GOProud’s Solution To Hate Crimes: Less Laws, More Guns!

Two horrible things happened to the gay conservative group GOProud this week: first, they pledged to meet with GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and not mention her or her husband’s anti-gay past—something that CNN anchor Ali Velshi slammed GOProud’s Chris Barron for.

Second, the organization’s golden-haired boy, Jimmy LaSalvia, got attacked when some teenager punched him in his chest, knocked him off of his bike, and proceeded to call him a “fucking faggot.” LaSalvia says he scared off the teen and his friends when he reached for his backpack and one asked, “You think he has a gun?”

We’re relieved that Mr. LaSalvia is OK. But he’s now using the attack to promote gun rights and to talk about how hate crimes do nothing to prevent anti-gay crime. This would all be typical GOProud behavior except for this one detail—LaSalvia waited three days to file a police report.

According to the Washington Blade, LaSalvia initially called a police non-emergency number the night of the attack but “he didn’t feel it necessary to take up police time for what was no longer an emergency.” So the next morning he “went to the headquarters office of the police Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit” but no one answered the door. Then he called the GLLU’s pager number, but no one responded there either.

In the end, it took LaSalvia three days to file a police report when he could have just called 911 the night of the assault and handled it then. The police are currently investigating the attack as a hate crime, but LaSalvia has used the incident to make rounds on the press circuit, asking, “Why did we spend so much political capital for the federal hate-crimes law when …it still does nothing to prevent hate crimes?” LaSalvia even refuses to call what happened to him a hate crime—he calls it a “bias crime.”

A “bias crime” differs from a hate crime in that a bias crime helps GOProud cover its ass for opposing hate-crime legislation. Don’t you just love semantics?

Of course, it’s unfair to judge the efficacy of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act just two years after its passage. To work as a deterrent, it needs a few years  to pervade the public consciousness—and the minds of potential bashers.

LaSalvia knows full well that the 2009 law also expanded the  definition of a hate crime to include attacks on the disabled, transgender, and all other queer identified people. In fact, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) just released a report saying that violent crimes against LGBTQ and HIV+ people increased by 13 percent since 2008, which means our communities need more protection, not less. Hmm, maybe LaSalvia and Barron should reconsider making nice with the  Bachmanns and their ilk, who help create an atmosphere where bashing a queer is acceptable.

It seems the only thing LaSalvia learned from his attack is that he should own a gun. In an Advocate op-ed he writes:

When I got home, I began to reflect on what had happened, and more disturbingly what could have happened. I am in contact with the LGBT unit of the police department to file a report. But I’ve thought a lot about the turning point of the situation — the fact that one of them thought that I might have a gun. None of them said, “There’s a law against antigay hate crimes!” That wasn’t the deterrent. It was the possibility that I might have had a gun that saved my life Friday night.

I have been an advocate for concealed carry laws and Second Amendment rights for a long time, but I just haven’t felt compelled to own a gun myself. I grew up in a family of hunters, but I haven’t gone hunting in years. And until now, I have always felt safe in Washington. After all, D.C. is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. I never thought I would be a victim of bias crime here.

Now I know I should own a gun. This realization will cause me to redouble my efforts to advocate for state concealed carry laws and for federal concealed carry reciprocity legislation so that permits are recognized across state lines. I hope more gay and lesbian Americans will join me in this effort to allow everyone to lawfully defend themselves against violent crime.

Why is LaSalvia heading up GOProud (a group that’s has said it isn’t interested in “gay issues”) and not a new gay branch of the National Rifle Association? The old members of the now defunct Pink Pistols and Bash Back! would surely join him in his quest to gun down all the bashers.

Then again, maybe LaSalvia has a point—maybe we should respond to those who would inflict harm on gays with firearms. So can we assume he’ll be be packing heat at his meeting with Michele Bachmann?

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  • AFruit4Thought

    It’s clear that GOProud has a very narrow agenda. The average gay family that Chris Barron talks about must be upper-middle class, white, and live in a safe neighborhood. Barron makes it clear when he talks about conversations with his partner. He lives in safety, working at a job that accepts his sexuality. When my boyfriend and I talk about issues that affect us, we talk about hate crime laws – because we don’t feel safe at night holding hands.

    And does anyone else see a media nightmare when the first queer person shoots someone when they feel threatened? (As if it’s even possible for every queer to carry a gun with them at all times.) “Homosexuals Are Killing Straights! Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife!” That’ll be good.

  • skzip888

    What about those victims who are too young or disabled to handle a gun properly? What if all these concealed weapons start motivating the police to pull their weapons and or open fire more readily on people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? What if you are forced to shoot your attacker, but your local law enforcement culture isn’t gay-friendly, who is the judge going to believe? Do we honestly believe the NRA will even dare to offend its conservative base by reaching out to Gay culture?

    I ask for equal protection under the law, and all you can do is tell me to fend for myself before pulling your Lincoln Continental into your gated community. Hate criminals try to use some internalized double standard to justify violating the basic human dignites of another person; trying to make them temporarily fear a piece of metal that may or may not be in your pocket will not make them see you as an equal. Firearms have a rather spotty history when it comes to changing society’s attitudes. At best, it will force the queer comminity to ghettoize itself even more and give the bigots another paranoid excuse not to face thier own hatred. Not to mention, they’ll have easier acess so firearms, too.

  • gregger

    I feel that GOProud should be allowed to have guns, as long as they only use them, against each other with full load hollow point bullets, and with signed DNR orders.

  • inoits2

    Do you think for one minute that the Hate Crimes law will deter anyone? I’m sure the bashers have no idea that it even exists. People that attack others don’t reason out what they do, they just do it.

    If the reason is to warn people against it, then it’s pointless. As I understand it, the purpose is to ensure these crimes are investigated on a federal level when local government won’t take the crime seriously due to bias.

    In Philadelphia a teen was chased by six thugs and when he was corners he stabbed on of them. The charges were dropped against him because of self-defense. When I read this I have to admit I took glee in the fact the teen stabbed his basher. Bashers are normally in groups and I love the idea the victim can whip out a gun and blow the mo fos heads off.

    Hate crimes against gays has risen because of our visibility and our rights advances. With our visibility we’re at risk everywhere. Spineless attackers look for easy targets. A gun would stop them much faster than any stupid hate crimes law. Wouldn’t be sweet if in Texas where they allow concealed weapons to see a victim kill at least three to five of his attackers and get away with it.

  • christopher di spirito

    I have no problem at all with pointing and firing a loaded hand gun at a pack of thugs who want to harm me. A gun can be a very effective way to survive an attack.

    I know, others might want to play victim and even get killed in such an attack as they blow their whistle and cower in fear but, I don’t role that way.

    If you try to harm me or mine, expect pushback. I didn’t make the rules of the jungle but I sure as hell refuse to be a victim either.

  • Queer Supremacist

    I’m glad he’s buying a gun. I’m just disappointed he won’t use it against The Kraut Bitch.

    Not everyone is fit to handle a weapon—most of the people here I wouldn’t trust with a butter knife—but those who are should be not only be allowed to use one in self-defense, it is a necessity.

    No more victims. No more victimhood. Let them be the ones running in terror.

  • Doug krick

    The Pink Pistols aren’t defunct. Yesterday there was a glitch in our domain name hosting, but it’s been resolved.

  • Daez

    Hate crime laws always have been and always will be bullshit. No one stops to think about the penalty of a crime while they are committing it.

    The constitution gave us the right to bear arms because we need to be able to protect ourselves. In the case of murder, the police normally don’t show up till you are dead.

  • christopher di spirito

    Hate crime laws don’t prevent anything.

    But hate crime laws do give prosecutors tools to go after people who commit violent acts against members of the LGBT community. Unless you live in San Francisco, where 40% of court personnel were laid-off.

    Ain’t America great?

  • xander

    If you’re the victim of a violent crime, regardless of its motivation, our local metro police encourages an immediate call to 911, because such crimes often occur in waves. Barron’s story on waiting to report does seem fishy.

    Owning a gun without getting proper training and staying in practise can create
    more problems than it solves. (My foolish brother-in-law discovered this the hard way…the crooks stole the gun, too.)

  • Henry

    Even though he lives in a safe neighborhood and he’s out at work, Jimmy still wasn’t comfortable contacting police immediately. Why not? Because he knows they wouldn’t do anything about the hate crime.

  • tjr101

    Since when is hate crime laws suppose to prevent a hate crime? Since when does laws against murder suppose to prevent murders or robbery laws to prevent robberies? Jim Lasalvia’s argument against hate crimes laws is just complete BS and makes no sense. Laws do not prevent a crime from happening, the death penalty doesn’t deter murderers in the states it is carried out and never will. Hate crime laws however do add to the severity of the punishment should a particular group in society is targeted for a crime.

    This seems like just a ploy by GOProud to lobby for more guns on the streets. It wouldn’t be surprising if these privileged pricks are on the payroll of the NRA.

  • Jim

    I believe in the adage that it’s better to be judged by twelve of your peers (if it comes to that) than to be carried by six of them. However, if you do own a gun, make sure to educate yourself in its usage and stay in practice. Also make sure your kids (if you have them) can’t get a hold of them.

    Also, who is The and why should he shoot her?

    I have no issue with hate crime laws. Crimes are often judged by motivation (hence the various degrees of murder, etc.). However, I think any hate crime laws should be a two-way street in practice.

  • Jim

    Oops! It looks like I triggered html code. I meant to say ‘…who is The (ethnic slur) (sexist epithet)…’

  • jeff4justice

    There’s nothing wrong with being a gun owner. Considering how much the mainstream media and LGBT media depicts LGBT people as victims (and I understand we are) the more LGBT people can do to equip themselves with both mental and physical self-defense, the better.

    Should Gays Carry Guns?

  • Steve

    Yeah, I hate to break the news to this sad man, but laws against murder or robbery don’t prevent those things from happening either.

    So I guess those laws were a waste of our time as well.

  • Libertarian Larry

    So refreshing to see my gays brothers not acting all, “Ewww, guns are icky” here. And most of you are right: Hate crime laws do nothing but make the legislators and lobbyists feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but when it comes down to it, criminals don’t think about possible punishment when they’re drunk and feeling like picking a fight. Also, it seems to me it wasn’t LaSalvia’s fault for the 3-day waiting period, since he tried going to and calling the police but received no response (but, of course, being a gay Republican in Gayville is downright heresy, so apparantly anything goes when it comes to criticizing his actions).

  • jon

    I gots a shotgun a 12ga….but it’s for hunting and fucking around with…redneck queer here

  • kuy

    I’d like nothing more than news of dead gay bashers, but boy do i despise GOProud

  • Daez

    @xander: You also have to be willing to use it. You have to know without a shadow of a doubt that when it comes right down to it you can actually pull the trigger and shoot someone. Its not something that easily done by most people.

  • Little Kiwi

    The story is a complete lie. It’s GOProud Typical – “the blacks did it!”

    fuck off, you racist self-loathing wimps. hating blacks won’t make your daddy accept you.

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