This time around, it's conservatives who are getting to play Gotcha! over some inartful remarks about rape. In arguing in favor of a bill that would forbid lawful concealed carry on Colorado campuses, Democratic Rep. Joe Salazar suggested that just because women feel like they're going to be raped, that doesn't mean they actually will be, so why do they need guns?
“It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.”
Some are taking offense because he seems to be suggesting that women in particula can't be trusted to assess their own safety level and taking the appropriate action. But most gun control advocates make that argument about everybody -- we're just as likely to shoot ourselves or each other as we are to deter the bad guys.
One tiny grain of truth buried deep in such anti-gun sentiments is that the availability of force can make us more likely to walk into situations we should avoid and take risks we maybe should think about. If I'm not armed, there are certain places I won't walk in after midnight. If I have a gun, I might might argue with a lunatic I should just walk away from. But that's an argument for urging people to educate themselves about guns and understand their own emotional parameters, not for taking away people's ability to defend themselves.
So if a woman on a Colorado campus isn't allowed to just shoot her rapist in the face, what should she do? The University of Colorado Springs offers 10 tips, including "If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense" and "Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone." See, if you stupid dames are wrong about the guys with their hands around your throats, and they really dosn't have rape in mind, they can always washh off the pee and vomit, so everything will still be cool.