Gun Advocate Uses Gays To Make His Point

5.21.2013

By Andrew Belonsky

Does this gun activist's sexuality matter?

Apart from conversations about states rights or gatherings of the Pink Pistols, gun rights and gay rights don't typically cross paths. That's why a series of posters posted near the Washington State Capital have caused such an uproar.

One image shows two women and the caption, "Some people dislike gays; others dislike guns. We should not base our laws on personal dislikes." Meanwhile, another depicts a gun-toting gay couple declaring "We won our right to marry… now it's time to defend our right, and we sure as hell aren't going to take shit from homophobes in the process."

It doesn't appear that the NRA or another large pro-arms group is behind this campaign. Rather, the scan code takes viewers to a site called A Human Right, which is run by a man named Oleg Volk, a Tennessee-based advertising photographer whose primary work includes shooting for gun magazines and who says he grew up in Russia, an experience that shaped his pro-gun politics.

"I grew up in USSR and have seen what happens when citizens are reduced to the status of subjects," writes Volk. "Moreover, proficiency with weapons is as practical a skill as giving CPR or using a fire extinguisher: in an emergency, these skills can save lives." In addition to the site, Volk also has YouTube account and personal website dedicated to bearing arms. According to his Facebook page, Volk is in a relationship with a woman. He makes no direct indication of whether or not he supports Washington State's marriage equality.

But does his sexual orientation matter to you? Would you feel better about this if he were an out, loud, and proud gay man? Would that change your opinion of these posters? What is your opinion, anyway? Is gun control the same as discriminating against gays? Would buying guns end homophobia? Is this the greatest example of hyperbole ever in history?

Here's a closer look so you can make a more informed judgement.

(Images via ThinkProgress)

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