Why is it that when a man motivated by a foreign ideology attacks a group of Americans, many of us ignore the perpetrator and attack each other instead?

It’s been more than a little sickening to see commentators, celebrities and politicians from our top national leadership on down (all of whom seem to lack an effective strategy for defeating jihadists, “homegrown” or otherwise) blame gun owners, traditional Christians, Republicans and conservatives in general because a U.S.-born son of immigrants from Afghanistan killed dozens and wounded many more in a vicious attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

I doubt that quail hunters in Wisconsin, target shooters in Arizona or gun collectors in Maine were responsible for this massacre. And it’s more than hypocritical for people who have armed guards protecting them 24/7 to tell free Americans they can’t even defend themselves with guns.

In addition, while this attack should have put to rest the canard that moral qualms about baking a cake for a gay wedding are equivalent to wishing deadly harm to its participants, people who hold to biblical moral standards on sexual issues are also being criticized for somehow contributing to it.

Further, it’s extremely doubtful that any of the calls for increased laws restricting firearms sales would have prevented this crime, because the killer was employed as a security guard by a company that had a contract with the Department of Homeland Security to transport illegal aliens around the country.

Thus, he had already passed a number of background checks. And warnings of his repeated radical statements and threats were apparently ignored by his employer (a security firm, remember) and discounted by the FBI, which investigated him twice.


As has been noted elsewhere, it doesn’t do much good to say, “If you see something, say something,” if when you say something you get slammed for “not respecting diversity.”

There’s little doubt the gunman was motivated by Islamic extremism. Of course, most Muslims don’t hate gays – but being gay is illegal in at least 10 Islamic nations, and punishable by death in several. They include our new treaty partner Iran and the Islamic State, to which the Orlando shooter pledged fealty during his rampage.

In truth, however, this could just as easily have been a church or a synagogue – or a shopping mall or school – as a gay club. Jihadists hate us all equally.

And since I fall into two of the categories listed above for criticism – firearms civil rights supporter and orthodox Christian – I want to counter those slurs with action.

So, I think I’ll take my cue from a group called “Pink Pistols.”

It’s a international gun-rights organization (pinkpistols.org) started by gays with the motto: “Pick on someone your own caliber.”


Why? “We advocate the use of lawfully-owned, lawfully-concealed firearms for the self-defense of the sexual minority community.”

I’ve read dozens of stories on this attack, but the headline I haven’t seen yet is the most pertinent: “Nearly 50 people killed and dozens wounded in shooting in gun-free zone.”

Thus, Gwendolyn Patton, the Pink Pistols’ “First Speaker,” said, “This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns.”

Patton’s concerns are that “knee-jerk gun-control efforts may make preventing future events harder rather than easier, as only the law-abiding potential victims will be affected by such laws.”

And she suggests that in bars and clubs, “Just as one might have a designated driver who stays sober, one might have a designated carrier with a concealed-carry permit who goes armed and does not drink.”

So, let me chip in. I’m not rich, so I can’t buy people guns (even if that weren’t already illegal).


So I will offer my expertise instead. As a retired Army officer (and Vietnam vet) who has fired everything the Army has to offer, up to and including a 105 mm tank cannon, I will consult for free with first-time gun buyers, male or female, gay or straight, who want to acquire a weapon for self-defense.

I can also put people in touch with range officials and firearms instructors who can teach them how to shoot safely and maintain their firearms, both critical components of their use.

And here’s a special bonus: For the first five people who contact me and prove they have acquired a gun since the Orlando attack, I will buy them a standard-sized box of ammunition.

Now, ask yourself: Would I do that for people I hate?

Don’t forget that Maine has recently become a constitutional-carry state, so no permit is required to carry concealed.

And learn to beware of “gun-free zones.” We’ve seen how quickly they can end up being dangerous places.

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a freelance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:


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