Gun Rights

Vice Writer Apparently Surprised that 'Gay' Is Not a Political Orientation

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Well … nobody will make fun of it.
Credit: zombieite / photo on flickr

Obviously headlining a story "Meet the Gay Libertarian Gun Nuts" is designed to be deliberately inflammatory clickbait. So it goes at Vice (not a judgment, just an observation). But beyond the headline, writer Cecilia D'Anastasio is one of those folks who is amazed to discover that coming out of the closet doesn't include an application to register as a Democrat.

Starting with the tale of gay, libertarian gun rights advocate (and plaintiff) Tom Palmer, D'Anastasio discovers the world is a complicated place:

Palmer isn't the only gay pro-gun libertarian activist out there. In fact, there are thousands of LGBT individuals who are skeptical of the government and love shooting things—or are at least prepared to do so in self-defense. I wasn't aware of this subculture until I attended LibertyFest NYC—initially, I was taken aback when Marcel Fontaine, a speaker at the convention and creator of the "LGBT for Gun Rights" Facebook page told me that the "more guns, less crime" argument often referenced by opponents of gun control can apply to hate crimes, too. "Armed gays don't get bashed" is how they often put it. 

D'Anastasio is then surprised to find gay fans of Ron and Rand Paul, despite Ron's previous vote for the Defense of Marriage Act (reminder: Joe Biden voted for it, too, and it passed with veto-proof majorities). She also seems to think it's odd for gays to embrace the libertarian support for a free market that makes it legal to discriminate against them (she needs to read my primer on the philosophical consistency here).

But then she actually does her homework and notes the Libertarian Party's lengthy history of support for gays and lesbians going back to the 1970s, courageous (at the time) positions based on a coherent civil rights philosophy that the Democratic Party could only dream of claiming. She quotes several gay supporters for gun rights who state the obvious—if more gay people were armed, fewer folks would attempt to bash them. The piece ends with an attempt to get somebody to present a counterargument that gays shouldn't carry around guns, but, well, it doesn't seem to land. I trust libertarians to spot the pretty significant logical flaws:

Shelby Chestnut, a media spokesperson at the Anti-Violence Project, which targets LGBT community members, argues that guns are tools of hate crimes, not a way to prevent them. Citing the case of Cece McDonald, a transgender woman who was sent to jail after defending herself against a homophobic attack, Chestnut noted that carrying a gun can often subject LGBT people to even greater violence.

"We need to look at the systemic inequalities that are causing people to be victims of violence," she said. "The solution to that is definitely not creating violence to end violence."

Read the full piece here.