The LGBTQ community is taking safety into their own hands by purchasing firearms.
In the aftermath of last week’s horrible terror attack at Pulse, the Orlando nightclub that services the gay community in Orlando, the national debate over gun control has taken center stage in Congress. Senate Democrats held a filibuster on the Capitol Building floor that demanded attention to the issue for more than 15 hours.
In the wake of every mass shooting, like the ones at Sandy Hook and the Aurora movie theater, there is a surge in gun purchases that corresponds with the increase in legislative discussion. When the government is lethargic to protect its citizens, people take self-defense into their own hands, and who can blame them?
But this time, the upswing in gun sales has been primarily driven by gays and lesbians, a group that has been traditionally non-violent in their activism. But what does it say about our country when a group that has begged the government for equal protection and safety for decades must resort to purchasing deadly weapons for some semblance of peace of mind?
One Denver firearms instructor is helping shape the new culture of guns in the LGBTQ community, and his insight on the trend is both chilling and eye-opening.
Keep reading to see just what this shift in attitude might mean for America’s gun culture going forward.
Gun sales are up by 300-400%.
The Gun Room in Denver, Colorado, is the city’s oldest dealer in weaponry and firearms. Following the vicious attack that left 49 dead and dozens more injured in Orlando, business for this time of year is “three to four times what we normally have,” according to George Horne, the shop’s owner.
For a person in Horne’s position, it’s hard not to take notice of the type of clientele pushing unusual sales numbers in a store that sells deadly weapons. For Horne’s part, he’s never seen more gays or lesbians buying guns in his life.
“You walk into a gun shop and you expect to see people, frankly, who look like me. I think we forget we’re a country of all people, not just people who fit that predetermined mold.”
People are looking for answers, not prayers.
“I think right now because of what happened, people are looking for answers,” Horne said in an interview with Fox31 Denver. “We’re not surprised by it.” Unlike the discourse following previous mass shootings in America, the narrative of the response to Orlando largely rejects sympathy and prayers in favor of actionable change.
But with a government that time and again has failed to provide laws that answer the people’s calls for safety, people will take actions into their own hands.