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Daytona Beach, FL, 21 November 2022
On 19 November 2022, at approximately 11:55 PM, a predator entered Club Q in Colorado Springs. He began firing almost immediately, killing 5 and wounding 17 before being subdued by two unarmed patrons of the club. More people were injured in the crush trying to escape. Despite there not yet being a disclosed motive for the shooting, the effect of the shooting in one of only two gay clubs in Colorado Springs is chilling. Operation Blazing Sword – Pink Pistols (OBS-PP) condemns this shooting in the strongest possible terms.
Whatever his motive, he brought death and chaos into what had been a safe space. Among the victims were Daniel Davis Aston and Kelly Loving, a transgender man and transgender woman who were killed just hours before a brunch that would commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday. The fact that the attacker was subdued by patrons of the club reminds us that we are our own best defenders and first responders, which is why the motto of the Pink Pistols is Armed Queers Don’t Get Bashed.
“I’m heartbroken and absolutely mortified,” said Dani Birzer, a friend of Daniel Aston. “You always know this is a possibility when you go into a gay club because you know you’re not protected.” This lack of protection at the Pulse Nightclub massacre led to the formation of Operation Blazing Sword, and its mission is to promote lawful self-defense with legally-owned and legally-carried firearms. Our position is that gun rights are queer rights, because guns in the hands of queer people protect queer lives. Therefore, any law which seeks to prevent us from carrying a gun for self-defense is anti-queer and a threat to our lives.
Operation Blazing Sword – Pink Pistols strongly encourages anyone who wishes to exercise their right to keep and bear arms to seek out as much firearm education and training as they can manage. The right to defend yourself comes with the responsibility to use those tools correctly and within the law, and self defense has strict requirements to meet. To that end, Operation Blazing Sword maintains a database of 1500 queer-friendly firearm volunteer educators in every state of the USA. OPS-PP also submits legal briefs (amicus curiae) to protect the rights of not just queer people, but all peaceable citizens, to have access to the most effective tools for self-defense.
Operation Blazing Sword, Inc. is a grass-roots 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping queer people become responsible firearm owners through volunteer education. www.blazingsword.org
Pink Pistols, a division of Operation Blazing Sword, is dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the gender and sexual minority community. www.pinkpistols.org
Media Contact: Erin Palette, 386-401-0386, firstname.lastname@example.org
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