I wish the gay community were more accepting of gun supporters. I should know.

By William McLaughlin June 16 William McLaughlin is the social media manager for the National Rifle Association. Last June, I attended my first Pride parade. 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. The District, where I live, is a liberal city. Gay people are embraced; guns are not. You don’t have to see how the District votes to know that. You can tell by the signs in people’s yards and the bumper stickers on their cars. The gay community is largely anti-gun, too. At the parade, these worlds collided. I found myself at an event where I should have felt at home but, instead, I felt hated. It wasn’t all in my head. People chanted an obscenity about the NRA as they marched down P Street NW. 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. It isn’t news that gay men and lesbians are frequently the victims of hate crimes. In D.C., crimes motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias increased by 50 percent between 2016 and 2018, from 40 incidents to 61, according to statistics from the D.C. police. Nationwide, hate crimes targeting people because of their sexual orientation rose 5 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 1,076 incidents to 1,130, according to statistics from the FBI. If we in the gay [...]