Undercutting Women's Safety
In February, Colorado Democrats tried to push a bill through the state legislature banning guns on college campuses. Liberals put on a parade of intellectually shallow politicians to offer lowbrow self-defense suggestions for women. Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar suggested that instead of using a gun for self-defense, women should use whistles. State Rep. Paul Rosenthal offered women judo lessons. State Senator Jesse Ulibarri suggested that a ballpoint pen would be a safer weapon for self-defense than a gun.
The University of Colorado Springs offered its female students this gem from its laundry list of self-defense advice, "Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone."
Fox's liberal co-host, Bob Beckel, marginalizing college campus rapes, asked, "When was the last time you heard about a rape on campus?" Meanwhile, a National Institute of Justice study estimated almost one rape per day for a campus with 10,000 female students.
The Lefts' mockery of women who want the means to defend themselves shows an arrogant and reckless disconnect from the realities of the dangers that women face. In the United States, 1 out of every 6 women will suffer a rape or attempted rape at some point in their lives. Rape victims are 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
While debating a rape victim, Colorado State Senator Evie Hudak cited the bogus "83 times" statistic: "For every woman who used a handgun to kill someone (an intimate acquaintance) in self-defense, 83 were murdered by them (an intimate acquaintance)."
The Left repeatedly uses shoddy gun statistics to scare women away from gun ownership. The "83 times" statistic used by Senator Hudak is posted on the Violence Policy Center (VPC) website. The VPC gets this figure from 1998 FBI data. The VPC is implying that if a woman buys a gun it will most likely be used against her.
The VPC's assertion is false. The majority of women murdered were not even killed by an intimate acquaintance. The same FBI data shows that close to 60 percent of the women murdered were killed by someone other than an intimate acquaintance. Of the women whom were killed by an intimate acquaintance almost all of the offenders had a prior felony arrest record. According to criminologist Gary Kleck, 90 percent of adult murderers had a prior adult felony arrest before they committed the murder. They averaged 4 prior major felony arrests. These are not law-abiding citizens. Most women live in a household without a felon. Only 15 percent of all Americans have a criminal record.
Using the kill count to measure a gun's effectiveness in self-defense is disingenuous. A study by Gary Kleck revealed that in the 2.5 million defensive gun uses (DGUs) per year only 0.1 percent of the armed victims killed the assailant. Most of the time the victim just pointed the firearm at the attacker and never had to pull the trigger.
The Left is taking a statistic that primarily applies to a small group of women living in a high-risk environment, either their husband or boyfriend is a felon, and claiming the statistic applies to all women in general. Additionally, Kleck's survey found approximately 350,000 lives were "almost certainly" saved by defensive gun uses annually. Women accounted for 46 percent of all DGUs. If you do the math, gun-armed women saved roughly 161,000 lives per year. Admittedly, it's a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, but that figure eclipses the 2,600 women killed with a firearm in the same year as Kleck's survey.
The Lefts' push to limit gun magazine capacity will seriously impact women. Women generally have smaller hands than men and are more likely to purchase smaller caliber weapons like 9mm or .38 handguns. Additionally, a large caliber handgun like a .45 is difficult to quickly get back on target for a second shot, even when fired by a large man. Most women will not benefit from the stopping power of the big caliber handguns. Smaller caliber handguns require more hits on the target to stop the threat, thus requiring a magazine that can hold the most rounds possible.
Liberals have two prominent arguments for limiting magazine capacity. The first line of attack, which John Rosenberg at PJ Media effectively refutes, is that limiting magazine capacity forces a killer to reload, providing more chances for citizens to escape or disarm the killer. The obvious flaw with this argument is that anyone with minimal training can reload a magazine in about two seconds. The Virginia Tech shooter brought 17 magazines with 10 and 15 round capacities. He fired at least 174 rounds, killing 32 people. He reloaded numerous times without any citizens having the opportunity to disarm him. The liberal media cite the Newtown and Gabby Giffords shootings to make their case that when the killer paused to reload, innocent people escaped or the killer was subdued. Neither shooting supports their claims without twisting the facts. In the Newtown shooting, it was reported that 11 children escaped when Adam Lanza stopped to reload. The truth is the police don't know whether the live cartridges on the ground resulted from the killer accidentally dropping a magazine during a reload or because his gun jammed and he tried to clear it. In the Gabby Giffords shooting, the eye witnesses said the killer was running away when he was tackled. No eyewitnesses said that the killer paused to reload.
The second argument is that limiting magazine capacity restricts the number of bullets a mass murderer can use to kill children. During the assault weapons ban, which limited magazines to 10-rounds, one of the Columbine shooters circumvented the ban by simply carrying 13 magazines with a 10-round capacity. According to Kleck, in the decade before the expired Assault Weapons ban, there were 15 mass shootings. In 14 of them either the shooter possessed multiple guns, which made it unnecessary for him to reload or the shooter reloaded. Both tactics of multiple guns or multiple magazines would defeat the impetus behind magazine capacity limits.
For the average citizen, carrying more than one or two magazines would be too cumbersome and impractical. Without a large caliber weapon a woman is at a disadvantage. A magazine with a capacity well over 10 rounds is like an equalizer to help substitute for the smaller caliber weapon that a woman would most likely be carrying.
The anti-gun crowd are trying to strip women of their independence at a time when more women are choosing to empower themselves by owning a firearm. In 2005, 13 percent of women owned a firearm. By 2011, the number rose to 23 percent. According to MSN, a Gallup poll found that the support by women of stricter laws on gun sales dropped from 76 percent in 1991 to 50 percent in 2011. Women supporting a handgun ban also dropped from 51 percent to 31 percent over the same time period. It's clear that women are on the side of guns, but the real question is -- are liberals on the side of women?