The 1969 police raid on New York City’s Stonewall gay nightclub is considered the event that galvanized the gay right’s movement.
Is it possible that one day, historians will look back on another far more serious incident at another gay club as one that ushered in another turning point?
After the Muslim terror attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, gays and lesbians have been reportedly joining armed self-defense groups like the Pink Pistols, and adopting slogans like #ShootBack.
In Houston, Texas, a shooting range did something unusual after the Orlando massacre and what happened next was amazing:
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.”
“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.”
Sanford added that the educational opportunity extended beyond firearms, saying, “They’re not necessarily what we’ve been told and we’re not necessarily what they’ve been told.”
It’s sad that it took a tragedy to bring people together and break down some stereotypes on both sides.