By Kimberly Morin
In an interview published today, Political Buzz spoke with activist Erin Palette at the 31st annual Gun Rights Policy Conference about her new project titled Operation Blazing Sword. The idea is to pair gun owners who want to help train members of the LGBTQ community to safely protect themselves if they so choose. It will at least give them an introduction to firearms that many most likely haven’t had before. They can then make the informed choice of protecting themselves or not.
Palette started the project after the horrifying Pulse terrorist attack in Orlando. So many gun owners were offering to train members of the LGBTQ community for free that Palette wanted to have a place where people could find the information. She created Operation Blazing Sword that has an interactive map and contact information across the country (and even Canada) of gun owners who people can contact for training.
Palette says the response has been overwhelmingly positive. While the two groups are typically on the opposite sides in the political spectrum, this is one area they can come together on – self defense. The horrifying reality of the Pulse terrorist attack was that everyone in the club was unarmed except the murderer. People were hiding for hours while the terrorist killed at will. There was no one to protect them, including their own selves.
Meanwhile the project brings people together who may not normally interact. One of the things that Palette talks about is that many in the LGBTQ community may not have been introduced to firearms previously. Many tend to be on the left and the message of the left has always been against firearms.
Palette is working on turning the organization into an official non-profit with the hopes that she’ll be able to reach even more people and help them get training if they so desire. There are currently many gun owners who are willing to train but so far not as many in the LGBTQ community who have sought training. Palette wants to change that. If even one person can save their own life or the lives of others, it’s worth it. Seconds matter when help is minutes, or hours, away.