Across Seattle, reports alt-weekly The Stranger, posters are appearing linking gay rights and gun rights in ways that are just freaking out the usual control-freaky suspects. Some of the posters suggest that disliking guns is just like disliking homosexuality: a personal foible that ought not be turned into legislation. Other posters suggest that armed gays "aren't going to take shit from homophobes." It's clearly inconceivable that anybody could actually hold in his or her mind, simultaneously, a regard for the right of people to love who they want and respect for the right of self-defense, so it must be some horrible, trollish plot. At least, that's what The Stranger's Cienna Madrid suspects.
From The Stranger:
I just find it striking that a traditionally conservative movement is branching out to recruit gays and lesbians.
It's hard to know who's responsible for putting the posters up all over Capitol Hill. "Nale Dixon," who's credited for drawing the cartoon of the gay couple, returns no search results online. The pro-gun website is run by a dude named Oleg Volk, "An American," but that doesn't necessarily mean he's responsible for papering the hill with them. Without someone to credit, it's impossible to glean the posterer's intentions.
Perhaps being courted by a traditionally right-wing, conservative movement is refreshing and progressive, but it could also just be really effective concern trolling. What better way to make people feel unsafe in gay-friendly Capitol Hill than by slyly referencing homophobia and hate crimes in pro-gun propaganda plastered on every street corner?
Having visited the Pacific Northwest to view the rooftop mosses (a traditional pastime in the region), I know that Seattle is a strange and cloistered place where new ideas may only rarely tread, so may I suggest that, rather than an outreach effort by a "traditionally right-wing, conservative movement," the posters display a certain libertarian sensibility? In fact, the posters could easily have been created by the Pink Pistols, which has a chapter in Tacoma, Washington. While, to judge by its Yahoo! Groups page (and the simple fact that it's based on Yahoo! Groups) the chapter isn't very active, somebody wth Pink Pistols-ish views is creating those posters.
Oh, and Cienna … It really is possible to advocate personal freedom in all sorts of ways at the same time. C'mon and give it a try …
Update: It wasn't us, say the Pink Pistols:
"After some checking around, our chapters in the area are not the source of these posters. We have asked Oleg Volk if he knows anything, and he is also unaware of anything specific. While the Pink Pistols is in the process of reopening its Seattle chapter, this is not related to these posters in any way, and is entirely coincidental.
"These posters were not created, or distributed around Seattle by the Pink Pistols. The Pink Pistols believes in the lawful self-defense of the GLBT community. Where it is lawful, we believe in the use of concealed firearms for this purpose, because those are statistically the best tools for the job. They are only properly used to defend against imminent death or grievous bodily harm. In the case of the poster with the two men by "Nale Dixon", we take issue: A "homophobe giving us sh*t" would not qualify for self-defense using deadly force, unless it was in response to an attack that threatened death or serious bodily harm. This poster does not adequately address the core values of the Pink Pistols mission statement.
"The poster by Oleg Volk, however, is entirely acceptable. We believe that all persons, gay or straight, should have all of their rights all of the time. …"