People who are members of minority groups that are targeted by hate mongers are more likely to be the victims of random violence and are less likely to be offered protection by the police.
Like other non-minority groups such as women and the elderly who are targeted for violence due to their perceived status as “easy targets”, having a firearm or other weapons can often mean the difference between life and death.
September 12, 2016
Gwen Patton does not carry a gun specifically because she is a lesbian. She carries a gun because she believes random evil can put its hand on you at any moment – and gay people face additional danger.
“Yeah, because someone mugs you on the street, they want your wallet, they want your watch, they want money. A woman might also face a threat of rape,” she says. “Another level is when they don’t like you for what you are. There’s a quantum leap in danger.”
That’s why she joined Pink Pistols when it was formed when the new century dawned. She now heads the organization of gun-toting gays and wants every gay to be armed. She also wants everyone else to know they are armed, trained and prepared to pull the trigger in life-threatening situations.
“These are tools of existence, extreme situations, last ditch, last resort, gotta do something,” she says. “The police are great, but I can’t carry one along with me. They’re too heavy.”
The federal government does not keep records of homicide by sexual orientation, but the FBI does put hate crimes into categories.
In 2014, the FBI reported LGBT people accounted for one-fifth of the 5,462 so-called single-bias hate crimes. They represent the second largest group of victims, following only race-based hate crimes, at 48.5 percent. Third place goes to religious-based hate crimes: 17.4 percent.