Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Some in the Firearms Community Are Helping Some in the LGBT Community

 
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This logo has been all over Twitter in the last week.

As you might imagine, this week’s episodes of “Cam and Company” — a Second Amendment news broadcast show that I produce for NRA News — have focused on the horrific massacre in Orlando, Florida. One of the stories that host Cam Edwards discussed that’s been gathering steam all week is about the number of people in the LGBT community who have decided to arm themselves for self-defense. The Washington Times reported yesterday that Pink Pistols, a LGBT gun-rights group, has seen membership spike after Orlando attack:

A nationwide gun club geared towards the LGBT community has reportedly seen its membership more than double following Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Pink Pistols, a 16-year-old organization that boasts dozens of chapters nationwide, went from having about 1,500 members Saturday to 3,500 Monday — an exponential increase that occurred in the immediate aftermath of the Sunday morning massacre that left 49 patrons of Pulse nightclub dead and dozens more injured, Denver’s Fox News affiliate reported Thursday.

On its website, the group says it’s “dedicated to the legal, safe and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community,” and currently boasts 45 branches in 21 states. According to Fox, however, “dozens” of new chapters are being launched, including one in nearby Colorado Springs.

We’ve also seen stories about gun ranges and firearms instructors offering free classes to members of their local LGBT communities. In Houston, Shiloh Indoor Shooting Range now offers a free concealed handgun license course to members of the LGBT community. I called Jeff Sanford, the owner, to see if he would come on the show to talk about what he’s done and the response he’s received. He called back many hours later, apologizing profusely.

He said the delay was due to the fact that he had been inundated with calls and emails from people who wanted to take him up on his offer. He was completely overwhelmed and never expected such a massive response.

Cam Edwards talked to him on the show yesteday:

First off, Jeff Sanford sounds like a wonderful and generous person. He is an asset to the Houston community, and a great ambassador of the Second Amendment. You can just tell how happy he is to have grown his business from a single class to several, all packed to capacity.

Being the Twitter nerd I am, I convinced Jeff to start an account when I saw that the range wasn’t on Twitter. Here is their third tweet:

In a week filled with such overwhelming tragedy and sorrow, it’s good to know that there are caring Americans out there, willing to do what is takes to help protect their fellow citizens. If you know of any ranges or instructors making similar offers to the LGBT community in your area, please let me know. Everyone, regardless of anything, has the right to defend themselves, and others.

There are 23 comments.

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  1. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Cameron Gray: In Houston, Shiloh Indoor Shooting Range now offers a free concealed handgun license course to members of the LGBT community.

    Is there a test or something that they give them to make sure they really are members of the community?

    “The course costs $195, unless . . . “

    • #1
    • June 17, 2016, at 4:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  2. GrannyDude Member

    Vance Richards:

    Cameron Gray: In Houston, Shiloh Indoor Shooting Range now offers a free concealed handgun license course to members of the LGBT community.

    Is there a test or something that they give them to make sure they really are members of the community?

    “The course costs $195, unless . . . ”

    The test is that you’re willing to join a class explicitly for LGBT people—a surprising number of heterosexual people (mostly men) get very hinky at the notion that someone might think they are gay.

    • #2
    • June 17, 2016, at 5:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. FightinInPhilly Thatcher

    This is great work. I hope more folks in the LGBT get trained and take full advantage of their 2nd amendment rights.

    • #3
    • June 17, 2016, at 5:44 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Lily Bart Inactive

    Love the flag. Seems a classically American response.

    • #4
    • June 17, 2016, at 5:45 AM PDT
    • Like
  5. Johnny Dubya Member

    It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    So, now terrorists know that they will be left alone to slaughter for a significant period of time if they simply make a spurious bomb claim.

    Of course, the SWAT team might have been completely irrelevant if there had been one person in the club with a weapon. It needn’t have been a patron with a concealed weapon. It could have been the club’s manager, with a Glock in his desk drawer.

    • #5
    • June 17, 2016, at 5:57 AM PDT
    • Like
  6. Lily Bart Inactive

    Johnny Dubya: It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    A similar thing happened at Columbine High School – the police stayed outside for a some time while the shooters were active. They were heavily criticized for not entering when there were civilian lives at stake, while people lay bleeding to death. I was under the impression that after Columbine the Police changed tactics on this issue.

    • #6
    • June 17, 2016, at 6:07 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Johnny Dubya:It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    So, now terrorists know that they will be left alone to slaughter for a significant period of time if they simply make a spurious bomb claim.

    Of course, the SWAT team might have been completely irrelevant if there had been one person in the club with a weapon. It needn’t have been a patron with a concealed weapon. It could have been the club’s manager, with a Glock in his desk drawer.

    From what I have heard, you cannot conceal carry in a place that sells alcohol in Florida, but does that mean the employees and owners can’t have guns in there as well?

    • #7
    • June 17, 2016, at 6:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards:

    Cameron Gray: In Houston, Shiloh Indoor Shooting Range now offers a free concealed handgun license course to members of the LGBT community.

    Is there a test or something that they give them to make sure they really are members of the community?

    “The course costs $195, unless . . . ”

    Yeah but you really don’t want to have to prove it….

    • #8
    • June 17, 2016, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Johnny Dubya:It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    So, now terrorists know that they will be left alone to slaughter for a significant period of time if they simply make a spurious bomb claim.

    Of course, the SWAT team might have been completely irrelevant if there had been one person in the club with a weapon. It needn’t have been a patron with a concealed weapon. It could have been the club’s manager, with a Glock in his desk drawer.

    Every report I have read says that the great majority of the people were killed in the first several minutes. Where is the information coming from that he shot someone every two minutes?

    I agree that the police response was slow and inadequate to the situation.

    • #9
    • June 17, 2016, at 6:31 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards: From what I have heard, you cannot conceal carry in a place that sells alcohol in Florida, but does that mean the employees and owners can’t have guns in there as well?

    I think in some states, a permit holder can carry in a bar providing that they are not drinking alcohol. Florida and other states should probably do this.

    • #10
    • June 17, 2016, at 6:31 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. jmelvin Member

    I’m awfully glad to hear that pro-civil-rights groups are being embraced by the LGBTQ community, who simply seek to embrace their right to life. The right to life exists from conception til death, thus self-defense is as much a right to life issue as is the cessation of killing children in the womb or killing off the elderly.

    It is amazing the short sightedness of people when it comes to applying firearm restrictions, though. Assume with me that firearms were not available to the murderer, who ultimately didn’t care whether he died or not. If he were intent on killing large numbers of people, shooting up a place, even a state mandated criminal freebie zone, is a high risk activity. There are many ways the shooter could be stopped even if no one has a gun. However, should the murderer decide to actually use his noggin and think of the (likely) 100 ways to more effectively do the job, the risks to his plans may go down significantly and the death toll likely goes way up.

    • #11
    • June 17, 2016, at 7:39 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. BrentB67 Inactive

    Lily Bart:

    Johnny Dubya: It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    A similar thing happened at Columbine High School – the police stayed outside for a some time while the shooters were active. They were heavily criticized for not entering when there were civilian lives at stake, while people lay bleeding to death. I was under the impression that after Columbine the Police changed tactics on this issue.

    That is why having immediate action medial/trauma training is key.

    Rushing into an active shooter situation may not always happen as fast as we like.

    The police are darned if they do and darned if they don’t.

    • #12
    • June 17, 2016, at 7:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. BrentB67 Inactive

    She:

    Johnny Dubya:It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    So, now terrorists know that they will be left alone to slaughter for a significant period of time if they simply make a spurious bomb claim.

    Of course, the SWAT team might have been completely irrelevant if there had been one person in the club with a weapon. It needn’t have been a patron with a concealed weapon. It could have been the club’s manager, with a Glock in his desk drawer.

    Every report I have read says that the great majority of the people were killed in the first several minutes. Where is the information coming from that he shot someone every two minutes?

    I agree that the police response was slow and inadequate to the situation.

    I think the police response was timely and more than adequate.

    It is very easy to sit back in daylight and second guess decision making with the information we have.

    Showing up to a crowded night club with at least one shooter who has already engaged a police officer leaves a lot of unknowns.

    The people inside are already victims. Rushing into a dark or strobe lit room littered with bodies guessing who/where the gunman is very challenging.

    • #13
    • June 17, 2016, at 7:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    BrentB67:

    She:

    Johnny Dubya:It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    So, now terrorists know that they will be left alone to slaughter for a significant period of time if they simply make a spurious bomb claim.

    Of course, the SWAT team might have been completely irrelevant if there had been one person in the club with a weapon. It needn’t have been a patron with a concealed weapon. It could have been the club’s manager, with a Glock in his desk drawer.

    Every report I have read says that the great majority of the people were killed in the first several minutes. Where is the information coming from that he shot someone every two minutes?

    I agree that the police response was slow and inadequate to the situation.

    I think the police response was timely and more than adequate.

    It is very easy to sit back in daylight and second guess decision making with the information we have.

    Showing up to a crowded night club with at least one shooter who has already engaged a police officer leaves a lot of unknowns.

    The people inside are already victims. Rushing into a dark or strobe lit room littered with bodies guessing who/where the gunman is very challenging.

    I’m not second guessing with information we have. I’m questioning the information that’s being disseminated, and the conflicting stories about whether the shooting was pretty much all over in the first few minutes, or if it continued in a controlled manner for several hours, while still believing that the police/responders might have acted more expeditiously, especially if the first instance is correct.

    • #14
    • June 17, 2016, at 8:21 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. Publius Inactive

    Lily Bart:Love the flag. Seems a classically American response.

    There’s a really cool shooting competition shirt in there somewhere. I can see that being a really great shoulder flag or a main theme on the back of the shirt.

    • #15
    • June 17, 2016, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Publius Inactive

    She:

    I agree that the police response was slow and inadequate to the situation.

    I don’t agree with that at all. I used to be a police officer and I’ve long since learned that the media isn’t very good at reporting on these things. It’s better to just wait for some more reasoned analysis and commentary on the police response from people who know what they are talking about before coming to any strong conclusions about the police response.

    • #16
    • June 17, 2016, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Kevin Creighton Contributor

    There’s an LBTQ gunblogger of my acquaintance who’s put together a list of firearms trainers willing to stand up and be counted.

    https://www.facebook.com/OperationBlazingSword/

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1N0_r7Irlhyi94t7IHxhC_jmysFE

    • #17
    • June 17, 2016, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Johnny Dubya Member

    She:

    Johnny Dubya:It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    So, now terrorists know that they will be left alone to slaughter for a significant period of time if they simply make a spurious bomb claim.

    Of course, the SWAT team might have been completely irrelevant if there had been one person in the club with a weapon. It needn’t have been a patron with a concealed weapon. It could have been the club’s manager, with a Glock in his desk drawer.

    Every report I have read says that the great majority of the people were killed in the first several minutes. Where is the information coming from that he shot someone every two minutes?

    I agree that the police response was slow and inadequate to the situation.

    180 minutes divided by 103 victims equals 1.75 minutes per victim. I realize that’s an average. But I read one report that said the last victim was killed around 5:00 AM – three hours after the shooting began. From that person’s perspective, it doesn’t much matter if the great majority of people were killed in the first several minutes.

    • #18
    • June 17, 2016, at 10:52 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. Johnny Dubya Member

    BrentB67:

    She:

    Johnny Dubya:It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours….

    Every report I have read says that the great majority of the people were killed in the first several minutes. Where is the information coming from that he shot someone every two minutes?

    I agree that the police response was slow and inadequate to the situation.

    I think the police response was timely and more than adequate.

    It is very easy to sit back in daylight and second guess decision making with the information we have.

    Showing up to a crowded night club with at least one shooter who has already engaged a police officer leaves a lot of unknowns.

    The people inside are already victims. Rushing into a dark or strobe lit room littered with bodies guessing who/where the gunman is very challenging.

    I don’t think we can write people off – especially those who are trapped and have not yet been shot – as “already victims.” I think we need to develop better protocols and equipment.

    • #19
    • June 17, 2016, at 10:57 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Lily Bart Inactive

    BrentB67:

    Lily Bart:

    Johnny Dubya: It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    A similar thing happened at Columbine High School – the police stayed outside for a some time while the shooters were active. They were heavily criticized for not entering when there were civilian lives at stake, while people lay bleeding to death. I was under the impression that after Columbine the Police changed tactics on this issue.

    That is why having immediate action medial/trauma training is key.

    Rushing into an active shooter situation may not always happen as fast as we like.

    The police are darned if they do and darned if they don’t.

    Yes, I’m sure its a tough call, but you should look at the Columbine controversy – many felt there was room for improvement, including many in law enforcement.

    • #20
    • June 17, 2016, at 11:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. M. King Inactive

    Vance Richards:

    Cameron Gray: In Houston, Shiloh Indoor Shooting Range now offers a free concealed handgun license course to members of the LGBT community.

    Is there a test or something that they give them to make sure they really are members of the community?

    “The course costs $195, unless . . . ”

    I think I could figure out a pretty bulletproof test. :^P

    • #21
    • June 17, 2016, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Lily Bart:Love the flag. Seems a classically American response.

    Wonder if the police will be warned to “watch out for terrorists” flying that, like they were with the actual Gadsen flag….

    http://reason.com/blog/2016/02/05/utah-fusion-center-warns-cops-watch-out

    • #22
    • June 17, 2016, at 5:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Johnny Dubya:

    She:

    Johnny Dubya:It is outrageous that the shooter was able to make the Pulse club his hunting ground for three hours, shooting a victim approximately every two minutes. The SWAT team commander justified his inaction by saying, basically, “Well, he SAID he had bombs.”

    So, now terrorists know that they will be left alone to slaughter for a significant period of time if they simply make a spurious bomb claim.

    Of course, the SWAT team might have been completely irrelevant if there had been one person in the club with a weapon. It needn’t have been a patron with a concealed weapon. It could have been the club’s manager, with a Glock in his desk drawer.

    Every report I have read says that the great majority of the people were killed in the first several minutes. Where is the information coming from that he shot someone every two minutes?

    I agree that the police response was slow and inadequate to the situation.

    180 minutes divided by 103 victims equals 1.75 minutes per victim. I realize that’s an average. But I read one report that said the last victim was killed around 5:00 AM – three hours after the shooting began. From that person’s perspective, it doesn’t much matter if the great majority of people were killed in the first several minutes.

    Sorry, that doesn’t work for me. There’s absolutely no evidence that I can see that he wandered around, waiting between 90 and 120 seconds between each shooting. To proclaim that such is the case is misleading, at best, I think. And in an instance where you may find yourself arguing the ‘semi automatic’ weapon case, I think it might be disastrous.

    • #23
    • June 18, 2016, at 1:45 PM PDT
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