DENVER — Another male politician has waded into trouble with comments about rape, and this time he’s a Democrat.
Conservatives pounced on comments made by Colorado state Rep. Joe Salazar during a floor debate Friday night on a bill to ban concealed-carry permit holders from bringing guns on public university campuses.
Republicans opposing the bill argued that it would leave women defenseless against attackers, but Mr. Salazar said that wasn’t the case.
“That’s why we have call boxes, that’s why we have safe zones, that’s why we have whistles, because you just don’t know who you’re going to be shooting at,” Mr. Salazar said.
He said he worried that armed women on campus could wind up shooting innocent bystanders.
“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, and when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop around that somebody,” he said.
Republican state Rep. Polly Lawrence fired back by telling him call boxes and whistles weren’t going to cut it. She later issued this tweet: “Rep. Salazar says women may not know when they’re being raped. …”
Dana Loesch at Red State said Mr. Salazar’s comments represent “the real ‘war on women.’ “
“This is the real ‘war on women’ I’ve talked about: the progressive insistence that women disarm,” Ms. Loesch said. “Women, according to Rep. Salazar, are hysterical things which shoot indiscriminately at any and everything.”
Mr. Salazar responded Monday with a statement to the Fox affiliate KDVR-TV in Denver.
“I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention,” Mr. Salazar said. “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.”
The House passed the bill Monday by a margin of 34-31, with no Republican votes.