ONTD Political

‘Guns make women safer,’ says Gayle Trotter. Study says, not so. (VIDEO)

12:27 am - 01/31/2013
Updated 11:30pm ET: The use of assault weapons among women emerged as standout topic at Wednesday’s Senate hearing on gun control legislation. Gayle Trotter, a lawyer and senior fellow at the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, said women need that type of firearm to level the playing field when confronted by physically stronger male attackers.

The guns rights advocate told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee that “guns make women safer.” To her, AR-15s are the “weapon of choice” because “they have good handling, they’re light, they’re easy for women to hold.” And the appearance of such a “scary-looking gun” deters violent male criminals during home invasions.

But a recent study conducted by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center disputed those assertions. The study found that women living in states with more accessibility to guns are at a greater risk for violent death. This includes “unintentional gun deaths, suicides and homicide, particularly firearm suicides and firearm homicides.”


During an interview on The Last Word Wednesday night, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell challenged Trotter for not being able to provide one real life example of a case when an assault weapon specifically saved one woman’s life in that kind of a situation. “You don’t go to the Senate to imagine things!” O’Donnell said.

While speaking in front of the senators, Trotter described a hypothetical scene of a “young woman defending her babies in her home” when faced with “three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background” as a reason to own an assault rifle.

“The peace of mind that she has, knowing that she has a scary-looking gun, gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened, violent criminals,” said Trotter, who was the only woman on the five-person panel. “If we ban these types of assault weapons, you are putting these types of women at a great disadvantage–more so than men because they don’t have the same type of physical strength and opportunity to defend themselves in a hand-to-hand struggle.”

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was injured after being shot in the head, and her husband Mark Kelly also spoke at the hearing.

Amazing video at the source, because for some reason MSNBC videos don't like to embed. Discussion starts at ~6:30 in, drama begins at ~9:30.
schexyschteve 31st-Jan-2013 06:07 am (UTC)
Trotter described a hypothetical scene of a “young woman defending her babies in her home” when faced with “three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background” as a reason to own an assault rifle. "The peace of mind that she has, knowing that she has a scary-looking gun, gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened, violent criminals"

I just...wha--

NO. There's so much wrong here that I don't know where to begin.
shadwrayvn 31st-Jan-2013 06:10 am (UTC)
Argg she just pissed me off! Her avoidance at answering Lawernce's questions was so pathetic.
astridmyrna 31st-Jan-2013 06:21 am (UTC)
While speaking in front of the senators, Trotter described a hypothetical scene of a “young woman defending her babies in her home” when faced with “three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background” as a reason to own an assault rifle.

Sooooo what happens when those screaming children are silenced by stray bullets?
sixdemonhag 31st-Jan-2013 06:22 am (UTC)
I have large dogs and a crowbar, so I'm good. I think the massive sound of two pits, a boxer, and a psychotic border collie mix is enough to ward off anyone with the slightest sense of self preservation. The pits and the boxer just sound scary, but some stranger outside the house isn't going to know that. The border collie though? Yeah, that's the one to worry about. The hell do I need a gun for?
peace_piper 31st-Jan-2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
I know, right? People loved my aussie shep/golden retriever mix, sweetheart that she was, but the one time my mom was threatened with a gun, that sweet dog turned so vicious that we were honestly afraid of her. Good thing the gunman was too, or it could've gone another way. I never saw her turn that way again in her 15 years, but just knowing she *could*, I always felt safe.
234_am 31st-Jan-2013 06:46 am (UTC)
this woman watches far too much television.
anolinde 31st-Jan-2013 06:49 am (UTC)
But a recent study conducted by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center disputed those assertions. The study found that women living in states with more accessibility to guns are at a greater risk for violent death. This includes “unintentional gun deaths, suicides and homicide, particularly firearm suicides and firearm homicides.”

I'm sure it's just this article and the study actually goes more in-depth than what was stated above - but this doesn't appear to differentiate between deaths caused by other people's guns and deaths caused by the women's guns, which is kind of an important distinction to make...

Edit: unless they're not just talking about deaths where gun ownership backfires on the women, in which case, carry on.

Edited at 2013-01-31 06:51 am (UTC)
awfulbliss 31st-Jan-2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the study seems kind of pointless honestly, but I'm not a researcher/statistician. In the context of the article in regards to home safety, wouldn't a study that looks at home invasions and deaths among gun owners and non-gun owners be far more meaningful than something that is just looking at overall state gun crime?
miss_almost 1st-Feb-2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
i didnt take it in the context of home safety/invasions. the argument was "guns make women safer" and then the lawyer used a home invasion scenario as a hypothetical context where a gun would make a women safer. the argument wasnt "guns make women safer during a home invasion" the home invasion scenario was used to support the broader assertion that guns make women safer. particularly because the session was about gun control legislation as a whole. the lawyer was making a case that if you ban assault weapons women will be at greater risk. it wasnt directly associated or exclusive to home invasions.

and in that case, i find the study very meaningful. the ability to possess a firearm/the presence of firearms does not make women safer. and women having access to assault weapons means men also have access to the same weapons. and in fact, that is correlated with higher rates of gun deaths, and domestic violence that is fatal.
wikilobbying 31st-Jan-2013 07:14 am (UTC)
um, an AR-15 is a semi-automatic. if someone's a home invader and isn't carrying a gun or something equally effective themselves, then a very alarmed woman with the presence of mind to grab a weapon doesn't need a semi-automatic to look scary. they can achieve that swinging a baseball bat. even from the gun-toting angle, a simple shotgun will suffice, no AR-15 needed.

besides, i do not want these fucking lawmakers and advocates continuing to push this crap when they will not insist on proper gun ownership education. when y'all start stressing real education and responsibility, you can come back to me.

and to top it all off, i do not want us upholding an angle of rape culture that goes, "well if you would have had a gun, you would've gotten away" with this stuff.
zinnia_rose 31st-Jan-2013 08:18 am (UTC)
To her, AR-15s are the “weapon of choice” because “they have good handling, they’re light, they’re easy for women to hold.”

I swear to god this reads like it's straight out of The Onion.
chaya 31st-Jan-2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
OUR TINY LADY HANDS CAN ONLY HOLD SO MANY KINDS OF WEAPONS MMK??
hey_kayla_jay 31st-Jan-2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
It reminds me of those Bic For Her pens that got so many hilariously snarky comments on Amazon.
mysticlady3 1st-Feb-2013 12:48 am (UTC)
Link?
hey_kayla_jay 1st-Feb-2013 01:35 am (UTC)
This has a whole lot;

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/blackhat-lounge/476819-bic-her.html

It never occurred to me to go to Amazon and see what other reviews people have left....hmm....

skellington1 31st-Jan-2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
I was about to make a snarky comment about pink ones, but then I remembered that I'd actually seen that. *sobs*
odannygirl7 31st-Jan-2013 08:44 am (UTC)
Any feelings about guns aside, couldn't she at least have made her arguments not horribly sexist? Like, do you really want your argument for having semi-auto/high capicity/assault rifles to be that women are too unskilled to successfully take down intruders with anything less than a huge spray of bullets? Or, really, that anyone who wants that type of weapon only needs it because they can't effectively hit, let alone kill, someone in ten rounds or less?

Dang, how about just going with the truth? That they don't want to loose their weekend fun of acting like Rambo at the shooting range.
shipperx 31st-Jan-2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
Why do so many gun fetishists cast themselves in their minds eye as the hero of cheesy action flicks? There's got to be some psychology behind that.
hey_kayla_jay 31st-Jan-2013 06:57 pm (UTC)
Glaring sexist bullshit aside (because I just don't know where to start), we could, you know, make it a point to stop these violent big scary man attackers from attacking women in the first place rather than insisting that defenseless women, with our dainty hands and little minds, have to carry guns everywhere just to feel safe. Hell, I carry pepper spray with me and even THAT makes me nervous. I do NOT EVER want to operate a gun! I have no interest in learning how to use a gun and I fucking hate hearing that I should have to just because I'm a woman.
mamamilkshake 31st-Jan-2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
I feel considerably safer knowing my young curious child or any of her friends will not come across a firearm in my home and accidentally shoot themselves or each other with it. Guess I better go hand in my woman card?
skellington1 31st-Jan-2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
I'm really, really tired of hearing about these "Hypothetical situations." Yes, you can come up with a hypothetical situation where whatever you're currently advocating for is the ONLY THING that can save you, but it's tantamount to playing "What If?" with an 8 year old. It's all based on emotion and imagination, rather than fact or likelihood.

"But WHAT IF the local police were all turned into zombies? And WHAT IF Godzilla attacked just at the same time? And WHAT IF the car wouldn't start? THEN I'd need my personal roof-mounted laser canon!"

Kudos to O'Donnell for actually calling out the imaginary crap.

Edited at 2013-01-31 09:33 pm (UTC)
coraki TW: violence against women.1st-Feb-2013 02:49 am (UTC)
Tell that to my co-worker who was threatened (he said he'd kill her) by a man carrying a concealed pistol license and he had his gun with him (though he didn't show it to her).

Wait, I know the response. If she had been carrying a bigger gun (instead of a camera) and been vigilant (instead of taking photos of the harbor), he couldn't have snuck up behind her.


As for myself. I have a wooden bat with red ink splattered on it and the words "kiss it" scratched onto it.
miss_almost 1st-Feb-2013 09:34 pm (UTC)
i really just cringe at the "scary looking gun" part.

idk about anyone else, but i think when youre on the business end of a gun they all look scary.
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