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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:
— Shiloh Shooting (@shiloh_shooting) June 16, 2016
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.