A Colorado lawmaker's foot-in-mouth comment about having woman go to a callbox "if you feel like you're gonna be raped" while arguing for more gun limits has created a firestorm of reaction, and it doesn't appear to be going away even with help from his fellow Democrats who are supporting Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton.
It was during debate over a Colorado proposal to ban those who legally are allowed to carry a concealed weapon in the state from having that weapon on university campuses Salazar said, "It's why we have call boxes, it's why we have safe zones, it's why we have the whistles. Because you just don't know who you're gonna be shooting at."
Then he continued, "And you don't know if you feel like you're gonna 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, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop a round at somebody."
The Denver Post reported Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono, who's been on the opposite side of the gun debate from Salazar, said, "I guess, Rep. Salazar, if a woman doesn't know she's being raped, she doesn't fear it."
Online, it was Jacob Dawson of OneNewsNow's Instant Analysis, who said, "While Colorado is debating gun control, against the will of their citizens, one of their politicians is wanting to arm their women with WHISTLES!"
The commentary continued, "File this under the heading of most absurd statements by a politician, Rep. Joe Salazar wants women to blow a whistle while being raped instead of letting them arm themselves with a gun. This has apparently been suggested by a Colorado university. Very, very sad."
Salazar followed shortly with a written apology, trying to work through the controversy.
"We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns makes (sic) people safer on campus. I don't believe they do," he said. "That was the point I was trying to make."
Other Democrats have rallied in defense of Salazar's Bidenism, with House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, telling the Post that Salazar is a "great legislator and a person who has worked hard in support of women."
However, Salazar's critics from the minority GOP ranks in the statehouse pointed out that Democrats were certainly unforgiving when Rep. Todd Akin, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri during the 2012 election, make an erroneous reference to "legitimate rape."
Akin also apologized for his misstatement, but continued to be the target of Democrat attacks anyway.
Akin eventually lost his race to incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill. His campaign was rocked by criticism after he used the phrase "legitimate rape" as an awkward synonym for forcible rape – from both Democrats and inside-the-Beltway GOPers.
He apologized repeatedly for the mistake, as well as for mentioning a controversial medical theory regarding rape and conception.
Yet many of those who are staunchly secure in conservatism supported Akin. Dr. James Dobson, founder and president of Family Talk, which produces his regular radio program, said, "I regret to say that Congressman Akin has been subjected to disgraceful treatment at the hands of the GOP political bosses. They have withheld funds for his campaign, even though he won the GOP primary for the Senate seat. Karl Rove and Haley Barbour have said things about this character that are untrue."
Also, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said people needed to consider the race and its results.
"We must defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill … Her support of President Obama's job-killing, big-spending policies are sending our country into an economic abyss."
At Colorado Peak Politics.com, a blog, the authors said, "Calling the rape police (we mean all you reporters, liberal bloggers, and reporter/liberal bloggers who fixated on Ken Buck, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock for the last, oh, 3 or so years: time to ask every Democrat you can think of, starting with Governor John Hickenlooper all the way down to the elected Democrat dog catcher in Buena Vista, whether or not they condemn the insensitive comments about rape made by the eloquent one, Rep. Joe Salazar."
Continued the criticism, "Does Joe Salazar think women are so stupid they might be confused about whether or not they are about to be raped. Time to add a new term to the American political lexicon: confused rape. (Confused rape: the act of thinking you are about to be raped when in fact you are not.)
Many in the mainstream media simply ignored Salazar's comments about rape and women.
One report that did appear, from Philly.com, updated the issue with words of advice from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
There, the school's Department of Public Safety suggested that women "tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating" to fend off an assault.
They also should be aware "vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone," the school said.
WND yesterday reported on the package of gun limits that Colorado Democrats are passing. It moved into the headlines when Vice President Joe Biden began pressuring Colorado lawmakers to adopt the drastic measures – even in opposition to their constituents – so that Obama would have model legislation to push in other states.
The bills introduced are:
- HB 1224, which would bans all magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.
- HB 1226 would prohibit those with concealed carry permits, including off duty police officers and former military personnel, from bringing their weapons on college campuses.
- HB 1228 would force residents to pay for exercising a constitutional right by making them pay for a background check to prove they are not criminals. There is no limit on the amount the Colorado Bureau of Investigation could charge for the background check.
- HB 1229 bans the private sale and transfer of firearms and institutes universal background checks and/gun registration for all Colorado gun owners.
All the bills are moving forward through the legislative process.
When a handful of Democrats from rural areas planned to oppose the bills, Biden started making calls.
"What he essentially did was tell these Democrats to fall on their swords in order to pass the president's agenda, which is ultimately about gun confiscation," said Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono. "What they need to realize is that these promises are almost never kept, and come next year, they will be left to face angry voters on their own."
"He (Biden) said it would send a strong message to the rest of the country that a western state had passed gun-control bills," Tony Exhum, a Democratic lawmaker from Colorado Springs, told the Post.
Salazar's statement isn't even the first wild one to come from the Colorado chambers that have made headlines this year.
During debate on a civil union bill, since homosexual marriage is banned in the state Constitution, Democrats removed an exemption from the bill that would have given conscience protections to Christian business owners.
Senate Majority Leader Pat Steadman, a homosexual, publicly told Christians who regard homosexuality as a sin, based on the Bible, to "get thee to a nunnery" and remove themselves from society.