“Knowing she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened violent criminals,” Gayle Trotter told a Senate committee yesterday. She was hyping Barbarians at the Gate, but more women are killed by The Enemy Within. (More)

Barbarians at the Gate and The Enemy Within

In her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Gayle Trotter of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum said women need assault rifles to protect themselves from marauding criminal gangs:

You are not a young mother who has a young child with her and … you cannot understand. You are not a woman stuck in her house, not able to defend her children, not able to leave her child, not able to go seek safety, on the phone with 911. She’s not used to being in a firefight. An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon. And the peace of mind she has … knowing she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened violent criminals.

Also, everyone will need an assault weapon when the extraterrestrials arrive to colonize the earth. And that’s about as likely as the bizarre mom-alone-defending-kids-from-criminal-gang scenario Trotter offered. She was hyping a fear mongering trope commonly called Barbarians at the Gate, but women are in far greater danger from The Enemy Within.

Who kills women?

According to data compiled by the Violence Policy Center, roughly 60% of women who are killed by handguns are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands, or boyfriends. What’s more, the VPC’s data reveal, women are 100 times more likely to be killed by a gun in the home than to use it in self-defense. From September 10, 2001 through June 6, 2012, more women were killed by husbands or boyfriends than the number of Americans killed in terrorist attacks, Afghanistan, and Iraq … combined. And yes, that includes the Americans who died on 9/11.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for Trotter to address those statistics, as she opposes the Violence Against Women Act, which she claims:

  • federalizes a problem that would be better handled at the state level;
  • embraces gender stereotypes by casting women as victims and men as abusers; and,
  • wastes money on programs that have little to do with actually discouraging violence.

And now, bill supporters have used the occasion of the reauthorization to add unrelated and extraneous provisions, including an expansion of the prosecutorial power of American Indian courts that could deny due process to non-American Indians.

VAWA now touches hot button immigration issues, which have the potential to encourage immigration fraud, false allegations of abuse, and denial of a rebuttal by the accused spouse, whether male or female.

The real threats faced by Native American women – like the greater danger faced by women who have guns in their homes – matter less to Trotter than the potential threats she can imagine: Native America courts denying white people due process, and those marauding criminal gangs that leave a single mother no other choice but to go full Sarah Connor in Terminator 2.

Judgment Day

But feisty females better hope their attackers are indeed marauding gangs, because firing a gun at an abusive husband or boyfriend can land you in prison, even if you miss:

Marissa Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison.

Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of a toddler and 11-year-old twins, knew it was coming. She had claimed self-defense, tried to invoke Florida’s “stand your ground” law and rejected plea deals that could have gotten her a much shorter sentence. A jury found her guilty as charged: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Because she fired a gun while committing a felony, Florida’s mandatory-minimum gun law dictated the 20-year sentence.

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith noted the glaring hole in Florida’s much-maligned “Stand Your Ground” law:

An invited guest is considered a ‘resident’ under the law. This means that as soon as a woman invites her ex-husband to pick up their children at her home, she is powerless to defend herself, even if she holds sole title to the property. Given that most attacks happen at home, by relatives or individuals known to the victim, this loophole in the law is unconscionable.

Florida state representative Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) could hardly have been more dismissive in his response: “Senator Smith’s been working too hard. He needs to let the Citizen Safety and Protection Task Force, which has a lot of smart people on it, complete their work before he starts proposing changes to statute.”

Well, that task force did complete their work … and their report never mentioned domestic violence. So women need assault rifles for self-defense, unless they’re attacked by the men most likely to attack them, in which case … “they should make better decisions.”

The alien mothership already landed.


Happy Thursday!