In the wake of the Orlando Pulse shooting, rather than hoping the government and gun-free zones will save them, members of the LGBT community decided they were going to take steps to be able to defend themselves.
The community was ready to step up and help. Various shooting ranges and gun dealers and organizations began offering free firearms training for those in the LGBT community. Brando interviewed the owner of a shooting range in Texas:
“We have 4 classes with over 300 people in them,” Sanford told me over the phone. “And people are still calling. I had to enlist my wife to help answer all the calls that were coming in.”
The LGBT community answered Sanford’s call in amazing numbers, something that Sanford is pleased with.
“These are people who beforehand thought that they couldn’t find themselves walking into a gun store.” he said. “This is 3.8% of the population that we need to welcome as supporters of the 2nd Amendment.”
Sanford also has a message to his fellow gun store owners and trainers. “I challenge everyone to do the same thing.”
Many times, people will sign up for something, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will show up.
This time, they did.
It was a unique offer by the Shiloh Shooting Range in northwest Harris County, just days after the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Shiloh offered free gun classes to the LGBT community and hundreds of people responded.
“We learned gun safety,” said Jared Anthony. “We learned that it’s not … it’s a big responsibility. If you do carry, it’s something that you do need to take seriously. You are providing … you’re providing a service to the community really.”
Anthony was one of the more than 300 people who responded to Shiloh’s offer of free concealed carry classes. The calls kept coming.
“They’re not necessarily what we’ve been told and we’re not necessarily what they’ve been told,” said Shiloh owner Jeff Sanford.
He said the classes broke barriers. In the first class, he said 60 of 62 who signed up showed up. He said that was a record for a free class.
“Everybody has been so excited about being able to come out and do this. And it’s been a great learning experience for not only my community but for their community as well,” Sanford said. “They’re learning about their rights and learning about the License to Carry Class and they’re absolutely thrilled to take it.”
Two communities introduced following a tragedy. Two worlds with a better understanding.
“I think they should be supported for what they provide to our community,” Anthony said.
This is a great thing to see. Contrary to what those on the left say, this is not a slight towards the law enforcement community. The problem is — and this is just a reality — cops can’t be there at times to prevent crimes from happening.
By taking these classes and arming themselves, those in the LGBT community are empowering themselves