Friday, March 14, 2008

A Glimmer of Light

The Washington Blade, not precisely known as a bastion of conservative or libertarian thought, runs this article, suggesting that perhaps one of the leading newspapers of the LGBT community is waking up to some fairly basic facts. Namely that those who have crossed the line into serious violation of law for fun and profit are rarely deterred by inconvenient statute, or more succinctly, "criminals don't worry about gun laws". As far as I can tell, hate crime laws don't bother them much, either.

To misquote a Stephen Brust novel, "the very baddest of gay bashers will slow down something fierce if you plant a .45LC JHP at center of mass"; and I would suggest they tend to slow down much more quickly when subjected to such stimuli than blowing a whistle, utterances of "naughty, naughty - mustn't hit the LGBT person and say mean things! If you do, you get to go away for an EXTRA long time!", or a can of pepper spray.

Somehow, Plan A just seems rather more effective as a strategy for staying out of the hospital or the morgue - which, I believe, is the stated goal.

Regrettably, however, for a very long time the leadership of the gay community (not surprising, given the era where they mostly came to political maturity) have bought into the Vietnam Era "violence never solves anything", "guns bad/scary/not gay", "only bigots and bashers have guns" line of malarkey.

Having arrived on the scene somewhat later, in my more cynical moments even as I honor the pioneers of the LGBT community I have to wonder if at a critical point in the post-stonewall era there wasn't some big smoke-in style party off in the woods someplace with some REALLY potent stuff on tap that permanently warped folks of that era - gay and straight, but it seems to have hit my community a wee bit harder. And it's taking an awfully long time for the buzz to wear off.

In seriousness, something not too terribly different from that did, as far as I can tell, happen. The political allies of the LGBT community in that pre-libertarian era were seldom found in conservative or even moderate lairs, where if the subject came out at all, there was a fair chance that the phrase "pervert" rang loud in the land - the allies were to be found in the more liberal corners of the hippie and civil rights movements, and it's not awfully intuitive once one has found allies to realize when your interests diverge.

Both of those movements most closely resembled, for good or ill, a sectarian religion complete with martyrs and heretics complete with worship of the first and at least symbolic tar and feathers for the second. It's not surprising that having found allies, the model was replicated in the LGBT community...after all, all those anti-war and civil rights marches and confrontational techniques worked, didn't they?

As time passed, the in-your-face techniques of the era persisted even as they became less necessary...and the tradition of ostracism for those that didn't toe the line of LGBT orthodox group (diversity of thought is great, as long as it's OUR diversity) think slowly began to fade.

Then the fateful Pink Pistols article by Jonathan Rauche was published....and things changed. More LGBT folk and gun-friendly folk actually started talking to each other, and this strange new group called Pink Pistols rose up to cause cognitive dissonance amongst liberal orthodoxy.

And now, some years later, we have this delightful article in one of the papers regarded as a standard of LGBT orthodoxy.

Things do change....just very slowly.

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