Texans are tough but they are also big-hearted souls, and those in the gun community are no exception. They have reached out to the LGBT community by offering free CHL classes and escorts to Gay Pride events in Texas.
CJ Grisham of Open Carry Texas (OCT) told Breitbart Texas, “On Sunday morning, 49 Americans were slaughtered by an Islamic extremist at a nightclub in Florida. Since then, there have been other threats against the LGBT community. Open Carry Texas strongly believes that every law-abiding citizen has a right to keep and bear arms in self defense. We believe that open carry is a deterrent to criminal aggression.”
Grisham said that members of OCT have offered to provide visibly armed escorts at LGBT events in order to achieve several objectives. He said the first is to hopefully encourage the gay community to arm and train themselves for self defense so they can respond to any threats against them.
“We want to send a clear signal that gun rights belong to everyone regardless of political persuasion, ethnicity, racial makeup, or sexual orientation,” the OCT founder said.
He added, “Finally, we want to send a clear message that the American people are united against hate and Islamic extremism and we will not be victims. We stand with every community in opposing violence, regardless of the manner in which it is perpetrated.”
Grisham said that no one in his group is a “vigilante.” He added, “We are not looking for a fight.” On the contrary he explained, “We wish to help by preventing any fights based on our mere presence.” He said that “guns are designed to be a tool of last resort after all other efforts at a peaceful resolution have been exhausted.”
Any group, organization or individual wishing to accept OCT’s offer of free armed escorts can contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 832-87-CARRY.
Grisham said he has reached out to the Pink Pistols and hopes that they will take him up on his offer if they want to. The Pink Pistols have a quote from Salon Magazine on their website under a tab, “About The Pink Pistols. Using that quote they say they believe that in the thirty-one states that allow qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons, “in those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible.”
Gay Pride events are scheduled in Dallas, El Paso, and Houston in June, but OCT did not limit their escort service offer to any particular time period. OCT has members in every major city and in 249 counties.
The Shiloh Gun Range in far northwest Harris County, Texas, is offering a free CHL class to those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. A notice on their website says, “WE offer our prayers and support to the LGBT community, and classes to those interested in taking this new CHL class please call 281-444-8930.”
The owner of the shooting range, Jeff Sanford, told the local CBS affiliate, “We want to make them aware they can come here, they can feel safe here, they can get their concealed handgun license or their license to carry and they can carry a gun and they can feel good about it.”
An employee at the range, Ryan Thomas came up with the idea. He has a concealed handgun license, and he is also gay. He told KPRC, “We wanted to reach out to them and say hey, we might not totally understand what’s going on, but we feel for you and this is what we can do to help you out.”
Thomas said, “We have a right to carry. We have a right to protect ourselves. And it’s a different time. We should all know how to do this.”