DENVER–The outcry over state Rep. Joe Salazar’s rape remarks intensified Tuesday as Republican women called on Democratic leaders to condemn the comments.
State Reps. Polly Lawrence (R-Littleton) and Carole Murray (R-Castle Rock) issued a statement asking House Speaker Mark Ferrandino and Gov. John Hickenlooper to weigh in against Salazar’s views.
During floor debate Friday, Salazar said women shouldn’t carry guns on campus because they might accidentally shoot someone if they “feel” like they could be raped. Salazar was speaking in favor of House Bill 1226, which bans concealed-carry on public college campuses.
Critics argue that the bill, which the House approved Monday, would leave women with little defense against attackers on campus.
“Questioning a woman’s judgment over whether or not she is about to be raped is insensitive and insulting to women everywhere,” said Lawrence. “No matter what sort of policy position you’re trying to advance, questioning the rational ability of women to perceive threats around them is something Democrat leaders should condemn.”
Salazar issued an apology Monday to Fox affiliate KDVR-TV, saying, “I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention.”
“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,” he said.
Murray said his apology fell short. “‘I’m sorry if you were offended’ isn’t an apology; it’s a line in the sand,” she said.
“Democrats place more faith in a criminal’s respect of a ‘safe zone,’ than they do in law-abiding women’s discretion to defend themselves,” said Murray. “Cloaking their position by painting women as overly emotional and reactive is an outrageous tactic that should have every woman in Colorado calling on the Governor and the Speaker to condemn, as I am now.”
Salazar had argued in favor of using safe zones, call boxes and whistles as a defense for women against the threat of assault.
“Because 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, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop a round at somebody,” said Salazar.