On Tuesday, rape victim Amanda Collins told a horrific story to a Colorado Senate committee considering the repeal of the Colorado law that allows concealed carry on college campuses. Ms. Collins was raped at her Nevada college that banned concealed carry. Although she had a legal permit, she was assaulted because she had obeyed the law and left her firearm at home. While she obeyed the Nevada legislature’s no-guns-allowed policy, her rapist did not. He held a gun to her head as she was viciously attacked, as are 20 percent to 25 percent of college women who suffer rape or attempted rape, according to the CDC. Her rapist went on to rape two other women, and he murdered his third victim.
Ms. Collins told the committee she was confident she would have been able to stop the attack and thus the victimization of the other women if she’d had her firearm. Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak of Westminster, Colo., disagreed, declaring, “I just want to say that actually statistics are not on your side…the Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence says that for every one woman who used a handgun to kill someone in self-defense, 83 were murdered by them.”
The deflated Ms. Collins was visibly shaken. You could see her thinking: Could it really be that bad? Would she only have had an 83-to-one chance of surviving if her Glock if had been readily at hand?
Actually, Ms. Hudak’s stunning statistic was a total fabrication, spun from a Second Amendment-hating website called the Violence Policy Center (VPC), the arch enemy of gun rights. The website summarizes ancient 1998 FBI data that found 12 women had used handguns to kill their attackers that year, while 872 women had been murdered by a handgun wielded by an attacker. Yet these data are not linked and have absolutely no cause-and-effect relationship: Nowhere is it asserted that the women who were murdered by guns had used guns in self-defense.
Nor is it implied that any woman was shot when she had a gun wrestled from her and turned against her, as Ms. Hudak also claimed. In fact, the murdered women were unarmed. The women’s male attackers were the ones with the guns, providing more ballast for Ms. Collins’ argument for self-defense, and eviscerating Ms. Hudak’s case for disarmament. Moreover, As Republican Colorado Sen. Greg Brophy has pointed out, there has never been an incident of shooting on a Colorado college campus, in all the years that concealed carry has been legal on campuses.
Nevertheless, this is the Violence Policy Center’s (not the FBI’s) deviously bizarre conclusion: In 1998, for every time a woman used a handgun to kill an intimate acquaintance in self-defense, 83 women were murdered by an intimate acquaintance with a handgun.
Apparently the Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence handed Sen. Hudak and her Democrat cronies these useful talking points with which to further savage rape victims. Yet this group, which doesn’t list a website or a phone number, doesn’t seem to exist.
Ms. Hudak obviously based her opinion that concealed weapons “increase the severity of a crime; increase the likelihood of death” on the same bogus information, as did her allies on the Democrat-dominated committee that passed the bill 3 to 2 on party lines.
Later, when Ms. Hudak’s statement unleashed a tornado of criticism, she defended the fraudulent stats as legitimate: “Amid this emotional testimony, my goal was to share research data about the increased danger of having a gun in an assault.”
Yet the very rational economists John Lott of Yale and William Landes of the University of Chicago examined the effect of gun control policies over several decades in their book, “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws.” They looked at many of the remedies now being rushed through state legislatures crafted by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns — remedies like longer waiting periods or background checks or increased penalties. They found that only one public policy reduced mass shootings: laws permitting concealed carry.
It only makes sense that murderers are shy about frequenting places where they may be killed before they can accomplish their intended slaughter. That’s why you typically won’t find them shooting up police stations.
Yet Democrats, ever impervious to reason and logic, want to protect women from killers by disarming us. The Democratic lawmakers slammed all seven anti-gun bills through the committees after just a single day of public testimony, and now they go to the full Colorado Senate for a vote later this week.
Said Sen. Hudak after hearing one woman after another who had been raped or assaulted beg the committee to allow other women to defend themselves, “I feel so horrible for what some of these people have endured…. I am actually really looking out for their best interest.” As much as we appreciate your tender concern, Senator, let’s make a deal: We’ll look out for us – all you have to do is let us.
Joy Overbeck is a Colorado journalist and author.