Gun sales spike among the LGBTQ community following the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
In wake of a shooter concealing an unbelievable amount of weaponry and ammo into an Orlando nightclub and targeting members of the LGBTQ community, an unusual and somewhat unexpected response has developed. In West Hollywood, graffiti artists posted wheat paste posters with a hybrid design of the Gadsden and Gay Pride Flags, prompting a "call to arms" by the community to adopt the moniker, "Don't Tread on Me."
In fact, Fox 31 in Denver, Colorado reported on a spike not only in gun sales that is typical following mass shootings, but that they started seeing a rapidly increasing customer base of gays and lesbians. The station interviewed Mike Smith, a firearms instructor in Colorado Springs who offered this:
"I think right now because of what happened, people are looking for answers. You walk into a gun shop and you expect to see people, frankly, who look like me. I think we forget we're a country of all people, not just people who fit that predetermined mold. I look at it as a disenfranchised minority that needs someone who's willing to say I'm a resource who's here and willing to help."
Smith, although straight, is starting a chapter of the "Pink Pistols" gay and lesbian gun club as an ally.
Libertarian activist, Doug Krick, founded the group in July of 2000 with the slogan, "Pick on Someone Your Own Caliber." Memberships of the club spread across 45 active chapters in 33 states have soared nationally from 1,500 to 3,500 within a matter of a couple days of the shooting.
— Pink Pistols (@PnkPistol) June 16, 2016
In a report from NBC, Pink Pistols spokesperson Gwendolyn Patton was quoted as saying,
"We've had the greatest response in three areas, our Facebook page, which has tripled in size, our chapters, we have so many requests for information on starting new chapters I've lost count, and the sheer number of people offering services such as training to our members."
— Pink Pistols (@PnkPistol) June 18, 2016
Robbie Motes, a gun retailer with three locations in the Orlando area by the name "The Armories," also told NBC that his store typically sells 10 to 15 guns a day, but on the Monday after the shooting it had reached that number by noon.
Does this spike in sales surprise you?