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Anecdote: In Which I Live Out a Liberal Gay’s Nightmare Scenario

I visited my son in West Virginia today. I wanted to try out my new .308 — which is brilliant, BTW. I have never been a good shot by any measure, but I was nailing targets at 150 yards — so we went to the outdoor rifle range at a nearby state park. It was unusually active today, and at one point, there were about a dozen locals besides of us, and almost all of them were firing AR-15 variants. (I’m sure some of them were ghost guns capable of firing 30 magazine clips per second.)

So there I was,ย  surrounded by rednecks with “assault rifles;” a liberal gay’s nightmare.

But I felt perfectly safe, and found the other shooters perfectly friendly.

Afterwards, we went here for lunch.



  1. You must have felt so butch today.

    Comment by davinci — April 9, 2015 @ 12:01 am - April 9, 2015

  2. Most likely because you didn’t make an issue of it, and neither did they.

    Live and let live. A greater percentage of those on the Right practice it than those on the Left, although they will claim the opposite. Action speaks louder than words.

    Comment by Craig Smith — April 9, 2015 @ 12:15 am - April 9, 2015

  3. Met a flaming gay guy who is also a ClassIII owner (inherited a large collection from his step-dad). His co-worker was shocked. Asked how the “Rednecks at the range” treated him he replied “I own full auto AK47s …they’re very polite.” His biggest issue was so many wanting to shoot his stuff.

    Comment by JP Kalishek — April 9, 2015 @ 2:34 am - April 9, 2015

  4. “Shoot his stuff”, hmmm innuendo there? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Comment by James — April 9, 2015 @ 6:04 am - April 9, 2015

  5. Being gay is not a problem for most of us unless being gay means the person is all wrapped up in “being gay” and that is how he shapes his identity. Tolerance has turned out to be not good enough for some gays. Don’t tell me I have to honor someone for their status. Respect, trust and friendship are not “commodities” established by the threat of reprisal.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 9, 2015 @ 7:29 am - April 9, 2015

  6. I only care what someone does with their sexuality or sex life if they “force me to care”. Otherwise I say that is none of my business one way or the other. If you try to make it so the government prevents me from limiting your actions you take in your own personal sphere with whomever willingly wants to interact with you, that is just peachy. It’s when you make the law reach into my own personal sphere to force proactive action on my part in approving, celebrating, or otherwise participating in such things that I have a problem”. With such things being anything from religion, to gay weddings, to baseball games. As long as I’m not interfering with you living your life as it doesn’t interact with mine, then you have no business defining my life.

    Comment by RDM — April 9, 2015 @ 8:07 am - April 9, 2015

  7. Heliotrope nails it.

    Most people see people as people and they often like talking about common interests (in this case guns).

    It’s when a gay person makes their life revolve around their gayness that it becomes annoying. I think there is a time and place for sexuality and sexual preference to take center stage but if personal identity is tied up in who you have sex with you are missing out on so much.

    Comment by Just Me — April 9, 2015 @ 8:29 am - April 9, 2015

  8. I think the real question is, will Hillbilly Hot Dogs cater my gay wedding reception? After all, I can’t get pizza here in Indiana. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by John in Indy — April 9, 2015 @ 8:42 am - April 9, 2015

  9. This is a common experience of hundreds and thousands of gay shooters across the country. Since the creation of the Pink Pistols in 2000, we haven’t had ANY anti-gay experiences at ANY shooting venue anywhere. We’re treated like fellow shooters, nothing else.

    GLBT organizations, on the other hand, have given us mixed responses, from timorous support to outright hostility. We had people threatened by stormtroopers at a Gay Pride event, and a bisexual organization in Philly hassled us at another. “How dare you have guns here,” one person shouted angrily. “They might GO OFF!”

    “We’ve gotten five new members today,” one of our people called back. “How many new bisexuals have you gotten?” Angry growls, but no answer, back.

    We have no difficulties with fellow shooters. We’ve shared guns with Class III clubs at weekend shoots, we’ve sat and talked with members of other groups, and joined local clubs. All the shooting groups care about is that we SHOOT straight.

    The Pink Pistols have been involved in some of the most important judicial decisions supporting our individual right to keep and bear arms in the past decade and a half. We had amicus briefs in the Heller case, were mentioned by the judge in McDonald v. Chicago, and are fighting a half-dozen other such cases across the country today. We have created a space where GLBT shooters can get together and practice with like-minded people.

    I’m glad your experience was commensurate with what we’re all used to receiving from the shooting community.

    Comment by Gwen Patton — April 9, 2015 @ 9:03 am - April 9, 2015

  10. My husband and I moved to GA this year (from NJ), and we have gone to the gun club near our new house a couple times, as we are both avid recreational shooters. No one has ever looked askew at us, and in fact they remembered my husband the second time he went in and gave him my veteran discount.

    I second Gwen – we’ve never had any anti-gay experience at shooting venues. It’s much like the experience when we owned a Harley and belonged to the HOG. People in these environments care that you share a common interest. And I dare say that these interactions really help us all see each other beyond stereotypes.

    Comment by Neptune — April 9, 2015 @ 10:52 am - April 9, 2015

  11. I admit I’m not at all a gun enthusiast but I have to laughter at people who are terrified of guns in public because “they might go off!”

    Gun enthusiasts I know could recite every gun safety rule and practice them. Accidental discharges usually occur with people who are careless with weapons. No gun enthusiast is going to March in a parade or event and fail to carry their weapon safely. If they did there would be other enthusiasts to tell them yo knock it off.

    Comment by just me — April 9, 2015 @ 11:02 am - April 9, 2015

  12. A Gay Man enjoying the discharge of an awesome .308…what is the world coming to??? Excuse me while I faint away (just kidding) and dial 911 for the delivery of some teddie bears and grief counselors!!!

    Comment by killiteten — April 9, 2015 @ 11:44 am - April 9, 2015

  13. A similar issue came up a while ago in our mixed-race group of friends. One white member asked one of the black members if he felt uncomfortable or unsafe in a mostly-white environment; his response was “of course not.” The rejoinder was – is the reverse true? Do you think whites feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a mostly-black environment? Our black friends response: “Hell, _I_ don’t feel safe in a mostly black environment!”

    Comment by Southern Man — April 9, 2015 @ 12:45 pm - April 9, 2015

  14. “I think the real question is, will Hillbilly Hot Dogs cater my gay wedding reception? After all, I canโ€™t get pizza here in Indiana”

    Glenn’s guns will provide shotguns for your shotgun gay wedding at 8% over cost. The area pink pistols for me has disbanded.

    Comment by Steve — April 9, 2015 @ 10:48 pm - April 9, 2015

  15. Those are some good dogs ain’t they! Used to ride there from Maryland on the Harley. Always remember a bad day at the range beats a good day at work.

    Comment by Appalachian Man — April 10, 2015 @ 7:41 pm - April 10, 2015

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