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Topics - Gwendolyn Patton

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General Pink Pistols Discussion / Philadelphia Daily News Article
« on: September 20, 2016, 11:50:41 AM »
Sorry this took so long to post, I was away on vacation.

It's a pretty darned good article. The reporter took enough time to get things right, and even called me several times to clarify points and to fact-check things just in case. It also has one of the better pictures of me.

Every once in a while, I find that someone has started a Pink Pistols chapter, and I know nothing about them.

This is usually because they've done everything in the Utility Manual regarding starting a chapter EXCEPT for one step.

If you're starting a chapter, you need to get in touch with me so I can put you on the list. Here's the basic steps for starting a chapter:

  • Choose your service area. This is the radius around your chapter you intend to serve. Don't bite off too large an area; a good service area is as far as you can comfortably drive to go shooting. No more than an hour, usually.
  • Pick a descriptive name for your chapter. Don't name your chapter after the entire state unless the entire state is small enough to fit in your service area.
  • Find at least one, preferably more, people to help you get started. We do not add solo-start chapters to the chapter list anymore, because they nearly never thrive. Adding even one more person exponentially increases your chances of success!
  • Set up some kind of web presence. This can be a Facebook page, a website, a Meetup group, a mailing list, whatever. It just has to have an URL I can put on the website so people can find you to join you.
  • Email me and tell me when you're ready with all of those other things. Tell me the name and service area, and let me know how many people you're starting with. If you're still alone at this point, go back to step 3 and come back when you have more people with you. Once you've done ALL of these steps, I'll put you on the webpage.

There are good reasons for ALL of these steps. They're the minimum you need to set up a thriving chapter. You can do other stuff as well -- get your range lined up, find a place to meet socially such as a restaurant, get a Google Voice phone number, set up a chapter Gmail account or other email address...the list goes on and on. But those steps are the MINIMUM.

The ones that seem to go by the wayside are #3 and #5. People try to start a chapter alone and wonder why they're losing interest after 3-4 months. It's because they're out of energy, having tried to go it alone. GET SOMEONE ELSE to help you! Also, if you can't find at least one other person to help you get started, is there really sufficient demand in your area right now? Then they forget to contact me to put them on the list. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you have the other things set up, really. You don't need to tell me the names, etc. of the other people in your chapter, I don't keep track of that stuff. There are no membership forms and no database. I keep track of the contact info for the chapter head so I can contact them when/if a reporter wants to contact the chapter. Then I forward the reporter's info to the chapter founder. I NEVER give out that info to ANYONE without your permission.

Some ask me if they should get a 501(c) incorporation. The reason is that they want to do fundraising, collect donations, sell stuff, that sort of thing.

I don't want chapters to get snarled up in that stuff. There's a few reasons why. One is that the more bureaucratic stuff you get involved in, the more you have to tell to Uncle Sugar. Imperial entanglements are a big time-sink, and can lead to all sorts of headaches! Another is that your TAX FILINGS get a lot harder when you go that route. You think your 1040EZ is a pain in the ass now? Try a 1040 long form, with a Schedule C and a Schedule E, just to START! You'll soon find that you need an accountant, which costs more money, and then you might well be audited because you're a gun-related group and the Powers That Be don't like them (of course it'll be a low-level employee out of Cincinnati that instigates it), and THEN you'll want to table at gun shows and Pride events, which takes MORE money...and eventually you find that you haven't actually had a shoot in six months because you're too busy fundraising.

I've seen this happen to groups. It's not pretty.

I also believe that not getting into the whole "someone else's money" thing is the better choice. If you want to do something, if you aren't willing to dip into your own pouch to achieve it, should you really do it at all? What's nobler about spending other people's money to do it? I don't have a thing against passing the hat around the group to pay for something that benefits the group, but I don't like the idea of donations. We do not tax our members with dues for a reason. We want them to spend that money on training, guns, ammo, range time, and other important stuff.

And mostly, I think not taking other peoples' money keeps us humble. It keeps us focused on the mission statement rather than on the process of chasing money all the time.

I pay for the domains, and the hosting, and all sorts of other stuff I think I need to do what I do. If someone asks me how they can contribute, I tell them to take someone shooting. Teach someone. Most of the time, wanting to throw money at something is a way to absolve oneself from not doing enough actual, material things to help. It's the modern equivalent of buying an indulgence. It's hashtag activism. I'd rather that $20 or $50 gets spent on taking a new shooter to the range. The light of empowerment in their eyes when the first kick of recoil hits their hand, and they realize that THEY command that power is worth every penny, and accomplishes far, far more than paying for my domain fees or something.

The actual important things you need to do to start a chapter are in the Utility Manual. The other stuff just gets in the way and distracts from the mission.

Teach queers to shoot. Tell the world you've done it.

General Pink Pistols Discussion / Using this site from a phone
« on: July 26, 2016, 02:49:10 PM »
It might not be as easy to use this site from a mobile phone, but it can be done. In fact, this post wad made from my Nexus 5 using mobile Chrome. Works fine. Tapatalk has too many issues, after some research. I especially don't want members nagged to install the app.

So work at it for more than five seconds, and using this site from a phone is very do able.

Non-Firearm Defensive Tools/Techniques / The topic of this board
« on: July 24, 2016, 11:05:40 AM »
As the description says, this board is for topics that don't rely on firearms to offer defensive advantage.

Not every place lets citizens carry firearms, as we're probably all too aware. We're fighting to correct that, but it's an uphill battle that isn't going to be won overnight. Probably the most keenly felt such lack is Tony's home of New York. The chapter there was so hamstrung by the inability to actually practice with firearms that we finally closed down its Yahoo Group a week or so ago. When you can't shoot guns, can't own guns, can't carry guns, we have two choices: Give up, or find some OTHER defensive tool that you CAN carry.

The reason we recommend guns is because they're the MOST effective defensive tool. Pound-for-pound, a gun has the greatest force multiplication factor of ANY defensive tool, and studies have shown that having a gun increases your chances of escaping an altercation unharmed more than anything else. They aren't without their drawbacks along with their benefits, but proper training can overcome most of them. But again, if you can't HAVE one due to local laws, you have to use what you CAN use. (I know that some people simply carry them anyway, but we do not recommend that -- we emphasize LEGAL carry options, then work to increase the number of legal options over time.)

So, this board is for discussions of other defensive tools. Knives, cudgels, chemicals, electronic weapons, martial arts, this is where you discuss those.

While we focus on guns, we are keenly aware that the true weapon is the human mind. We only use such force as the last possible resort, but of all the things we do that define us as unique, as sentient beings, it is our ability to fashion, master, and use tools and techniques other than brute muscle, teeth, and nails to increase our advantage. We are tool-users, and what enables us to be such is what is between our ears. Not what is between our fingers.

A weapon is a tool," she repeated, a little breathlessly. "A tool for killing and destroying. And there will be times when, as an Envoy, you must kill and destroy. Then you will choose and equip yourself with the tools that you need. But remember the weakness of weapons. They are an extension--you are the killer and destroyer. You are whole, with or without them.
― Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon

General Pink Pistols Discussion / Pink Pistols Forum Rules
« on: July 03, 2016, 11:38:54 AM »
Hi, all.

The purpose of this forum is to give us a place to communicate. Having our own forum may increase management load, but will offer us some advantages:

  • We set our own rules and limits, and have a great deal of freedom that operating on a site such as Facebook does not afford us
  • We have a greater moderation latitude than we do, say, on Facebook.
  • Pink Pistols International pays for the hosting, so except for the overarching rules of the host provider, who is shielded by Safe Harbor, we do not have to worry as much about getting this site taken down by management that doesn't agree with our principles.
  • If this forum software does not suit us, we have the option of locating one that DOES suit us, or writing our own.

The standard PP Posting Guidelines apply. They can be found at: PP Posting Guidelines

  • The primary forum topic is the self-defense of the sexual-minority community with firearms, the primary mission of the Pink Pistols.
  • The General Discussion forum is not any and all topics, it is for posts generally of interest to the Pink Pistols. Take random chatter to the random chatter sub-board.
  • There will be boards on this forum for specific topics. The topic of that board will be posted. Keep to the topic of the board you are on.
  • Cross-posting between boards is discouraged. Look at the list of available sub-boards and choose the sub-board appropriate to the topic of your post. If it is of a general nature, post to the general discussion board or the random chatter board.
  • No flamebait or trolling allowed. Ignore flames -- moderators will handle them.
  • Discuss, do not argue. Keep your cool, especially in touchy subjects.
  • There ARE "Holy War" topics: Politics, Religion, Glock v. 1911, Caliber v. Stopping Power, Photographs with fingers on the triggers. This list is not exhaustive and may change. They are considered "holy war" topics because no amount of discussion on the subject will resolve the issue. Treat with extreme care, and if a mod tells you to take it off the forum, TAKE IT OFF THE FORUM.
  • Please take arguments to private communications. Do not fight in public.
  • Forum is subject to thread termination by Godwin's Law*
  • Moderators: Gwen Patton, Margaret Leber, TBA
  • Do not block a moderator. Do not ignore instructions from moderators. If you have difficulty, report problems to a moderator.

*"Godwin's Law prov. [Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. However there is also a widely- recognized codicil that any intentional triggering of Godwin's Law in order to invoke its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful." -- Jargon Dictionary

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