Gays Against Guns comes out against gun violence

According to Kevin Hertzog on When I heard about the shooting at Pulse, I cried.

Instead of sitting on the sofa in my apartment and crying alone, I went to Stonewall and cried with my LGBTI family.

Someone brought weapons of war into a gay nightclub and callously mowed down 49 people. I could not reconcile this fact with my understanding of what life in a ‘civilized’ country should look like. I still can’t reconcile those two very different realities.

Gays Against Guns (GaG) was formed by other people who were as horrified as I was (and am). We didn’t want to just change our Facebook profile pictures and then, in a week or two, go back to our regular lives. We couldn’t allow their lives to have been lost in vain so we needed to act.

Our community knows what to do in a crisis. We lost an entire generation to a silent assassin who went on a 25-year killing spree, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with endless ammunition and the aim of an expert marksman. HIV hit the target almost every single time. But we learned how to act up and fight back.

From the first GaG meeting, veterans of ACT UP stepped in and took the reigns. ‘In ACT UP, we would…’ was a near-constant refrain, but it was a welcome one. We took page after page from their playbook.

We did ‘die-ins’, we spread fake blood on the ground and we screamed ‘shame shame shame’ outside the offices of politicians who’ve taken money from the NRA, or inside the lobbies of buildings that belong to companies who’ve profited from gun manufacturers. And then we followed the money to see who benefits from mass shootings (spoiler alert: gun manufacturers). …

…You can ‘come out’ as a gun violence prevention advocate.

We’re experts at coming out, so why not apply that expertise to this issue as well? Many scholars of gay history cite the coming out movement as a decisive turning point in the struggle for gay rights.

Guns are life or death and silence equals death. So don’t be silent. Be loud and be proud and tell everyone you know that we want better gun laws.

We want a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, we want universal background checks and we want fewer guns in fewer hands. Why? Because we know what it looks like to lose our brothers and sisters to senseless gun violence.

We don’t want that to happen ever again.

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