Readers of my blog and people who know me in meatspace are aware of my absolutist positions on both gun and gay rights. I’m one of those people who believes you should be allowed to marry whoever you want and defend yourself against those who would attack you for living a life they find unacceptable. Unfortunately gun and gay rights activists often clash. Many people on the gun rights side, being devout Christians and social conservatives, strongly oppose legalizing same-sex marriage. Meanwhile many gay rights activists, being devout neoliberals, strongly oppose repealing gun restrictions. Both sides believe their respective gods, those being the Christian God and the state, have handed them a divine mission to force the world into submitting to their central plan. Being stuck in the middle can I often find myself unwelcome in both groups. And it seems I’m not alone:
The right to marry clashed with the right to carry over the weekend in Olympia, Washington, when members of the state’s Libertarian Party were barred from a gay pride event because of their support for the Second Amendment.
Last weekend marked the 25th anniversary of the Capital City Pride festival in the Evergreen State, and the Libertarian Party of Washington planned to attend the festival and man a booth — just like in the years past. However, when an attendee called the event’s organizers to ask if open carry would be allowed throughout the festival, the libertarians suddenly found themselves barred from the festivities.
Other than the voicemail Holcomb received the day before the festival, allegedly no other members of the LPWA — including those who registered for the booth — were informed that the entire party was no longer welcome at the inclusive event. It wasn’t until a LPWA booth organizer, Edwin Pole, showed up at 8 a.m. on Saturday that he was told he could no longer attend.
“She was absolutely, really overacting,” Pole told TheBlaze in an interview. “We were complying.”
Pole told TheBlaze that both he and Holcomb showed up to the event unarmed, and that while the LPWA had discussed whether or not they wanted to promote gun rights in the booth this year, they ultimately decided against it long before the confrontation with Schlecht. Pole said LPWA members had been asked to show up to the festival unarmed.
This is the kind of inconsistent advocacy that really pisses me off. I make no apologies for being an absolutist when it comes to things I consider to be rights. Voluntary association, which is what I consider any form of voluntary marriage to be, and self-defense, which is what laws removing restrictions on carrying firearms enable, are two of those things. In fact I cannot take anybody seriously who calls themselves an advocate of rights and doesn’t entirely oppose any restriction against voluntary association or self-defense. That’s not to say I believe you are required to carry a gun or have to personally endorse same-sex marriages but if you support any state restriction against either I don’t believe you have any grounds to call yourself an advocate of rights.
So I get a little pissy when I see gun rights activists opposing legalizing same-sex marriages and gay rights activists opposing people’s ability to defend themselves. And I get especially pissy when I see either side justifying their opposition by tying the thing they hate to a horrible event or organization:
Pole said he personally paid the $100 for the booth himself and did not take a check Schlecht allegedly attempted to shove into his notebook Saturday morning. He said that while the check was to reimburse for the cost of the booth, it was “not sufficient” as it did not compensate LPWA for the additional money, time and resources the organization had used in an attempt to get ready for the festival.
Aside from the check, Schlecht provided the LPWA members with a handwritten note that explained Capital City Pride’s decision to take away their booth.
“You and your associates are completely free to exercise your 1st Amendment rights to free speech in & around our fair grounds,” the note signed by Schlecht said. “You and your associates are free to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights. And be advised that your supreme insensitivity to the recent church shooting in Charleston will be duly noted by festival participants.”
Self-defense and the shooting in Charleston are in no way related. Not one damn way. The comparable action from the other side would be if a gun rights activist told a gay person that they couldn’t attend a gun rights rally on account of a mentally deranged gay man killing several straight people in an entirely different city. By trying to demonize gun rights supporters by insinuating they are somehow related to the shooting in Charleston Schlecht is being so blatantly dishonest that she should be embarrassed to the point of resigning her position. In fact if I were in charge of the event I would fire her immediately for such dishonest behavior. She doesn’t give a shit about rights so I see no reason she should be involved with an event advocating rights.
Speaking of the event itself, I’ve always been of the opinion that gay pride festivals should have as many firearms present as rainbow flags. Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community are frequent targets of violent attacks. The Stonewall riots, for example, were the result of one such attack by police officers. So if anybody should understand the need for having access to an immediate, effective means of self-defense it should be members of the LGBT community. It’s actually depressing to see so many gay rights activists also supporting the oppression of the LGBT community by opposing attempts to repeal restrictions on gun ownership and carrying.
Before I end this post I’d like to take a semi-related aside. Anybody who knows their history of esoteric politics may see a lot of similarities between this event and the idea behind the Guns and Dope Party. Back in the day a wise man realized that if you had all of the cannabis users and gun owners in the country united you’d have a majority of the voter base. The only problem was that the cannabis users and gun owners tended, and still tend, not to like one another. So he conceived of the Guns and Dope Party to unite the two factions and bring liberty to the land. Since you live in this tyrannical shit hole with me you know that the two groups’ hatred for one another won out. Sadly history appears to be repeating itself, which just further shows that divide and conquer is an effective strategy when you’re the ruler and want to prevent your power from being toppled.