The Second Amendment protects all American’s Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It makes me happy to see LGBT people and other members of minority groups standing up in defense of that right.
by John Crump
May 10, 2019
USA – Piper Smith, is the founder and director of Armed Equality.
Armed Equality is the largest LGBT gun rights group in the country. Smith founded the group after the terrorist attack at the Pulse Nightclub. On June 12, 2016, an Islamic extremist who had a hatred for gay people, entered the club and killed 49 people. The terrorist thought that being gay was an offense to Islam.
The shooting became the deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11. None of the revelers were armed. They could not defend themselves. Smith realized that needed to change and if no one else were going to do something, then she would.
She founded Armed Equality with the sole goal of enabling the LGBT community to protect themselves against people that would do the community harm. The group doesn’t have any other political motivation other than Second Amendment rights and have people from all over the political spectrum.
Smith contacted AmmoLand News about a cartoon she found offensive. The cartoon was critical of the Equality Act. It pictured a very masculine trans athlete competing in a women’s competition. We wanted to speak to her about her group and the cartoon.
Piper Smith was courteous enough to grant AmmoLand News an interview.
John: What is Armed Equality?
Piper: Armed Equality is a group and movement focused on strengthening the self-defense skills of LGBT individuals.
Historically (~3 years or so) we have focused on facilitating armed and unarmed self-defense training and other similar events with vetted LGBT-inclusive instructors & businesses. Recently we have started to also focus on helping to reform the broader 2A community in terms of inclusivity in non-traditional demographics.
John: The Pulse nightclub shooting was a wake-up call to a lot of people. Do you think an armed citizen could have stopped the shooting?
Piper: It was absolutely a wake-up call for many Americans, especially for those paying attention in the American LGBT community. Something about Pulse that I wish more people were aware of was that law enforcement waited around outside for over two hours!
They prevented nearly all first responders from saving lives due to an active threat that they failed to confront (Note: there was one very heroic paramedic team that risked their careers to enter the area and saved many lives at great personal risk).
Most of us in the 2A community are well aware that we are our own first responders and 911 cannot be solely relied upon, and sometimes I think we take that acknowledgment and mindset for granted. For individuals without military or law enforcement backgrounds who have no idea what the difference between cover and concealment is, I think we owe them the opportunity to learn.
As we well know, not everyone wants to learn these harsh truths, and that’s their choice; but I think we owe it to our fellow citizens to at least offer. It’s painful to see individuals in the LGBT community be so complacent and negligent in their lack of prioritization of development in terms of a self-defense mindset and training.
I explained to a BBC reporter from the UK recently that while there is, of course, no way to know for sure if a well-trained, well-armed individual could have made a difference that night inside of Pulse, it certainly would have changed the odds.