Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Gayle Trotter Opposed Law To Protect Women Before Testifying On Guns For Moms

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UPDATE: Excellent commentary on the hearings and surrounding events.

Gayle Trotter seems to have some odd inconsistencies in her outlook. First, Evan McMorris-Santoro reports in TPMDC:

Gayle Trotter, the conservative activist who became the breakout star of Wednesday’s gun violence hearing in the Senate with her adamant cry that women need assault rifles to defend themselves, wrote last year that she opposed the Violence Against Women Act.

The reason, she said at the time, was the law would create the prospect of “false accusers” stealing taxpayer money by using shelters and legal aid.

On Wednesday, Trotter used the fear of violence against women to support gun laws that allow access to large capacity magazines and assault weapons in her testimony.

“An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon,” she said.

Trotter based her defense of gun rights on the need for women to defend themselves against those who would commit violent acts against them. Back in 2012, she was not as supportive of the federal government’s efforts to protect women with VAWA. The law, she wrote on the website of the Independent Women’s Forum, could promote false accusations of domestic violence.

Trotter opposed VAWA, she wrote last year, because it opened the door to false accusers wasting taxpayer funds.

“Americans all want to deter violence, but we also need to protect that foundational principle of the presumption of innocence,” said her April 2012 post. “Needed resources like shelters and legal aid can be taken by false accusers, denying real victims of abuse access to these supports. That result runs directly counter to the VAWA’s spirit.”

Trotter was also skeptical of the law for other reasons cited by . . .

Continue reading.

And Amy Davidson reports in the New Yorker:

What gun does a woman want? AR-15s are “easy for women to hold,” Gayle Trotter, of the Independent Women’s Forum, said to the Senate Judiciary Committee, in her explanation of why an assault-style weapon was just what a young mother needed. She praised their weight, handling, “and most importantly, their appearance,” since “the peace of mind knowing she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage.” When Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island asked whether a more modest weapon might not do the trick, Trotter said, “You can not understand. You are not a woman.” The senator was “a big man,” while women were little. A woman, Trotter said, might have to fight off four or five criminals “with her children screaming in the background.” She deserved “a right to choose” a weapon with a thirty-round magazine.

Women, as much as criminals and the mentally ill, were the subject of caricaturing at the hearings Tuesday. They were the besieged victims with only an AR-15 between themselves and a chaotic world of rapists and home invaders. To hear Trotter and her fellow-witness, Wayne LaPierre of the N.R.A., tell it, a gun is the sort of thing one ought to keep near a baby, like syrup of ipecac or a box of Band-Aids. Senator Chuck Grassley asked Trotter whether “banning guns which feature designs to improve accuracy disproportionately burdens women”—women apparently being not only small but also wild shooters. She thought they would. (Neither mentioned what might be the disproportionate benefit of closing a loophole that allows people with domestic-violence records to buy guns without background checks.) There was also a digression about how women, unlike criminals, quietly obeyed laws. Senator Lindsey Graham, in arguing about limits on magazines, told a story about a woman hiding in a closet who managed to put five of the bullets in her six-shooter into the body of a criminal who nonetheless drove away: “There can be a situation where a mother runs out of bullets because of what we do here.”

And yet, as I’ve written before, a gun in the home tends to do little more than make bad situations worse. When a gun is involved in domestic disputes, the chances that a woman will end up dead are far higher. A follow-up of a survey of women who had been the victims of domestic violence found that those who’d said they had a gun in the house were six times more likely to have been murdered. A gun kept within reach of a mother at all times is also something a toddler, or an older child, can find. Nancy Lanza had a lot of guns in her house. They kept neither her nor the children of Newtown safe.

But the talk about women was, in many ways, just a more crystalline version of a general vision of society and the law. In one of the day’s stranger exchanges, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 January 2013 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Congress, Daily life, Guns, Law

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