Sunday, June 21, 2015

A few thoughts on the special snowflakes....or "Are folks engaged in long arm open carry the particularly badly behaved drag queens of 2A?"

So. Tell me how a bunch of drag queens showing up at a Catholic church and mid-service throwing a major hissy advances the cause of LGBT rights?

Or how would that same group of semi-theoretical drag queens, showing up at someones house, kicking in th
eir door, and starting to do a full-out drag show in the middle of the living room of a very startled resident improve LGBT relations with the broader community and protect and restore LGBT civil rights?

Finally, how would our same bunch of drag queens - now riding rental elephants complete with golden howdahs - crashing the local St. Paddy's day parade as a surprise participant improve LGBT rights/causes/etc?

In the first two cases, well before we would even have the discussion "well, how does this advance the cause and why was it a very bad idea?" we'd likely be having a lovely discussion of trespass on private property and breaking and entry...only then to discuss "gee, tell me again how this was such a great idea??" as the matter came up for hostile discussion the subsequent year in Olympia.

Any of the above would be counterproductive for the LGBT community (to put it mildly) and would merit (and likely receive) scathing criticism from that community.

Something roughly equivalent, less the elephants & drag queens & golden howdahs, resulted in a Supreme Court decision ( making clear that not only does a group have a right to associate freely - but that it has the right to refuse to associate.

This, perhaps, was not the intent of the LGBT activists - to score a SCOTUS decision effectively sanctioning their exclusion. This might, perhaps, be a lesson for those in the 2A community.

In other words, a group holding a private event (we'll get back to that shortly) has the right to insist on only admitting those it likes, that display "proper attire" (whatever said group might think such is) or persons that bring boxes of really good belgian chocolate. It may also, barring other provisions of law, ban from their event any person or class of persons the organizers feel either offensive or somehow compromise the First Amendment protected message of the organizers.

You will note the above uses "group" - not "LGBT" group. This is a game everyone can play, and was originally used to deny the right of a bunch of the LGBT Irish folk the right to march or participate in the Boston St. Paddy's parade - a private event.

Now, to our next question - WhAT IS A PRIVATE EVENT!!!!???

Now is a good time to grab an adult beverage and hang on tight.

A private event is some kind of event not sponsored or substantially organized by any governmental organization or paid for with government funds that has not been (for the most part, it gets a bit gray here) publicized as a public event.

As long as said event is held on private property and doesn't somehow violate other law(human sacrifice, as an extreme example, is considered poor form no matter where or at what kind of event you propose to do it at), participatory restrictions are pretty much fair game (consult your attorney for the few and odd exceptions).

A public event is *not* a private event. It happens when an event is announced as a public event or, in most cases, is a government sponsored thing (This comment applies ONLY to WA, and recognizes MANY exceptions). A public event or activity sponsored by a private body is still able to engage in some of the same restrictive practices that a private event may lawfully enact, but not all. IANAL - it's easier to "just not go there" and refrain from discriminating.

In WA, only Governmental bodies (specifically state/county/muni/odd-critters) are completely barred from most forms of discrimination - against gender/orientation/color/ethnicity/religion and, under separate statute, the lawful carry of firearms within the bounds of statue and precedent.

Now, the complex concept - you may believe (and even be correct) that you have the right to do something. That doesn't mean that the "something du jour" is a remotely good idea, isn't counterproductive, and might not look an *awful lot* like a false flag from the hostiles - but you have the *right* to do the "something du jour.*

It doesn't mean you should. It doesn't provide some kind of magic fairy dome immunizing you against criticism, even harsh criticism - particularly from those you claim to be helping who are in fact or believe they have been injured by your "something du jour." And it doesn't mean you have any right at all to demand support from those who you neither consulted, actively derided or simply ignored if it doesn't work out well.

It doesn't even mean that you are sufficiently festive in your "something du jour" that others - who if consulted and/or respected might otherwise have been neutral or even on your side - may not take steps (legislative or otherwise) to neutralize what they see as an active hazard to the well-being and rights of the community du jour (LGBT, 2A, Square Dance Association...fairly universal rule).

When that happens, everyone loses. Years long division that make working together well night impossible are formed, which serve only to ease the work of the hostiles (this is equally true whether we are talking 2A/LGBT/Warthog Breeders Association).

As someone with a wee bit of knowledge and experience of both the LGBT community and the 2A community - the LGBT community is "blessed" with its fair share of do-gooding "we want it all right now or will accept nothing" folks (aka "No Justice, No Peace"), and attention whores. The 2A community is equally blessed, heaven help us.

Neither community really benefits (beyond the "See crazy Uncle Sally over there? The one with the torch and pitchfork? Would you rather work with me or with him?" effect) from the non-consultative "in your face" my way or the highway approach. It can be useful as a last resort, but even then usually carries all kinds of backlash that can end up as a Pyrrhic victory.

The position "because four OC folk were denied access to a small Pride event I shall never again support gay rights for anyone" is a bit beyond the pale. It means you would never be able to work with potential allies, such as Pink Pistols. It means you would have difficulty working with pro-gun Libertarian folks. It is extending ones foot, drawing ones 1911, and opening fire upon the extended appendage. It also fails a fundamental concept of gun safety - target identification.

A far more productive approach might be to simply show up at the proposed site of the 2016 event for a *obscenely early in the morning picnic* with roughly a 100 or so of your best friends, OC'ing or CC'ing pistols, while wearing Pride shirts or Pink Pistols shirts (PP does not discriminate re orientation - if you shoot safely and not at them, they simply don't care)...and simply decline - politely - to vacate as you are present to attend a public event and to celebrate Pride held in a public place. If pushed, retreat to surrounding sidewalks and begin to pamphlet against bigotry.

Getting inside folks heads can neutralize hostiles, befriend fence-sitters, and build relationships that may be useful in pushing common causes forward.

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