TRAGEDY IN NEWTOWN

The Connecticut Shooting: Mobilizing Gay Power To Effect Sane Gun Control

I sat in front of the computer all day, trying to figure out a uniquely gay angle to the tragedy in Newtown, CT.

There’s not one—and it was dumb of me to think there needed to be one.

What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School affected everyone—straight, gay, bi, cisgender or trans. And it woke many of us up to the gun crisis we forgot about.

Understandably, we’ve been a little busy fighting for equality. But the victories we’ve won in the past few years offer the LGBT community a rare opportunity to step up and take a leadership role in the fight to curb gun violence.

We know how to win an uphill battle

We know how to motivate legislators

We know how to change long-held opinions

And we’ve been pushing back against right-wing extremists for decades.

Back in August, Capital New York made a similar suggestion:

For ideas on how to improve their effectiveness, gun control advocates could do worse than to study the playbook of the most effective liberal policy initiative in recent years: the movement to legalize same-sex marriage.

While gun control and gay rights are very different things, there are a couple of key directives that apply to both: Play political hardball, put your money where your mouth is and reframe the debate to deprive the opposition of fuel.

The LGBT community moved mountains for marriage equality—and has succeeded in so many ways. Let’s direct that energy, infrastructure and voice toward helping reason win the day. Not to get rid of everyone’s guns, but to enact reasonable gun laws and curb the fetishization of firearms.

It would be amazing to see a new LGBT-directed nonprofit with gun control as its key issue. For now,  get involved with or donate to groups like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign.

We owe it to America.