The Washington Independent reports (via HuffPo) that Senate Republicans are considering trying a new formulation of the “Guns and Gays” portion of “God, Guns, and Gays.” Instead of using the issues as a wedge, they’re combining them to advance a gunrights amendment in the Matthew Shepard law:
The possible plan — to add an amendment that would allow gun owners to carry their weapons from one state to another in accordance with concealed carry laws. The possible rationale — to defend gay rights.
“It makes sense for a group of people who would be protected by hate crime legislation to support something that would let them defend themselves before or after the crime,” said one Republican Senate aid familiar with the discussions. “It’s relevant, and we want to work together with gay groups to get the message out.”
There’s actually a long historical basis for this, as in the Old West, this was basically the only way to get another guy to dance.
The knee-jerk reaction to this might tend to be that this is a cynical attempt to advance gun rights on the backs of gay people. I’m not so sure about that. Increasingly, conservatives have shown that they are coming around on key gay issues. Dick Cheney’s recent show of support for marriage equality is a great indication of this.Notwithstanding that, there certainly is some convenience to this argument.
Viscerally, this is an appealing argument. PinkPistols.org promotes gun ownership among LGBTQ people as a deterrant to hate crimes, and I find it hard to resist appending new, Dirty Harry-esque endings to the stories that grassroots lobbyists for the Matt Shepard bill told me.
Even if this amendment doesn’t succeed, won’t it be nice to know that homophobes will now have 2 reasons to get worked up over what a gay guy is packing?