community," Schlentz said. "But the reality is, we still get attacked for kissing our partners or holding hands in public. We get windows smashed for having an equality sticker on them."

Schlentz owns semi-automatic rifles similar to the Sig Sauer MCX that Mateen used and said he gets mixed reactions from people who learn he's a gun rights advocate.

"Obviously, as a gay man, I have to have some liberal views socially. But on this one point, I have very conservative views. The reality is what it is – the world is a violent, terrible, scary place, and people do wish me harm based on who I love."

Pink Pistols organised in 2000 in response to a series of violent incidents like the murder in Wyoming of gay college student Matthew Shepard. Some early slogans were "Queers bash back" and "Pick on someone your own calibre."

Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah is another pro-gun LGBT group.

"As awful as Orlando is, I feel like this is a huge eye-opener for a lot of people that the world is not a perfect place, especially for a group that's at risk for this kind of violence," said Scott Mogilefsky, the group's president and an Army veteran.

There was an increase in people inquiring with the group after Orlando, he said.

"Security should be armed at all gay nightclubs, and all employees should run through a defensive shooting course once a year," Mogilefsky said. "When you think about supremacist groups, a gay bar is an easy target. And the shooter knew that. It was like shooting fish in a barrel."

Read more on:    us  |  orlando shooting

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.