On one of my days off a few months ago, a friend and I were having a long discussion about the alarming rise in murders of Black transwomen. After I relayed the particulars of a few cases, the person looked at me and said, "Looks like one of y'all needs to bust a cap in one of them to send a message to leave y'all alone".
I recalled and pondered this conversation in the wake of Leeneshia Edwards lying in a Memphis hospital bed suffering from three gunshot wounds.
I've never been a big fan of guns even though I co-owned and shot with my brother under supervision a BB gun. My dad owned a handgun, and both of my late grandfathers possessed shotguns. I'm not a fan of the NRA or their fetishistic defense of the Second Amendment because I believe in reasonable gun control laws and being a big city kid, I've seen the result too many times of what unfettered handgun ownership has done to our neighborhoods.
But after 31 murders last year including one of my friends, I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't be echoing the Pink Pistols slogan of 'armed gays don't get bashed'
I wonder what would happen and how it would affect the current 'hunt the Black trannies' mood if one of our would be assailants found themselves on the wrong end of a gun with caps busted in them.
Let's suppose for example that Leeneshia had been packing a pistol in her purse, was in a position when she exited the coffee shop to see her assailant draw his gun first but was not only quicker on the draw but fatally shot his ass.
What would be the reaction of the 'shoot the Black queers' crowd then?
They'd probably back the frack off if they knew going in that their potential bashing targets were possibly packing heat. But that temporary drop from the surprise of one of their ranks getting killed would probably spur a new orgy of killing, and we'd be right back to square one.
We all know how having one handgun for every American has failed to deter crime, drop our murder rates, or prevent sexual assaults and other crimes, so to me, the solution to our problem isn't a knee jerk rush to gun ownership, but has to be a multilayered one.
We need the ENDA and hate crimes laws in place to send the message tranny hunting season is permanently closed. Law enforcement must not only arrest and prosecute those who wish to harm us, but purge their ranks of rogue officers whose idea of protect and serve the citizens doesn't include transgender people.
Now, if some transwomen wish to arm themselves or take self-defense courses, feel free to do that as well. Just make certain that you take gun safety training classes and undergo regular firearms training.
But I'd much rather see a resolution to the problem of anti-transgender violence that doesn't involve busting caps in people.