(p. A23) San Jose, Calif. — I’LL never forget the first piece of safety advice I got when I began my transition from the male body in which I was born to the female body I now occupy: Carry a whistle. If I was attacked, I was supposed to blow it in hopes it would alert some do-gooder to dash into a dark alley to break up a brutal hate crime.
The idea was not only preposterous, it was also insulting. The implication was that I, being transgender, wouldn’t be able to save myself. But I didn’t need a whistle; I had a gun.
Since the attack in Orlando, Fla., many L.G.B.T. groups have been calling loudly for laws restricting gun ownership. But if anyone should be concerned about protecting the individual right to bear arms, it’s L.G.B.T. people. We need to stop preaching nonviolence and voting for politicians who don’t protect us.
Violence toward L.G.B.T. people is real. We are victimized at far greater rates than other minority groups. We often face multiple assailants. The attacks are frenzied and quickly escalate from harassment, to fists, to something altogether different. People die.
If you find yourself in a violent encounter, you’re lucky if you get three seconds to react. If you want to save yourself, you have to go on the offensive. And a whistle isn’t going to cut it.
. . .
But every day, Americans use guns to defend themselves, and they don’t even have to pull the trigger. The mere appearance of a firearm can save their life. Just last week, Tom G. Palmer, now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, wrote in an op-ed article in The New York Daily News about an episode in his 20s when he flashed his pistol at a group of men who were threatening to kill him because he was gay — and they retreated.
This is a call to L.G.B.T. people to take their own defense seriously, and to question the left-leaning institutions that tell them guns are bad, and should be left to the professionals. Become a professional. You’re allowed. That’s what the Second Amendment is for. We can fight back when our lives depend on it.
For the full commentary, see:
NICKI STALLARD. “The L.G.B.T. Case for Guns.” The New York Times (Weds., JUNE 22, 2016): A23.
(Note: ellipsis added.)