Target: Colorado Rep. Joe Salazar (D)
Goal: Condemn the Colorado lawmaker for offensive comments regarding women, gun control and sexual violence.
Recently, in a debate over whether college students should be allowed to carry concealed firearms on campus in an effort to exercise self-protection, Colorado Democratic Representative Joe Salazar stated that female students in particular were too paranoid to be trusted with dangerous weapons. The lawmaker suggested that women were not aware enough to accurately detect danger and would probably end up pulling the trigger on an innocent person.
Salazar’s apparent intention was to suggest that concealed weapons would not help decrease sexual assault rates, and might result in accidental injuries. However, his words make it clear that he did not formulate his thoughts before speaking. Salazar proposed that women were too emotional to recognize sexual violence. He said, “you just don’t know who you’re going to be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re going to 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…” Salazar’s rhetoric also suggests that women are likely to act on false feelings of being in danger, and furthers a pervasive, damaging rape culture which frequently belittles women and their sense of danger.
While gun advocates often pose gun control as a women’s issue, stating that concealed weapons would lower sexual assaults, domestic violence counselors suggest that this theory is incorrect. Hidden guns do not address rape culture, and do not acknowledge the fact that most women know and are comfortably familiar with their rapists. A concealed weapon would be useless in most sexual assaults. Either way, Joe Salazar’s remarks on women’s emotional instability, and their affinity to act irrationally, are highly problematic. They are insensitive, offensive, and belittle a serious issue. Sign the petition below to condemn Rep. Joe Salazar for his remarks.
Dear Joe Salazar,
Recently, during a debate over whether college students should be allowed to carry concealed firearms on campus, you made a number of statements that suggested that female students in particular were too paranoid to be trusted with dangerous weapons. Your remarks implied that women are prone to acting irrationally, and are emotionally unstable, and therefore unable to be trusted with firearms.
Such rhetoric furthers a pervasive, damaging rape culture which frequently belittles women and their sense of danger. Rape culture makes it difficult for women to avoid rape, makes it easier for rapists to commit assaults, and twists law and legislature against rape victims of all genders. Your remarks were unprofessional, insensitive and offensive. I am writing to express my disappointment and to condemn the thoughtless statements you made.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: D Services via Flickr.