The Advocate has given op-ed space today to conservative GOProud leader Jimmy LaSalvia, who claims he was partially pushed off his bike by a black person because he was riding a bike while gay! Be careful, Jimmy! Also? You’re probably lying, Jimmy.
LaSalvia says the “bias-motivated” crime (even when a GOProud member is being allegedly attacked, they can’t bring themselves to call anti-gay bias what it is: hate) happened last Friday night, but he’s yet to file a police report because he had a business meeting today, three days later. And who can blame him for not filing a police report yet? Like anyone who has been the victim of a violent crime, the first thing LaSalvia did was talk to the media about how the attempt on his life, it turns out, justifies a variety of his political beliefs! And, of course, The Advocate was more than willing to play along:
Two years ago the federal government passed a law ostensibly aimed at preventing violent hate crimes against LGBT people. Many gay conservatives, including me, said at the time of its passage that the law would do nothing to actually prevent hate crimes. After this weekend, I can now say firsthand that this law hasn’t stopped violent, bias-motivated crime.
Friday evening I was on my way home from the GOProud office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., when I came upon a group of young black men. There were roughly eight of them.
If they were white, would he have said, “a group of young white men”?
Just as I got up to them, the assailant lunged off the sidewalk toward me and delivered a punch across my chest. The momentum of my bicycling drove me into his fist and arm, causing a shocking pain like I’ve never felt before. Just as I began to realize what was happening, I heard it. The words are still ringing in my ears as I write this — “Fucking faggot!”
The wind was knocked out of me, but as I regained my breath I screamed, “You!” and pointed at him. It was clear to me in that moment that my sexual orientation had motivated this attack.
Why? Did his bike have a sign on it that said “I’m gay”? Was the bike pink? Was it a girl’s bike? How did these young men know LaSalvia was gay? Was it the way he was riding his bike? I’m skeptical.
Then there was a weird silence. Nobody knew what would happen next. The assailant and a couple of the others puffed up their chests and were obviously ready to continue the attack. I had been able to catch myself so that I didn’t come crashing down off the bike, but I was still in a vulnerable crouching position sort of under my bike, halfway on the street and partly in the gutter.
The situation could have gone either way: I could end up beaten or dead, or we could all go our separate ways.
All I could think to do was to get to my backpack and find my phone. As I fumbled for the phone, I heard one of them say, “Does he have a gun?”
So I kept my hand in my backpack, allowing them to wonder whether I was reaching for a gun. Then a couple of them started to run away, and the others soon followed. I got back on my bike and pedaled as fast as I could out of there.
The assailant was close enough to sort of knock him over in the gutter (but not really, because he was crouching, and “under” the bike?), but now they’re all far enough away so that LaSalvia had time to fumble through his backpack? Isn’t a backpack usually out of reach, attached to, uhh, your back? And first these young black men were psychic enough to figure out that LaSalvia was gay, but the psychic thugs weren’t psychic enough to realize that no gay man on a gay bike would be riding around with a concealed weapon–a crime in D.C.? So they just run away? Some thugs! They sound like faggots.
When I got home, I began to reflect on what had happened–
Wait, he didn’t call the police?
–and more disturbingly what could have happened. I am in contact with the LGBT unit of the police department to file a report.
Oh. Being “in contact with” and actually filing a report are two different things.
But I’ve thought a lot about the turning point of the situation — the fact that one of them thought that I might have a gun. None of them said, “There’s a law against antigay hate crimes!” That wasn’t the deterrent. It was the possibility that I might have had a gun that saved my life Friday night.
I have been an advocate for concealed carry laws and Second Amendment rights for a long time–
–but I just haven’t felt compelled to own a gun myself. I grew up in a family of hunters, but I haven’t gone hunting in years. And until now, I have always felt safe in Washington. After all, D.C. is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. I never thought I would be a victim of bias crime here.
Now I know I should own a gun.
So you can shoot and kill someone for almost pushing you off your bike.
This realization will cause me to redouble my efforts to advocate for state concealed carry laws and for federal concealed carry reciprocity legislation so that permits are recognized across state lines. I hope more gay and lesbian Americans will join me in this effort to allow everyone to lawfully defend themselves against violent crime.
Or, we could just pretend that we all have guns in our backpacks since that’s all it took to scare off eight black guys last Friday night.
It’s Monday night. Where’s the police report? I don’t believe Jimmy LaSalvia, but if I saw a police report, maybe I would. And by the way, that The Advocate is willing to publish a political ideologue’s completely unsubstantiated, unreported story should tell you exactly where The Advocate–or at least the suits who run it–is aligned politically, not to mention ethically.
Meanwhile, while LaSalvia was prancing around not filing police reports today after his life was nearly ended 72 hours ago, he was reaching out to Michele Bachmann to “lend a hand” to her campaign.
UPDATE: I’ve been having some fun with Jimmy on Twitter.