About 2:20 this afternoon a reporter from The Seattle Times called me. They explained they found my name on the Pink Pistols website as someone who is LGBTQ friendly and offering firearms training in the Seattle area. I suspect it was this Pink Pistols post which linked to Erin’s Operation Blazing Sword.
Lots of gun people will tell you, with good reason, to NOT talk to the media unless you know they are a known friendly. The debate between talking to him and saying I wasn’t interested in talking bounced around in my mind as I listened further. The Seattle Times has never treated me unfairly. They have been very anti-gun in general, but they have never misrepresented me. I decided to listen and make up my mind after I got an idea of what their angle was.
They wanted to know if I have had an increase in interest in instruction from people in the LBGTQ community since the Orlando shooting. Okay. Probably friendly, I decided.
As I left my cubicle to find an empty conference room and get some quiet I told him, “That’s an interesting question.” And that if he dug into the Seattle Times archive deep enough he could find an article on the topic which mentioned me and Ray Carter (there is also a closely related Lewiston Morning Tribune article).
Once I had settled into a comfortable chair I told him my story. I jumped around some but I gave him a very brief history of Cease Fear, Ray Carter who approached Joe Waldron of CCRKBA with the idea of firearms instruction for people at risk in the LGBTQ community, the involvement of CCRBKA, SAF, and Washington Arms Collectors in the Cease Fear projects, and the creation of the Pink Pistols a few years later. I told him about distributing flyers for firearms self-defense classes to bath houses and gay bars on Capital Hill in the late 1990s. I told him about Erin Palette earlier this week creating the Google map of LGBT friendly firearm instructors. I told him that although 15+ years ago I was very active on the topic he was researching, until I added my name to the map and sent an email to the Yahoo Cease Fear list earlier this week I seen any interest in years but that I was pretty much disconnected from that side of things for a long time until this week. This week I had a couple of people contact me.
He seemed very interested and perhaps was taking notes. I told him to send me an email (over two hours later and I still haven’t received it) and I would send him a bunch of links. He said, “That would be great!” This blog post is probably going to be the collection of links I send him.
He had one final question for me. “How do you identify?”. “I’m heterosexual”, I told him. I continued with, “I’m very straight. But I have a nephew who is gay and a close blood relative, who values her privacy, who is trans.”
He thanked me and told me he probably wouldn’t be doing much more work on the story until Monday.
We’ll see if I misjudged whether they were a friendly or not. There weren’t any strangely worded, leading, questions which hinted an a hostile narrative. So, I think, it will either turn out okay or will be dropped.
Great job, Joe!
P.S. Helpful to any reporter is your gun dictionary, to encorage non-sexist, non-racist, wholly-accurate terms). It’s essentially the most accurate AP Stylebook on Guns out there. This:
My friend, The Story has already been written by the “reporter”s superiors. His job is to find bits and pieces, factoids and quotes, to bolster The Story. If he comes up empty they will either manufacture some bits an pieces or decide “There is no story.”.
Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.
GOA asks you to call your senators (202-224-3121) and now has a web form for emails. Thanks.
Oh and, watch the vipers, they bite.
Here’s the headline; Of the Millions of Homophobic Right Wing Gun Nuts We Found One Reasonable Response.
Homophobic Right-Wing Extremists Force Guns on Frightened LGBT Community
Extreme Constitutionalists Peddle Guns to Gays
Gunnies Give Grieving Gays Good Gun Guidance
(Feel free to steal that one – you saw it here first)
Dunno; it could go either way. Not all leftist rags print only lies. They need the occasional truth as the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. It probably doesn’t hurt to speak with them so long as you remain in condition orange and speak slowly and clearly, avoiding big words like “magazine”, “foot pounds”, “Joules”, “cartridge” or “velocity”. Just think of Katie Couric or the speech patterns and vernacular used on The View. Essentially it’s public elementary school vocabulary and demeanor (OK, maybe I kid just a wee little bit)– Certainly nothing beyond the junior high school level.
Home Grown Gun Extremist Explosives Maker Radicalizing Gays Through Internet, Sympathizes with White Supremacist Randy Weaver
Thank you for all you have done now and especially twenty years ago.
One thought. If possible, you should always record any contacts with the press. If they show up in person, tell them how honored you are and can we make a video? Remember the Katie Couric documentary last month? The audio tape proved she lied. Any testimony by the dozen people there would be disregarded, but the tape was solid proof.
My dad always said that the easiest way to determine if media were friendly was to only agree to the interview if they agreed that you were able to record your own audio/video. If they balk at that point, then you know they are up to no good.
Sure, if they don’t like that stipulation, they’ll move on to find another sucker, but (1) that sucker won’t be you, and (2) you can get the word out that so-and-so is out looking for a sucker. If your circle is big enough to spread this info, then the media folks won’t find any takers, or may finally acquiesce to the stipulation.
It probably would have been a good idea, depending on your state laws, to record the conversation. I believe Washington State is an “all parties must consent” state, but if you announce the conversation is being recorded, consent is implied if they remain on the line.
Despite the oft-biased anti-gun media, let’s be optimistic, and remember the times we’ve received positive press. And give thanks to the media — especially non-mainstream media — for at least reaching out to us.
The last thing we need is to “pre-prosecute” ourselves, before an article’s even published.
And if something incorrect has been launched into the news, we can do our best to correct it. ‘Tis the beauty of the internet.
Perfect example: Earlier today, Joe corrected in inaccurate story about Islamic attack on girl in Twin Falls, ID. Quickly researched, then shut-down.
Another example: Spelling error in Isadore Hall meme. Detected, recognized, fixed, updated.
Anyway, my point is: there’s great need in the mainstream media for the pro-self-defense people to be heard. Despite the “bad guys” in media, there are good guys out there — lots of them.