Wednesday, October 28, 2020

My Rally for Your 2A Rights speech

In case you weren't able to watch our Virtual Rally last Saturday, here's the video! It's cued up to where I speak, and there is a transcript of my speech below. 


Hello! My name is Erin Palette, the National Coordinator of the Pink Pistols and the founder of Operation Blazing Sword. The Pink Pistols were founded in July 2000, and its philosophy is “Armed Queers Don’t Get Bashed.” I founded Operation Blazing Sword the day after the 2016 Pulse Massacre to facilitate firearms education for gun-curious queer people who wanted a gun for self-defense but didn’t feel comfortable going to gun stores or shooting ranges. Both organizations merged in 2018, which makes us the largest pro-gun queer group in the United States, if not the world.

It may come as a surprise to some people that I am queer and support the Second Amendment. But how can I not? According to a study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, as many as 25% of all queer people are victims of hate-based violence. In fact, 60% of all hate violence in 2017 was against queer people! If the Pulse Massacre taught us anything, it’s that we are no longer hated as individuals by those who wish to do us harm -- we’re hated as an entire demographic. We can no longer make excuses that a victim of hate violence was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or made a pass at a homophobe; instead, it is obvious that who want us dead are willing to seek us out to make that happen. 

In any emergency which affects us, we are our own first responders. I don’t carry a tourniquet because I think I’m a paramedic; I carry one because if a loved one is bleeding out, without immediate medical attention they could die in the time it takes for an ambulance to reach me. I don’t have a fire extinguisher in my kitchen because I think I’m a firefighter; I have one because it gives me the ability to respond immediately to a small fire instead of waiting helplessly while my house burns down. And I carry a gun not because I think I’m a police officer, but because if my life is threatened by someone intent upon causing me harm, I can drive them off or hold them at gunpoint, instead of being at their mercy until the police arrive… which, in the case of the Pulse Massacre, was over an hour.

In The Rights of the Colonists, Samuel Adams wrote that we have a right to life, to liberty, and to property; as well as the right to support and defend those other rights as best we can. I am here to tell you today that our right to life is meaningless if we lack the ability to defend it from those who mean to take it from us, and that’s why I support the Second Amendment. Firearms are the great equalizer which allow the weak, the disabled, the elderly, and the ill to defend themselves with an equal or greater chance of success against those predators who are larger than us, stronger than us, have a position of power over us, or who outnumber us. Guns, like fire extinguishers and tourniquets, give me the tools I need to defend my life, my home and my loved ones while waiting for the professionals to arrive. 

It is because of that I believe gun rights are human rights, just as queer rights are human rights. In fact, I believe that gun rights ARE queer rights, and the logic behind that is quite simple:

· I have the right to live.
· There are people who wish to end my life because I am queer.
· Guns allow me to defend my queer life.
∴ Therefore, guns preserve queer lives.

· Guns cannot preserve queer lives if queer people cannot carry them.
· Gun rights means that all law-abiding citizens can carry guns for self-defense.
· By carrying a gun, I can defend my queer life.
∴ Therefore, gun rights are pro-queer.

· The right to self-defense -- gun rights --  are human rights.
· Loving whomever I want -- my sexuality -- is a human right.
· Living as I wish -- my gender identity -- is a human right.
∴ Therefore, gun rights are queer rights and both are human rights.

Ultimately, I want everyone to understand that the gun community and the queer community have more in common with each other than they realize, and instead of rejecting each other over our differences ,we need to focus upon our similarities:

Both groups believe in rights, especially the right to love whomever we want, and the right to defend our lives effectively. We may disagree on which rights are more important, and we may disagree on how best to implement these rights and their associated responsibilities, but we ultimately agree that rights are paramount. 
Both groups believe that life is precious and worth protecting. Ultimately, we both want to prevent the murder of innocent people, and that is inherently noble.
And both groups believe that silence equals death. If our voices cannot be heard then we might as well not exist in the mind of the public, and that is how we become marginalized and stepped upon.

We are more alike than different! Let us unite in our belief that life is precious and worth defending, that our rights are sacred, and that we refuse to give them up no matter what the politicians say. Let us defy those who seek to divide us by welcoming those who are different and showing them that their lives matter and have value to us. And let us embody the principle that the Second Amendment Is For Everyone -- liberal and conservative, queer and straight -- by making firearms ownership as diverse as the rest of our great country. 

Thank you!

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