Editorial: In Cascadia, Guns and Gays not the Same

Whoever is putting Cascadian flags on pro-gun posters has officially seceded from reasonable dialogue.

For those who haven’t seen—an unidentified group has been blanketing Capitol Hill with a variety of posters trying to link gay rights to gun rights. One poster shows a lesbian couple holding an automatic rifle with the message “Some people dislike gays. Others dislike Guns. We should not base our laws on personal dislikes.” The group then slaps a Cascadian flag on the poster—the symbol of the Northwestern bio-regional movement that funnily enough, started at Seattle University. There are a couple of problems here:

1)Gays aren’t killing people. Guns are. Since the Sandy Hook shooting in December, nearly 4,500 people have died from gun-related deaths in the United States. While the argument that both are personal, civil rights issues, it’s a bit different when lives are at stake. The suggestion that the two are somehow related is a blatant false equivalency.

2)Cascadian bio-regionalism is an attempt at recognizing the Northwest region’s unique landscape and culture. The Douglas Fir flag has flown as a symbol of environmentalism in the past, but repurposing it as a symbol for a strange, nascent gun-rights campaign gives the whole movement a bad rap. There are plenty of full-blown secessionists and bleeding heart libertarians who get NIMBY about the whole idea of a Cascadian nation state, but most “Cascadians” are simply folks who are passionate about trees, beer and soccer.

We should be proud in the Northwest that we managed to legalize gay marriage, but let’s not turn gun culture into a Cascadian staple.