by David Mendez
During a debate regarding the possibility to allow Colorado campuses to allow concealed carry, Colo. state Rep. Joe Salazar said something mighty damn stupid regarding the potential for women to properly identify threats:
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 a round at somebody.
Honestly, in a debate that centers around the very idea that people may need to protect themselves on and around college campuses ("It just gives you the right to walk to campus, protect yourself on campus, and walk home safely," said Coty McKenzie of Arizona Students for Concealed Carry, "Off Target," March 15,) claiming that women wouldn't be able to make decisions under threat is ridiculous.
Salazar, to his credit, backpedaled from the backlash fairly rapidly, though he (like so many foolish folk before him) dropped the "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" line, which should be a pet peeve to anyone who prefers their politicians possess even a modicum of sincerity:
“I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention,” he said. “We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns makes people safer on campus. I don’t believe they do. That was the point I was trying to make. If anyone thinks I’m not sensitive to the dangers women face, they’re wrong.”
“I am a husband and father of two beautiful girls, and I’ve spent the last decade defending women’s rights as a civil rights attorney,” Salazar said. “Again, I’m deeply sorry if I offended anyone with my comments.”
Conservatives are taking Salazar to task (as they damn well should), calling this similar to the idiocy spouted by Ohio's Todd Akin last election season. I wouldn't go quite that far, as Akin ignores biological, scientific fact, but it's close; after all, Salazar discounted a woman's ability to defend herself, singling out women and implying that they might be too emotional to properly identify who might be attacking them, which is just plain dumb.