Everybody responds differently to a national tragedy and the terrorist attack in Orlando is certainly no exception.
But as politicians jack their jaws on the senate floor and Obama tries out his latest gun control hashtag, one group of citizens is taking action and finding their own answers at the pull of a trigger.
While gun sales typically increase following a terrorist attack, both foreign and domestic, this time those sales can be attributed to a very specific group of shooters: gays and lesbians.
On Tuesday, the owner of Denver’s oldest firearms dealer, The Gun Room, said his store saw an enormous increase in sales.
“For this time of year I’d say it’s three to four times what we normally have,” George Horne said. However, in light of Saturday’s shooting, he added, “We’re not surprised by it.”
“I think right now because of what happened, people are looking for answers,” said Mike Smith, a firearms instructor in Colorado Springs. “You walk into a gun shop and you expect to see people, frankly, who look like me. I think we forget we’re a country of all people, not just people who fit that predetermined mold.”
Also surging across the country are new chapters and members of The Pink Pistols, whose membership soared from approximately 1,500 on Saturday to over 3,500 by Monday.
The Pistols, a 16-year-old international GLBT self-defense organization, issued a statement from First Speaker Gwendolyn Patton early Sunday morning after news of the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando broke.
In part, it read: “The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse. This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.”
Following the attack in Orlando, Smith plans to start a Pink Pistols Chapter in Colorado Springs and said even though he may be heterosexual, he’s honored to help in any way he can.
“I look at it as a disenfranchised minority that needs someone who’s willing to say I’m a resource who’s here and willing to help,” he said.
KVDR Denver reports: