Friday, March 31, 2023

Press Release: the Covenant School Shooting in Nashville




Daytona Beach, Florida, 31 March 2023: Our hearts are broken by the senseless, tragic murders of children and staff at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols denounces and condemns the actions of the murderer. It does not matter what the gender identity or sexual orientation of the killer may be; what matters is that all Americans strive to build a better world so that future generations do not have to face these horrors.

While we do not yet have enough information to truly comprehend the motives of the killer, in our zeal to condemn these monstrous actions we must be careful not to condemn innocents with the same brush. There are millions of law-abiding gun owners who have committed no crimes with their firearms, and yet are being charged in the court of public opinion with being culpable for these murders. Similarly, millions of peaceful transgender men and women are being called mentally ill, deviants, and other derogatory terms simply for trying to live as their authentic selves.

At no other time in recent history has the fight for both transgender rights and firearm rights been more critical. We have seen legislation limiting, or outright banning, gender-affirming care which has the potential to impact many transgender individuals and restrict their ability to live happy lives. We have also seen states, in reaction to NYSRPA v. Bruen, pass legislation limiting, or outright banning, lawful carry of firearms which have the potential to save many lives from violence against their person.

The ethos of Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols has always been, and will forever remain, that Armed Queers Don’t Get Bashed. We declare, in the strongest terms possible, that our organization is defensive and only defensive. We denounce, in the strongest terms possible, any offensive actions taken in our name.

We do not act out of vengeance. We act only in defense. Anyone who does otherwise is not one of us, and we will act to stop them by any legal means necessary.

Operation Blazing Sword, Inc. is a grass-roots 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping queer people become responsible firearm owners through volunteer education by maintaining a database of over 1500 queer-friendly firearm volunteer educators residing in every state of the USA. It also submits legal briefs (Amicus Curiae) to protect the rights of not just queer people, but all peaceable citizens, to have access to the most effective tools for self-defense.

Pink Pistols, a division of Operation Blazing Sword, is dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the gender and sexual minority community.

Media Contact: Erin Palette

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Beware the Curbstomps of March

This has been a rough month for me. March has stabbed me in the back, knocked me down, and kicked me such that the only thing I've been able to do is cover my head and try to survive. I'm honestly surprised I've made it this far, but that's mainly because I have skipped out on a lot of my duties, avoiding social media when possible, and practicing as much self care as I can. 

So because writing makes me feel better, and because I want to feel like I've accomplished something today, let's take a look at the highlight reel from March Maliciousness. 

It started with the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), March 1-4. I covered the very worst parts of it in my post titled A Little Knowles is a Dangerous Thing, but just to be clear I want to point out that most of CPAC 2023's theme was villainizing transgender people. Now, I've said before (and will say again) that we can have productive and necessary conversations about topics like "At what age do children have bodily autonomy?" and "Should transgender athletes compete in sports?" because these are topics without easy answers that will require difficult solutions. (Sadly, most people want cookie-cutter solutions that can be implemented without having to think about them, which is a problem because people aren't uniform dough, we are complex and unique entities and what works for one person won't work for another.) However, CPAC went far beyond that and dove headfirst into "Let's make it illegal for grown adults, who aren't hurting anyone, to find comfort in their own skin and within society."

The next week there was the Jeremy's Chocolates debacle, wherein Jeremy Boreing took exception to Hershey for having a trans woman featured in one of their commercials for their International Women's Day Her/She (get it? Hershey, Her/She?) and threw a big ol' fit about it and decided to sell his own overpriced chocolates to compete against Hershey. Now, this is important for two reasons:
  1. A lot of my conservative friends thought this was the Best Thing Ever and were laughing about how Jeremy was "owning the libs" by saying things which mocked and denigrated trans women. The fact that they didn't realize they were mocking and denigrating me, and therefore hurting me, didn't seem to register with them. 
  2. Jeremy Boreing owns The Daily Wire, which airs Michael Knowles' show, as well as the shows of other anti-trans pundits like Adam Walsh. So by spreading the message of this commercial, and by buying these chocolates, these friends were directly funding people who hate me and want me back in the closet or in prison. 
I asked people not to do this. I pleaded with them to please consider Rule 4 ("Be aware of your target and what is behind it") as it pertains to online virtue signaling. I cried as I received friendly fire from people who I thought liked me, respected me, even loved me. I wept as they treated me like I was acceptable collateral damage in this bullshit culture war that has now politicized chocolate, of all things. 

Either they didn't hear me or they didn't care, for they kept doing it. So I started unfriending them, because people who hurt me for laughs or for political points or who just don't care aren't my friends. At this point I've jettisoned close to a hundred people, and it seems like every few days another one says something hurtful. The very worst of them was when a friend of over a decade, with whom I have been very close, posted a link to a Not The Bee article about how transwomen are a threat to women by invading their private spaces and generally painted us all as vile sexual predators. 

About the only good thing to come out of all this, and it's a tiny silver thread in this otherwise very dark cloud, is that some friends have reached out to me and let me know that they love me and they will support, protect, and defend me if things in this country become as bad as it looks like they will. That kindness resulted in my ...By Other Means post and this accompanying graphic:

... and then Some Asshole, who was transgender, shot up a school.

I think I've established my bona fides over 16 years of blogging that I loathe mass-murdering fuckheads and would have gladly given my life to stop this fuckhead if I'd been there. I also like to think that my readers know me well enough that I'm not going to defend said fuckhead just because said fuckhead is transgender. Trans people are still people, and people can be awful regardless of other characteristics (except maybe people with Down's Syndrome. I've never met one who wasn't sweet and kind). 

Unfortunately not everyone in the world reads this blog and therefore doesn't know me, so the picture which was made for the above post and which was spread across social media on March 26th made it look like I, the Pink Pistols, and Operation Blazing Sword were defending the mass murdering fuckhead on March 27th. I guess I'm lucky that I didn't post it to the OBS website because that would have been worse. 

For the record, I didn't delete the social media posts, because that would look like we were ashamed of the sentiment and I'm not. It's still true. But we have had to clarify things. I made this post on the 28th which seems to have been sufficient for all but the most obtuse:

So all of this week I've been getting it from both sides. The anti-transgender right is making damned good use of this anti-trans sentiment by declaring us all mentally ill and therefore we shouldn't be allowed to own firearms because we're all sick deviant perverts, while the anti-gun left is doing their usual song and dance about how anyone who owns a gun has blood on their hands and we're all facilitating a cycle of violence and so forth. 

Agitating for the removal of a Constitutionally-guaranteed right without any due process is certainly a spicy take, but it's definitely not a Conservative one. In their haste to infringe upon the rights of a demographic they find icky they haven't realized that this same tactic can be used against them when the Left controls Congress and, just as an example, decides that since Oppositional Defiant Disorder is in the DSM, anyone who distrusts and defies the authority of the government clearly has ODD and is therefore mentally ill, meaning they should be denied their Second Amendment rights for "the good of all."

Meanwhile, the Liberal gun prohibitionists don't seem to realize that the ugly, hateful statements they make about gun owners are exactly the same kind of ugly, hateful declarations being made about transgender people, and that they think one is good and they other is bad when in fact they're both awful vitriol that accomplishes nothing except starting a fight and moving us all further away from finding common ground, which is "Murder is bad regardless of who does it, and we should find ways to save lives without punishing the innocent."

You've heard of "The Man Without a Country"? Well, I'm a woman without a political party:
  • The left wants my body dead because I own guns. 
  • The right wants my soul dead because I'm trans. 
  • The libertarians, god bless them, are incapable of being elected dogcatcher. 
This results in me having no competent representation to defend my rights against the federal leviathan.

It feels like I'm stuck in a Michael Moorcock novel, witnessing the stereotypical struggle between Law and Chaos, and Chaos is currently winning. And I don't mean the bright, fun chaos of spontaneous creation and whimsy; I mean the brutal, destructive, churning chaos where nothing can live because there's no stability that is conducive to life. 

This is already really long and I'm not even up to this past week, so I'm going to end this for now and continue it in part 2 where I talk about our house's mold problem. Sigh. 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 242: Gun Laws in Flux

In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • North Carolina on the verge of repealing their Jim Crow-era Pistol Purchase Permit law;
    • A federal judge's ruling that California's Handgun Safety Roster is unconstitutional;
    • Joe Biden's executive order that is a lot of words which are vaguely anti-gun.
  • Next, Matt from Geeks, Gadgets and Guns gives us an overview of Nebraska gun laws, and how they leave much to be desired;
  • David answers a question asked by Weer'd and only Weer'd: "What happens when an Altor Pistol shoots a squib?"
  • And finally, Weer'd talks with Marty Hayes of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network about a court battle between ACLDN and the state of Washington over their ability to do business there.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic:

Matt from Geeks Gadgets and Guns:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

Marty Hayes 

Sunday, March 26, 2023

...By Other Means

"Have you seen [the latest anti-trans awful thing] by [media pundit], Erin?" 

No I have not, and at this point I will actively resist doing so. This entire month has been brutal for transgender folk, and I have been the recipient of several stabs in the back. Therefore, in order to practice self-care, I'm not going to read/watch/listen to whatever dehumanizing garbage comes out of DC or the media. The only thing I plan to do is add the speakers to my growing list of people to keep an eye on, because I pay attention when people tell me that they mean to do me harm

If you have transgender loved ones, they're probably scared and hurting from the events of the past month. I encourage you to contact them and tell them what a dear friend of mine told me last week, which I have turned into an image for easy sharing across social media, to let them know that they can rely on you:

A friend of mine responded thus on Facebook:
Every time I hear some social conservative bring up the "pedophile" argument.... I'm reminded of institutions like the Catholic Church, and Boy Scouts of America, or the Duggar boy now in prison for possession of child pornography (after years of red flags his family glossed over) which espoused for years heavily socially conservative values, which had their own sex abuse of children scandals....

It's almost as if we need to remind people that trusting people based solely on group affiliation is a bad idea. The whole "in grouping" and "out grouping" is not rational thinking, but fear based emotions, mainly because Heinlein observed, people aren't rational animals, but animals that rationalize.

I see you, I support you, and I hope and pray that you remember that the people sending hate your way simply can't be reasoned with, because they didn't reason themselves into their stance.
That last sentence is an echo of a quote attributed to Jonathan Swift“You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place.” In other words, if someone arrived at a belief out of emotion, then you can't change their minds through persuasive argument. 

I believe Clausewitz had something to say on that topic. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 241: Dumb Laws and Other Dumbness

In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • Why credit card companies are backing down with gun-specific merchant codes;
    • Germans demanding more gun control after a mass shooting, despite the gun control they already have not working.
  • Next, Weer'd sits down with Marty Hayes of the Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network to talk about "gun insurance" and what is and isn't legal when covering a client;
  • Oddball expands on Tiny's SWATing story from a technical standpoint;
  • and finally, Xander gives the finger to smart gun technology.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

A Little Knowles is a Dangerous Thing

Michael J. Knowles, speaking at CPAC 2023, stated that "Transgenderism must be eradicated." It's on the video embedded below, and that statement has been quoted by both conservative and liberal websites. Knowles later weasel-worded his statement by saying that he's not calling for genocide, because "genocide refers to genes."

If you know me, you know that I have strong feelings about this position. I'm going to leave the "Being transgender is not an ism" rant for another day so that I can concentrate on the larger picture here. 

First, Knowles is calling for the eradication of everything that allows transgender people to become whole, which is a murder of soul if not of body. We will kindly be allowed to live... so long as we crawl back into the closet and stay there for his comfort, and to hell with what that does to the quality of our lives. 

Second, what he's calling for can be rounded up to genocide -- or democide, if you're feeling pedantic -- because once being transgender is made illegal, the two choices a trans person has are:
  1. Comply and only dress and present as the sex assigned on your birth certificate, which effectively eliminates all trans people from society, or
  2. Refuse to comply and face potentially lethal response, because all laws are ultimately enforced at the barrel of a law enforcement officer's firearm. 
Third, can you imagine the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth if a liberal pundit had declared that "conservatism must be eradicated"? The Republicans would condemn it as hate speech and an existential threat to them. 

I never thought I would see the day when someone would call for an end to my way of life at a political convention, nor did I think they'd be cheered for it, yet here we are. This feels very much like a testing of the waters; by having a media pundit say it instead of a politician, CPAC could have disavowed Knowles' statements as "not representative of our positions" if the crowd reacted poorly. But the audience cheered and clapped, which many if not most conservatives will interpret as broad support for such actions. 

By the way, just in case you think this might have been a one-off situation, here's Michael Knowles saying similar things. 

"Be normal."  How privileged can you get? And I hate how the term privilege has been distorted and over-used, so when I use it that's saying something. 

It's simply shocking to me to see someone, but especially a media pundit, who is so expressly against the First Amendment that he wants to bring back laws forbidding self-expression that harms no one. 

He's not even talking about transgender children; he's talking about forbidding adults of legal age from dressing and acting as they want. What happened to GOP being the party of the Constitution? 

"We have a duty to express our sex in the correct way." This is not a political argument; this is a religious argument. Well, so much for separation of Church and State. And nothing bad has ever happened when the government legislates religious purity, has it?

Do you remember the origin of the pink triangle, Mr. Knowles? Because we do. And we won't ever let that happen again.

Armed transgender people don't get bashed, Mr. Knowles. We will NOT go back into the closet for your benefit, nor will we allow you to take away our liberties without a fight. 

To anyone who plans to enforce this: stack up and send expendable goons, because they aren't coming back. Give me liberty, or I will give you death.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 239: Erin and Weer'd at the 2023 Gundie Awards

In This Episode

  • The first part of this episode was recorded on location in Uvalde, Texas where Erin and Weer'd recounted their travels and events of the Gundie Awards' range day at Drive Tanks.
  • In part 2, Weer'd and Erin are back at their respective homes and discuss the Gundies' Expo and Red Carpet/Awards Ceremony.
  • Much fun was had!

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

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