Democratic lawmaker apologizes for suggesting women can’t be trusted with guns

February 19, 2013

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Democratic Colorado state Rep. Joe Salazar apologized Monday for suggesting some women are so unjustifiably afraid of being raped that they are liable to start shooting wildly.

Salazar, arguing in favor of disarming college students, said Friday on the Colorado House floor that women fearing rape may suddenly and haphazardly ”pop a round at somebody.”

“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,” Salazar said.

Salazar apologized on Monday in a statement.

“I’m sorry if I offended anyone,” Salazar said in the statement. ”That was absolutely not my intention. 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. Again, I’m deeply sorry if I offended anyone with my comments.”

Despite Salazar’s support for giving women “the whistles,” his comment that women are more likely to shoot and kill people because they fear being raped has already sparked controversy in his home state.

Republican state Rep. Polly Lawrence, for example,  responded with umbrage to Salazar’s assertion “that women don’t know when we’re going to be raped, that [women] can’t recognize when there’s an inherent danger.”

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