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When it comes to guns, women, and rape, Colorado Democrats are on a roll. It started last month when State Rep. Joe Salazar told women who were concerned about rape on college campuses that whistles would keep them safer than concealed carry. The derisive laughter that greeted this went up a notch when it turned out that the University of Colorado had a web page suggesting that, as part of their self-defense arsenal, women pee or vomit on their attacker. The latest effort to leave Colorado women without their best form of defense came during the debate on a proposed college campus gun ban when a Democrat representative dismissed a a rape victim who supports concealed carry, telling her that even if she’d had a gun the rapist would have disarmed her anyway.
Rape survivor Amanda Collins appeared before a government panel contemplating a gun ban on Colorado campuses to argue that women should be able to carry guns to protect themselves against potential attacks:
As I live with the memory, weighted with the question of my life: ‘What would have been different if I had been carrying the weapon I was licensed to carry that night?’ I would like to leave you with a question: ‘How does rendering me defenseless protect you against a violent crime?’
One state legislator was unimpressed. Relying on factual conclusions she seemed to have plucked out of thin air, Democrat Senator Evie Hudak told Ms. Collins that she would have been raped regardless:
I just want to say, statistics are not on your side, even if you had had a gun. You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experience in taekwondo, and yet because this individual was so large and was able to overcome you even with your skills, and chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get than from you and possibly use it against you….
It does not seem to have occurred to Hudak that, if Ms. Collins had been carrying a gun, the rapist might never have gotten close enough to her for her to need those martial arts skills. Nor does she confront the fact that, had the rapist disarmed Ms. Collins, Ms. Collins would have been in no worse position than she was before — namely, at the mercy of a rapist. A gun could potentially have improved Ms. Collins’ situation, rather than worsening it.
Hudak’s dismissive attitude towards guns as self-defense weapons, including her airy statement that “statistics are not on your side,” runs afoul of actual statistics about using weapons to prevent crimes. According to a detailed statistical analysis in that Gary Kleck prepared in 2011, which is included in The Criminal Justice System (10th ed, 21012):
It is well known that guns are used in many violent crimes in the US. [However] The best available evidence indicates that guns are used by victims in self-protection considerably more often than crimes are committed by offenders using guns. For example, victims used guns defensively about 2.0-2.5 million times in 1993, compared to fewer than 600,000 violent crimes committed by offenders with guns (Kleck and Gertz 1995).
When it comes to Colorado Democrats and rape, though, the Democrats lately seem to have placed themselves on the side of the rapists. Democrat Rep. Joe Salazar, when discussing women and rape on college campuses was more concerned about the rapists being hurt by ditzy women than he was about women getting raped. And the University of Colorado offered self-defense advice that never even contemplated the possibility that a woman could defend herself with arms. This advice ranged from run to vomit.
There was a lot of talk last Fall about a supposed “war on women.” If anyone is interested in a real war on women, they should keep an eye on Colorado, which is doing its best to keep ditzy women entirely at the mercy of their attackers.