Progressives with guns: yoga, ammo and LGBT rights

Kristin Beck is a transgender woman running as an underdog for US Congress, Kurt Mausert is a Hare Krishna devotee and attorney and Chris Cheng is a professional marksman and former Google employee. Although they make up a clear minority in the states, progressive firearms owners are willing to consider new approaches to gun control

It’s a 5 minute video posted on The Guardian’s website (I can’t embed it, you have to click through to watch it).

Kristin and Kurt’s words have some serious implications. Kristin says:

Groups of people like myself, transgender people, we’re being killed at 1 per week in America. There’s a huge amount of violence against LGBT people, and so I’d say you do need to protect yourself. And if it takes you carrying a weapon, because weapons are being used against you, then that’s what you have to do.

Note as well that Kristin is running for U.S. Congress — as a Democrat.

Kurt is a criminal defense attorney, so he’s seen a side of the world that most people do not get to see. His profession puts him in contact with the ugly realities of the world, and his own life was directly affected when his brother was killed at the hands of an attacker. Yet, he’s a Hare Krishna, as there is no contradiction (it’s about “unnecessary violence”). Kurt points out:

You know, surprisingly enough I find more acceptance among my conservative friends. They can be tolerant of my Democratic socialist views, and my veganism. My liberal friends: you own a gun, and you are a pariah; they just don’t get it.

I live in Austin, Texas. People seem to understand that Austin is a “liberal” city – a blue dot in a red state, if you will.

But do you know how many gun stores exist in the Austin city limits? The gun ranges? The gun clubs (including Austin Sure Shots and A Girl and A Gun, both women’s shooting leagues)? Heck, The Silencer Shop (largest retailer of silencers/suppressors in the nation) is here in Austin. And then there’s my favorite from about 5 years ago, when I walked out of one of the local shooting ranges and what do I see in the parking lot but a Volvo with a rainbow bumper sticker.

Plus, having been a firearms instructor in this area for about 7 years, we see all kinds come through our classes. In fact, the “stereotype” of a gun owner (white, male, middle-aged, uneducated, Republican, etc.) is quite the minority, and becomes more the minority every year.

What’s the take-home?

Gun owners are not who you think they are.

For those in the “traditional” gun owning community, be like Kurt’s friends: be more accepting. Welcome folks into the fold, because you have something in common so build upon those shared interests and forge stronger relationships.

For others, realize that oppressed groups usually remain oppressed if they are unable to rise up and rise above. You profess a belief in a right to choose, to live your life as you see fit, that it’s your body, so please extend those beliefs here to something as fundamental as one’s own life. The Pink Pistols understand this. Hopefully you can too.

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