An LGBT gun rights group says that since the Orlando terrorist attack, the amount of members in their organization has doubled.
The Atlanta-based Pink Pistols gun rights group say that their active membership has risen to 230, double that what it was prior to the Orlando terrorist attack on June 12 that killed 49 people.
Gwendolyn Patton, the spokesman for the group told USA Today that the membership for the group on Facebook has risen from 1,500 members before the terrorist attack to 6,500 members on Monday afternoon. Patton believes that 1,500 people joined the group within the first two days of the attack alone.
According to the groups website, they help their members “select a firearm, acquire a permit, and receive proper training in its safe and legal use for self-defense.”
“There’s always been a necessity for self-defense in the LGBT community,” Dylan West, a member of the Pink Pistols told USA Today.
“Bad people have guns, and the only people who can stop them are the good people with guns,” Karen McCloud, a new member of the Pink Pistols told the Telegraph.”Had somebody been legally carrying in there,” she said referring to the nightclub that Omar Mateen attacked, “someone could have gotten to the killer. I have no doubt in my mind.”
The LGBT community has had their fare share of hate crimes against them, but it was not until the Orlando terrorist attack that the issue received national spotlight, according to West.
“People have to be their own first responders,” Dave Kopel, a gun rights advocate told USA Today. “Law enforcement tries to get there as fast as possible to intervene, but they can’t be there all the time and it’s good when people have the tools and abilities to stay alive until law enforcement shows up.”
Since last week, several chapters have become active again that have in recent years closed down due to a lack of membership and support.