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Thread: Pride Northwest (Portland) ejects festival goer

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Philadelphia, PA - June 28, 2007 -- /prbuzz/-- On Sunday, June 17, 2007, Lonnie Wilson, founder of Pacific Northwest Open Carry, attended Pride events in Portland while openly displaying a firearm on his belt. Wilson had discussed this with police and with event officials beforehand, to make certain they understood that open carry was his right and his intent to exercise this right was political speech to illustrate this right to the Portland Police Bureau, who repeatedly insisted on harassing openly-carrying citizens in defiance of the state law.

    "I went into the Pride event for at least two hours, carrying openly, and no one complained," said Wilson. "I even walked directly in front of several police officers, and none of them said anything, not even to check my permit status. There was no problem."

    As far as Wilson knew, there was no problem at all until he left the premises for dinner and attempted to return. At this time, he was stopped by Thomas Ford of Crowd Management Services (CMS) Security. This company provides security for many large events around the Portland area. Ford contacted Stef-Anie Wells, President of Pride Northwest on Wilson's behalf, but was told "we would prefer he not to come back in and I will stand behind that decision." Ford then ejected Wilson from the event.

    Wilson has since had email contact with Ms. Wells, in some effort at diplomacy. The responses have been less than diplomatic.

    "Wow you have no clue to the Trauma that you have caused some people at pride by asserting your 'rights'. Did you once stop to think that at least 50% of the queer population has had death threats made upon them, (sic)" wrote Wells. "or that you might traumatize a former student of Thuston High School, I know I didn't!" Wells is referring to the school shooting event at Thurston High School on May 20, 1998, when Kipland "Kip" Kinkel, who was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, killed two of his classmates and wounded 25, after murdering both of his parents.

    The Pink Pistols denounces the actions of Pride Northwest and CMS Security in ejecting Mr. Wilson for exercising his rights under the law. "While the President of Pride Northwest is entitled to her opinions," says Gwen Patton, International Media Spokesperson for the Pink Pistols, "Ms. Wells needs to learn the fundamental difference between opinion and fact."

    Wilson, and later the group that he formed, has been engaged in a project since late 2005 to urge local police agencies to issue training advisories to their officers on the legality of open carry. Specifically in Oregon, it is legal to open carry in one foot and in one's car without a license under state law. However, the Oregon Legislature gave limited power to cities and counties to disallow carry of loaded firearms (open or concealed is not distinguished) unless one is statutorily exempted. Those who are licensed to carry concealed handguns are exempted, and there is no requirement for the firearm to be concealed to be considered exempted. The licensing of the person by itself is an exemption. Portland is one of the cities that took advantage of this power.

    To date, advisories have been issued in Washington State by the King County Sheriffs, Bellevue, Des Moines, Federal Way, Lynnwood, Kent, and Black Diamond. In Oregon, Beaverton has also issued training advisories as to the legality of open carry. The city of Portland have yet to issue such a training advisory, despite several months of warnings by Wilson telling Portland, both via the Police Bureau and the City Attorney's Office, that the intimidation and threatening against lawful open carriers (who possess CHL's) will not be tolerated. Wilson cites this reluctance as the primary reason for his open carriage of a firearm at Pride Northwest, to assert his rights under the state law. But Pride Northwest did not appear to care about Wilson's rights, and demanded he conceal it or leave. Since concealing the weapon would have been contrary to his purpose of political speech, Wilson departed, despite the fact that the ejection may not have been lawful due to the location's nature as a public park.

    But why carry a firearm in the first place? "I've been a victim of anti-gay violence, death threats, the works," says Wilson. "Ask yourself another question: Who tends to commit anti-gay violence and make death threats against gays for being what they are? It certainly isn't members of the GLBT community, it's criminal sadists who hate us for what we are and therefore want to torture us for merely existing."

    Wilson then referred to the brutal and unprovoked in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood June 10 attack upon Jason Mancillas, where a gang of up to six men jumped him and his boyfriend near Neighbours Nightclub, knocked him to the ground, then beat and kicked Mancillas, causing lacerations, bruises to his face and body, a black eye and a wound to his head. "It's these same kinds of bigots who make attack runs into Seattle's Capitol Hill and Portland's Stark Street to attack the queer community," Wilson says. It is Wilson's opinion that a lawfully-owned and carried firearm is a reasonable and appropriate self-defense tool to protect himself and his loved ones against such violence, and that, under some circumstances, open carry of the firearm is more appropriate by members of the GLBT community is better than concealed carry, for deterrent value.

    "Mr. Wilson is a gay man who has been targeted for violence based upon his orientation," says Patton. "It is entirely in keeping with the principles of the Pink Pistols for Mr. Wilson to wish to avail himself of his rights to defend himself with a legally owned and carried firearm. And while the Pink Pistols typically advocates concealed carriage, open carry is still a viable option when performed lawfully."

    The Pink Pistols is the largest national organization for the self-defense of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons with legally-owned firearms, and has chapters in both the United States and Canada.

    CONTACT INFORMATION
    International Media Spokesperson
    Gwendolyn S. Patton

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Keep us posted!

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    This is completely asinine to me. One would think that precisely because of the incidence of gay-bashing and threats that carrying - open or concealed - would be encouraged. Give'em hell, Lonnie.

    -ljp

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    Lonnie, it seems that by standing up for your rights, you make it difficult for others to continue to display the "victim" mentality that pervades so many liberal causes.

    Regardless of one's opionions on the reason for the gathering, all Americans should support you in the exercise of your rights. I do (although it's only moral support at this point.)

    Kind of ironic that the purpose of the gathering was presumably to bring awareness to an issue and end discrimination, but when you attempted to do exactly that, you were discriminated against.

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    In my view Gay Pride parades have been very effective at ending the intolerance and discrimination that we have in this country.

    Maybe we should start doing Open Carry Awareness parades.


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    I have an idea that I find to be very appealing. As a NON-gay, I would be interested in attending one of these type of events with a t-shirt that says "Straight shooters supportcivil rights for all" while OCing.

    That ought to get people scratching their heads trying to figuring out exactly what that means.

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    I like the idea Brent

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    44Brent wrote:
    I have an idea that I find to be very appealing. As a NON-gay, I would be interested in attending one of these type of events with a t-shirt that says "Straight shooters supportcivil rights for all" while OCing.

    That ought to get people scratching their heads trying to figuring out exactly what that means.
    I really like that Idea as a T-shirt. Good thinking

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    44Brent wrote:
    Straight shooters supportcivil rights for all".

    That ought to get people scratching their heads trying to figuring out exactly what that means.
    The NRA and its gallus-snappers will not approve!

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. ******* NRA

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    [b]This post has been edited/deleted to maintain the original discussion.


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    Anony Mouse, here known as 'keepandbear', squeaks!

    Yep, I am full of prejudice (otherwise known as education and experience), bigotry (trusting MY judgement) and hatred of politically correct fools' fools.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wit and guns and the truth. NRA, 'keepandbear,' '1st freedom' do osculate my fundament.

    You do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.
    -- Vaclav Havel, former dissident, now President of the Czech Republic

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    The post has been edited/deleted to maintain the orginal discussion.





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    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    Ok you two, take it to PM's please.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Doug,

    This entire thread is about the Pride ejection, and you chose to bring in stuff about the NRA that has absolutely ZIPPO to do with the subject at hand.

    Take it to PMs.

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    Dear Fellow Members,

    I apologize for engaging in a debate that was unrelated to the original discussion. To keep the discussion on topic, I have deleted my previous posts.



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    So who can we get to make the shirts?:P

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    44Brent wrote:
    I have an idea that I find to be very appealing. As a NON-gay, I would be interested in attending one of these type of events with a t-shirt that says "Straight shooters supportcivil rights for all" while OCing.

    That ought to get people scratching their heads trying to figuring out exactly what that means.
    Hey jpierce! Yano that OCDO logo shirt? This would be a great T-shirt. Not very good for polos, as was being talked about, but definitely an outstandingly witty double-entendre!
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
    KF7GEA

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