Transgender Republican Gun Advocate To Speak At San Francisco Gun Conference
Then here comes panelist Nicki Stallard to blow your stereotypes to pieces. (Not literally, but almost.) Stallard is transgender, she's a registered Republican, and she's the proud owner of an arsenal (she prefers the term "collection") of rifles, shotguns, and handguns. She's a coordinator with the San Jose chapter of Pink Pistols, a national pro-gun LGBT organization, and she says she likes to have guns but hopes to never have to use them: "I have a nasty thing called a conscience so I would feel awful if I smoked somebody."
But she has no qualms whatsoever with blowing away a crowd, working the hooting and hollering fans at a national gun rights rallies with a Sarah Palin-like bravado: "The gay community should be the most heavily armed group in the country!"
This weekend, Stallard (who says, rather elusively, that she works "in the medical field" and splits her time between San Jose and Fresno), will be on a panel at the conference talking about non-traditional guns advocacy groups. We'll say.
"I'm going to break the ice with some humor ... when the Pink Pistols first came out we were as well received by the gay community as Magellan when he told the Catholic Church that the world was round."
A libertarian activist in Massachusetts started the Pink Pistols back in 2000. While the group's motto rings of your typical gun-advocate brashness ("Pick on someone your own caliber" and "Armed gays don't get bashed"), Stallard says many members are surprisingly in the closet about their Second Amendment sympathies.
"In the central part of the country, people don't want people to know they're gay. Here they don't want them to know they're gun owners. It's like gays who are registered Republicans might want to stay quiet about that."
Stallard doesn't wish to stay quiet about any of the above. She says she was first convinced of the need to have a gun during the 1977 New York City blackout, when she recalls seeing gun-toting business owners protect their stores from looters. Stallard says she got her first handgun at age 19 while serving in the Navy back in the late '70's. Her collection has grown considerably since then, but she insists she only shoots targets at the Pink Pistols' monthly meetings that draw about five to 10 people in San Jose. (She says the San Francisco chapters' monthly shoots in South San Francisco draw even fewer not-straight shooters.)
Still, Stallard advocates that more LGBT community members get a gun. She says that in many parts of the country, the cops don't take LGBT hate crimes seriously so you got to fend for yourself.
"Most people don't have the desire to learn mixed martial arts. That's a whole lifestyle and for most people, that's not practical. [Devices like mace or stun guns] have severe limitations from a tactical point. They provide a false sense of security." Whereas, "If you pull out a firearm, [the attackers] turn pale."
In any event, Stallard says she's never yet had to use a firearm against anyone, which she says is because she doesn't look like an easy target. "I'm 6 feet and I'm big. Criminals zero in on easy targets ... Generally speaking, I"m dressed just casual, so basically I look like a long-haired guy."