We are an inclusive direct action group of LGBTQ people and their allies committed to nonviolently breaking the gun industry's chain of death—investors, manufacturers, the NRA and politicians who block safer gun laws.
We work to ensure safety for all individuals, particularly vulnerable communities such as people of color, women, people who struggle with mental health issues, LGBTQ people and religious minorities. GAG condemns white supremacy, all instances of excessive force by police, and police militarization.
Why is gun violence an LGBTQ issue?Most gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides and LGBTQ people are overrepresented among suicide victims. LBG youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth, 40% of transgender adults have attempted suicide and 92% of them attempted suicide by age 25 (The Trevor Project). Suicide attempts with guns are overwhelmingly lethal (Harvard School of Public Health). LGBTQ people are also the most likely minority to be the victim of a hate crime (The New York Times). Up until the Las Vegas massacre in October, 2017, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history happened at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which was space for LGBTQ people of color. Queer people continue to be unduly vulnerable to gun violence, especially in the swell of prejudice-based hate crimes since the election of Donald Trump (California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism).
Do you want to get rid of all guns?Gays Against Guns is an inclusive organization which welcomes a variety of viewpoints on the best ways to protect individuals from becoming victims of preventable gun violence. We demand sensible and meaningful gun reform, such as a reinstatement of a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, universal background checks on ALL gun sales and no-buy lists with constitutional protections built in so that people of color, Muslims and activists are not discriminated against. Finally, we hold accountable all corporate entities and puppet politicians who prioritize gun sales and access over public safety and their constituents' lives. We will not rest until our LGBTQ family and the public at large are safe from gun violence.
What makes you different from other GVP groups?We are the only GVP group who puts direct action at it's center. That means our organizing focuses on directly calling out companies, politicians, and policies that contribute to America's gun problem and putting immediate pressure on them to change. Many of our actions include protest marches, "die-ins", boycotts, and disruptions.
How much of a problem is gun violence in the U.S?Gun violence is an epidemic in the United States, costing about $229 billion every year (Mother Jones). According to the Brady Campaign there are over 112,000 people shot each year, with 33,000 of those victims dying. That is an average of over 90 fatalities each day. From 1968 to 2011, 1.4 million people died by guns in the United States—that’s 200,000 more lives lost to gun violence than those lost to to warfare since the Revolutionary War (Politifact). America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other developed countries (Everytown for Gun Safety). Through May of 2017, there have already been 138 mass shootings across the U.S., with over 6,000 dead (Gun Violence Archive)—it’s a problem.
Guns can keep people safe. Why wouldn’t we want to defend ourselves against hate crimes/homophobia?Guns don’t protect people as effectively as one might like to believe. States with higher levels of of household gun ownership have higher levels of firearm crime and even suffer higher rates of household burglary (Los Angeles Times). When there is a gun present, an assault victim is 4.5 times more likely to be shot if he or she is carrying (National Institutes of Health). Even in the home, you are 22 times more likely to encounter a gun in a criminal assault, suicide attempt, or unintentional shooting than to use one in legal self-defense (The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care).
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are currently meeting once a month at the NYC LGBT Center. Click Here for the date of our next meeting.
Meetings are simultaneously available on Zoom.
We are the only Gun Violence Prevention group rooted in
GAG was formed several days after the Orlando massacre of 49 LGBTQ+ lives on June 12th, 2016. Several friends came together and formed Gays Against Guns for members of the community to turn heartache, anger, and outrage into action- complacency was no longer an option.
Orlando threw into relief for us the responsibility we have to both our immediate LGBTQ family and to our allies and so we go to work.
Our entry into the long-standing Gun Violence Protection movement happened on June 26th, at NYC Pride, where 750+ people marched with GAG and The Human Beings, which are veiled figures in white who carry the photo of a person killed by gun violence that they are representing. Since then we have been going strong, putting pressure on corrupt politicians, making companies cut ties with the NRA, and even GAGing at gun shows.
WHAT WE DO
As a direct action group, we revolve mainly around putting pressure on those who support and enable to gun industry. This includes organizing marches, rallies, boycotts, and art events in and around NYC. Our Human Beings are figures dressed entirely in white who take the space of a person who died from gun violence. We use them to remind everyone of the human cost of guns in America. We also have a weekly radio show on WBAI discussing topics such as the iron pipeline, the gun industry, and upcoming GAG events.