William McLaughlin is the social media manager for the National Rifle Association and recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post titled: “I wish the gay community were more accepting of gun supporters. I should know.”
“I’m a 24-year-old gay man, and the downtown D.C. event came two months after I started my new job as social media manager for the National Rifle Association.” McLaughlin writes “I don’t understand why the LGBTQ community is so hostile toward the Second Amendment. I’d like to ask my fellow gays to take a moment and consider this issue through a different lens. I long for the day when the gay community will galvanize its significant political might and work toward making practical changes that would let gays better protect themselves when laws don’t.”
“If we in the gay community know we are frequent targets, why do we overwhelmingly oppose laws that protect our right to defend ourselves? Why do I find myself, at party after party, defending my decision to work for the NRA? Why does my wanting to own a firearm make some gay people I meet accuse me of being self-hating? Why is a community that prides itself on inclusion and tolerance so intolerant toward the Second Amendment, the NRA and those who believe in the right to self-defense?”
When offered a job at the NRA, McLaughlin expresses his hesitation.
“While I was considering the position, friends urged me to say no because the NRA was homophobic and only existed for old, straight, white men. But I convinced myself that I would be able to leave my sexuality at home and bring my Second Amendment passion to work. I took the job.”
After starting his new job, McLaughlin realized how inclusive the NRA is.
“Two weeks after I started, at the NRA’s annual meeting in Dallas, Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, gave a speech that impressed me. He said, “We fight for you whether you’re black, white, rich, poor, gay or straight, because your life matters equally. You have every right to be proud of it and every right to defend it, and the National Rifle Association is proud to represent you.” McLaughlin writes.
“I decided to be open about my sexuality at work. I was met with nonchalance. No one cared. I was embraced as a fellow Second Amendment supporter, just like everyone else. I work with people from all over the United States, from different faiths and of different races. Also, I’m not the only gay person. We are united in our belief that no one can take away our right to defend ourselves.”
However, after McLaughlin released his op-ed, he was met with a lot of hostility from the “tolerant left” and took to twitter to express his disappointment.
Interesting responses to my WaPo piece about being a gay 2A supporter:
The “tolerant” left called me racist, a traitor, ugly, fat, a nazi, a terrorist, homophobic and a disgrace.
Conservatives called me American, a patriot, a gentleman, a trail blazer, and a friend. #EnoughSaid
— Billy McLaughlin (@BillyNRA) June 18, 2019