There are two items that I have been feeling guilty about since returning from the NRA convention:
- I didn’t thank Jeff @ Damnum Absque Injuria for all the rides he gave me while in Louisville. He also straightened out a few legal issues where I, and occasionally others, wandered off into the wilderness where we didn’t know what we were talking about. I really appreciated his contributions to my enjoyment of the event.
- I didn’t post the complete story of the startup of the Palouse Pink Pistols in conjuction with The Lewiston Pistol Club and Fred Phelps. I told Bitter, Kevin, and Sebastian the short version on Sunday night but, being a detail person, I have been feeling guilty for not getting all the minutiae out for everyone to read.
My involvement with the The Pink Pistols
Most all of my readers should know what the Pink Pistols is all about. But before there was the Pink Pistols there was Cease Fear. I was a “foot soldier” in the earliest days of Cease Fear (named by Ray Carter as a play on the name of the anti-gun group Washington Cease Fire). Some of that back story can be found here and here. It was also during my time with Cease Fear that I came up with The Jews In The Attic Test.
After the Pink Pistols took off some people I knew from the gun clubs in the Moscow Idaho area (where I live) formed the Palouse Pink Pistols (and here). I was asked if I would like to help out. I’m straight but the Pink Pistols don’t reject membership on the basis of sexual orientation and I happily agreed.
Coincidentally with the formation of the Palouse Pink Pistols Fred Phelps showed up in Moscow for some reason. Also coincidentally, I was the IPSC match director for one month at the Lewiston Pistol Club when the designated person and their backup were both out of town on match day. I took full advantage of the alignment of the stars.
I needed four stages for the match. Three I could design myself and the fourth had to come from a list of “Classifiers” from the USPSA. I designed the stages with a Pink Pistols theme. The stages were Palouse Pink Pistols Practice, Queer Alley, and No Rest For The Wicked.
The names might have been enough, but the stage descriptions removed all doubt about what this was about.
START POSITION: In pickup A, door shut, driver’s side window open with loaded gun on the seat.
While returning from an anti-Fred Phelps (owner of the web site http://www.godhatesfags.com/) rally in Moscow Idaho you see something suspicious on the side of the road and park your pickup behind a pickup that was apparently filed with drunk frat boys who are now tying someone to a fence post across the road. Three of them are approaching you and the closest one to you has a tire iron in his hand and tells you, “Move along, it’s just a couple of fags.”
On signal engage T1, T2, and T3 with two rounds each through the open window (door may be open or closed). Engage T4 and T5 with at least two rounds each. Set gun down and use the ‘dropped’ knife of the attacker to cut the hostage free (-10 procedural for each cut on the no-shoot). Set the knife down, pick up gun and engage T6 and T7 with at least one round each. Between the signal and the last round fired the shooter must shout “Pick on someone your own caliber!” (-10 procedural for failure to perform).
From Queer Alley:
START POSITION: Standing in front of T1 with your right hand on the down range shoulder of the no-shoot.
One night you and your companion are returning home from the protest against Fred Phelps visit to town. You walk by a narrow alley. A thug grabs your companion and starts to push them into the alley where you notice several other thugs are waiting for you. You engage them before they engage you. PP1 and PP2 represent the headlights of the car they are using for light.
From No Rest For The Wicked:
The story line is that you had let your guard down and two armed scumbags got the drop on you. They have told you they don’t like the color of your skin, eyes, your sexual orientation, the shape of your head, and the way you part your hair. After they take your money they are going to make some creative changes to your appearance. Just before they get you up against the wall a strange sound (which sounds a lot like an IPSC timer) distracts them for a moment. You take advantage of distraction and make some creative changes in their appearance. You must alternate between them to make sure neither of them has a extra moment to modify your features.
For the final stage I chose one essentially at random from the USPSA list. My criteria was that it had to be one we had the proper equipment for and that we hadn’t shot for at least a few months. I choose Steel One. In another instance of the stars magically aligning just right the start position of this stage was, “Standing in Box A with back to targets, toes of both feet against rear fault line of Box A, hands on knees.”
At the time no one believed me and perhaps no one even today will believe me but this is the complete truth. Until I was reading the stage description and everyone started laughing as I demonstrated the start position I had no idea this stage was also “in theme”.
Realizing the formation of the Pink Pistols and our themed pistol match was newsworthy I contacted the Lewiston Morning Tribune. They didn’t send any reporters for the match but they did contact me and the founders of the Palouse Pink Pistols for phone interviews. This is the article that appeared in the paper a few days later. The AP picked up the story and published a shorter version of it. That lead to me being contacted by Matt Rosenberg who wrote an similarly themed editorial for the Seattle Times a few months later.
The big lesson I would like for people to learn from this story is that gun owners can get favorable press. Boomershoot with all the potential hazards of “assault weapons”, “snipers”, “sniper rifles”, and “bombs” has been successfully pitched to the public as what it really is. People from all walks of life who are, in essence, having an early 4th of July celebration of freedom. In the same way with all the hazardous of “vigilante justice”, “cowboys”, and “angry red-necked white guys” potentially associated with a pistol match where people shoot at human shaped targets we were able to get it portrayed, as it actually is, just ordinary people having fun and practicing to defend innocent life from bodily harm.
It wasn’t that hard, it didn’t take that much extra work, and the positive media coverage reached 100s of thousands of people.