Armed With Aloha: Why Gays Should Give a Damn

by Mickey Weems
Thursday Jan 24, 2013

On January 19th, I stopped by the Hawai'i State Capitol to see the Gun Appreciation Day crowd. I saw about fifty people with lots of American flags and a few Gadsden "Don't Tread On Me" flags, but I don't recall any Hawaiian flags. There was a large poster of Hitler giving a Nazi salute: "All in favor of gun control, raise your right arm." In tandem with Hitler were signs featuring scary cartoon Obamas.

I asked a man holding a sign supporting the Second Amendment: if assault weapons should be legal, then why not grenades and rocket launchers? He said, "You know the difference!" then, "It's the size of the projectile." My response: "An assault rifle is designed for indiscriminate killing, like a grenade and a rocket launcher. I honestly do not see how they are different." He didn't dispute what I said, just got angry and declared he wouldn't speak with me further, that I was setting him up.

Actually, I was the ignorant one. He knew something I didn't know.

This minor encounter is but a footnote to what happened next. Another gentleman had a sign with a list of things that should not be banned. It included grenade launchers. He said that such a device is perfectly okay because it doesn't have to include grenades. I thanked him for sharing his perspective with me.

Afterward, I did some research and discovered something that had never come up during several discussions about gun control: grenade launcher attachments for assault weapons are legal in many states. So are attachments for rocket launchers. And the guys at Gun Appreciation Day knew it.

No cause for alarm, though. Everybody knows there is no market for buying and selling grenades and rockets in the USA. Just check online.

Behind all the rhetoric presented by these people is the simmering anger that Obama is in office (and there were signs saying so). Assault weapons are not for hunting or home defense (so said another sign) - they are for overthrowing the US government if these guys decide they don't like the way things are going, like at this very moment. Overthrowing the government is the sole reason for having semi-automatic weapons that can easily be rendered into automatic weapons, fit with grenade launchers and rocket launchers, and loaded with armor-piercing shells. Bottom line: these protesters insist on having the firepower to kill American soldiers and law enforcement officers if they feel their rights to an arsenal are threatened. Only Nazis like Obama would deny them weapons of war.

The silver lining is that, unlike so many rallies across America, nobody in Honolulu was waving assault weapons around. In fact, I saw no weapons-brandishing at all. I have no doubt they wish they could do so, but the Aloha State doesn't play that shit.

One protester was kind enough to give me a IIA HAWAII (Second Amendment Hawai'i) sticker. The last two letters in "Hawaii" are rifle rounds. Their slogan: Armed With Aloha.

Why LGBT People Should Care

It's not simply a civilian's right to weapons of war that is at stake. The right of Christians to bear arms against homosexuals is also under siege.

Here's a new bit of crazy: Gays are infiltrating the CIA and FBI. Just ask homophobe-for-pay Brian Camenker: "The FBI is just unbelievable to see," he says. "They have started a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender program on their careers website and they apparently have even gone from there to embracing the gay agenda, having a gay advisory committee, welcoming homosexuals as FBI agents, getting involved with pride events, but more than that going to gay pride events and encouraging homosexual activists to report hate crimes and working with them against pro-family groups... it is very, very frightening to see. The FBI is very powerful and they can do a lot of damage if they are out to get you."

Add what Brian Fischer of the American Family Association thinks about gun control: "What if [the Attorney General] decides radio talk show hosts who don't believe in gay marriage, they're dangerous, so they shouldn't get guns? What about pastors who preach against abortion and homosexuality? They're too dangerous to get guns? That could happen." Throw in the blood-soaked wet dreams of Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, who believes Gay marriage could inspire gun-toting Christians to open fire. "This could cause another civil war," he warns. Or fervently hopes.

Civil war against the Gays one of many scenarios that inspire people to join the movement to keep assault rifles, grenade launchers, and rocket launchers legal. But behind the rhetoric is an unspoken fantasy: the pleasure, the ecstasy of firing weapons of war and unleashing an orgy of death. The reason why men who conduct massacres kill themselves before they are caught is so they may die with that fulfilled fantasy intact, unaccountable for the reality they leave behind.

Living the fantasy vicariously in video games and movies is one thing, as troubling as it is. Giving men (it seems to always be men, self-identified Straight men at that) the means to indiscriminately kill on a large scale is a whole other matter. It leads to what we are witnessing now: an arms race conducted by a minority within this country. The goal is to make that minority Too Dangerous to Disarm, reminiscent of Wall Street's Too Large to Fail and every bit as despicable.

Let's not forget that our community is in the cross-hairs.

Dr. Mickey Weems is a folklorist, anthropologist and scholar of religion/sexuality studies. He has just published The Fierce Tribe, a book combining intellectual insight about Circuit parties with pictures of Circuit hotties. Mickey and his husband Kevin Mason are coordinators for Qualia, a not-for-profit conference and festival dedicated to Gay folklife. Dr. Weems may be reached at


  • Caleb Burgess, 2013-01-27 13:02:02

    Wow i had no idea that gernades an rockets were legal in the us... there definately needs be something done... but i dont think blameing video games an media is it... if people cant tell the difference in them from relality they dont need to play games see movies or own guns.... im completely for a ban on anything automatic an holds more then 1-5 shots.... but sadly im stuck in one most gun loveing redneck hillbilly states out there... west virginia if ur wondering... but yah good read an good point that something needs done

  • , 2013-02-02 12:38:55

    Very scary that Rocket launchers are legal! And scarier yet that crazy people can posses them.

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