Joe Salazar, Jesse Ulaberri, and Evie Hudak obviously hate women.
If Robert Heinlein had had the longevity of Woodrow Wilson Smith and lived to today, would he be more saddened or more outraged to see what has happened to the state which was his home? Where, when he and his wife Virginia built their house they chose "1776" for their house number, and where he wrote about revolution on the Moon and the paramount importance of self-reliance and personal liberty. What would he say if Peewee, Podkayne, Hazel Stone, or Friday had to listen to this appalling statement from an elected statist busybody:
“You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experienced in taekwondo, and yet because this individual was so large, was able to overcome you, even with your skills,” Miss Hudak said to Ms. Collins during the hearing. “And chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.”
She then cited a statistic stating that for every woman who used a gun to kill someone in self-defense, 83 were killed while attempting to use their weapon, a point which Ms. Collins refuted.
Mizz Hudak did offer an, "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings but I'm still right," apology afterwards:
Collins told 7NEWS that a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association invited her to come to Colorado to testify.
She said Hudak talked with her in the hallway after her testimony.
"She apologized for upsetting me and said that she shouldn't have said that," said Collins. "She went on further to say that she believed that I would have been, based on the statistics that she used, the one out of the 80 that would have been able to stop my attack."
Let's put aside the arrogance and hypocrisy of statements like these coming from someone who is on the side of the political spectrum which has spent so much time, effort, and moral outrage over the past few decades telling us that if we don't take a sexual assault victim at her word, we are no better than the perpetrators of these awful crimes, and look instead for some hard evidence.
I've seen that "1 in 83" statistic before. After Joe Salazar's infamous statement, I started to wonder a few things, like: how effective are the defense techniques, such as urinating and vomiting on an attacker, that women are being taught? And, what sort of proof is there to the widely-accepted belief that a woman carrying a gun will necessarily have it taken away and used against her by her attacker? So I started looking for numbers and what I found was quite illuminating.
As to the second question, if you do a Google search for "women's self-defense gun effectiveness" the top link is to the Violence Policy Center which cites, from a 1998 FBI report, the very statistic which Hudak used. The presumption about this statistic whenever it's used seems to be that it says, in essence, "Out of 84 women armed with guns, 83 of them have their guns taken away from them by their attackers who then use those guns to kill them, while only one of those women successfully uses her gun to kill her attacker". Except that we don't know whether those 83 women were armed with guns — or knives, keys, urine, or vomit for that matter. Which, to me, looks like two different sample groups put together in a manner reminiscent of the Underpants Gnomes' business plan. On top of that, that statistic refers to incidents of intimate acquaintence violence, which had no relevance to the horrible crime perpetrated against Ms Collins.
Whether the number is "1 in 83", "1 in 101", or "1 in 302", none of them say anything about whether the victim was shot by her own gun or not.
If you look around you find that a lot of information about how women should protect themselves against violence is treated like that. So far, I can't find any solid information confirming whether urinating or vomiting on an attacker is effective or not. The infamous UC-Colorado Springs list which included those two techniques came from the R.A.D. Systems of Self Defense — a seemingly very popular system at universities — which assures us that the techniques they teach are based on "solid research". I couldn't tell you what that "solid research" is because they don't tell us what it is. Nor can I find any other independent source which says what that research is. The only really specific, research-based information I could find is a report which stated that passive resistance (trying to reason with an attacker, attempting to appeal to his sympathies, etc.) is generally ineffective while active resistance (i.e. fighting like a wildcat) "appears to be effective". (UH-DUH!) From what I can tell, many techniques stem from a presumption that something seems like a good idea (say, jabbing an attacker in the throat with your keys) or something that seems so crazy it might just work (urinating or vomiting). (The latter, to me, sounds very much like something dreamt up at an academic conference on violence against women.) Maybe it's out there somewhere, but I have yet to find any statistics which states anything even close to, "X women used Y technique to successfully stop their attackers Z times".
Though I'll probably get Hell for it, I can't talk about assumptions without talking about the most sacred of sacred statistics regarding this subject: "1 in 4 women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape". Which is more accurately: "1 in 4 college women," while the actual number is supposed to be 1 in 6. Even so, using the numbers from 2011, that means that of the females living today in the US, 26,908,723 of them either have been or will be victims of sexual assault. That's a staggering — an appalling — number. Not only is it appalling because there are that many victims of such a terrible crime, but also because there are — at worst, granted — that many men in this country who are monsters. How is that possible? How could that much evil exist in our society without it collapsing under the weight of it?
So, where does "1 in 4" come from? Wikipedia, surprisingly, has a decent summary which reflects the "scientific concensus" on this. There are some interesting aspects to it: firstly, the women involved in most these studies were all college women, secondly, almost all of the data is anecdotal and thirdly, whoever wrote the summary indulged themselves in a bit of biased editorializing:
In 1995, the CDC replicated part of this study. They examined rape only, and did not look at attempted rape. They found that 20% of approximately 5,000 women on 138 college campuses experienced rape during the course of their lifetime. Had they asked about attempted rape, it is surely likely that they would have reached the One in Four proportion.
"Surely likely". Then again, that sort of opinion-based conclusion is par for the course when it comes to talking about violence against women and, especially, the men who perpetrate violence against women. "Thousands", "tens-of-thousands", "millions", "solid research", "it's a fact that" — you see a lot of confidence expressed about data but when you start to dig around for real numbers, you find a Hell of a lot of assumptions behind those numbers. If you look at some hard data, like the FBI numbers from 2011, you see that the rate for "forcible rate" for that year was 52.7 per 100,000 females, or five one-hundredths of a percent of the female population. If you hadn't figured it out alread, there's quite a big gap between five one-hundredths and one-quarter, or even one-sixth.
I can't explain the discrepancy (maybe resident statistics nerd Meep can) but I can say this from what I've seen: there are a lot of people whose political and financial fortunes are tied up in making sure eveyone believes, without question, and is frightened by, those big numbers. Case in point — and to get back to the original subject of women and guns — those who seem to be the most adamant about their authority to tell women that they should not own a hand gun for self-defense and are absolutely, positively, sure that women who are armed will have their guns taken from them and used against them by their attackers are the people (mostly men, BTW) who have some sort of women-centric defense program to sell. And the politicians who are adamant about the same thing are always predisposed against guns and never, like Mizz Hudak, have any real data to back up their assertions.
For people who say they are so very concerned about protecting women from violence, particularly a type of violence which is considered second only to murder in its heinousness, they are very quick to reflexively rule out the use of one of only a few weapons which offers a very high probability of stopping that violence dead in its tracks.
War on Women, indeed.