Since the attack on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, many in the LGBT community have decided to arm themselves. Craig Stevens explains how two different groups are joining forces for a unique mission in our special report “Pink Pistols.”
It can happen anywhere, at any time.
Chad Hendrix, firearms trainer with Pink Pistols: “I was in New Orleans a couple years ago and got jumped coming back to my vehicle. I got hit twice.”
Chad was knocked down, but before his attacker could strike him again, Chad pulled out his gun and took aim.
Chad Hendrix: “And the laser streaked across his face, and when it did, he decided he was going to give up.”
Just the sight of the gun scared the robber off, and Chad says that’s why he has always carried it.
Chad Hendrix: “Had I not had the gun that night, who knows? Who knows what would have happened?”
Chad, who is gay, says he’s determined to defend himself.
Chad Hendrix: “I’m not going to be bashed. I’m not going to be robbed. I’m not going to be beaten to death by an adversary.”
And after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, he wants to make sure other members of the LGBT community can defend themselves as well.
Chad Hendrix (pointing at target): “This is where we aim. We aim there to stop the person.”
Chad started a local chapter of the Pink Pistols, a national group that introduces guns to the LGBT community.
Chad Hendrix: “It’s not something that you associate with gay people.”
The group is taking aim at anyone who would target gay and lesbian people.
Alli Lainez, firearms trainer: “It’s become very apparent that they become targets in some areas, and we just want them to understand that we’re here for them.”
Alli, a firearms trainer, has been a part of the movement from the beginning. She says politics sometimes separate groups of people, so she has set her sights on taking politics out of the gun discussion.
Alli Lainez: “There seems to be a disconnect between the LGBT community and the firearm world, because they tend to lean to the left, or they think that they’re not welcome.”
Chad and Alli both say the bottom line is to make guns less intimidating, but still safe.
Chad Hendrix: “I want them to understand that they have a right to defend themselves, their families.”
Alli Lainez: “They need to be able to protect themselves if they choose to.”
A new Pink Pistols chapter has just started in Fort Lauderdale. Anybody is welcome to join.
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