The gun advocate said banning “scary-looking" assault weapons puts women at a "great disadvantage" because they lack the physical strength to fend off violent male attackers.
The use of assault weapons among women emerged as standout topic at Wednesday’s Senate hearing on gun control legislation. Gayle Trotter, a lawyer and senior fellow at the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, said women need that type of firearm to level the playing field when confronted by physically stronger male attackers.
The guns rights advocate told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee that AR-15s are the “weapon of choice” because “they have good handling, they’re light, they’re easy for women to hold.” And the appearance of such a “scary-looking gun” deters violent male criminals during home invasions.
“An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon. And the peace of mind that a woman has as she’s facing three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background–the peace of mind that she has, knowing that she has a scary-looking gun, gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened, violent criminals,” said Trotter, who was the only woman on the five-person panel. “If we ban these types of assault weapons, you are putting these types of women at a great disadvantage–more so than men because they don’t have the same type of physical strength and opportunity to defend themselves in a hand-to-hand struggle.”
“Guns make women safer,” Trotter said. “Over 90% of violent crimes occur without a firearm, which makes guns the great equalizer for women.”
A recent study conducted by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center disputed those assertions. The study found that women living in states with more accessibility to guns are at a greater risk for violent death. This includes “unintentional gun deaths, suicides and homicide, particularly firearm suicides and firearm homicides.”
The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was injured after being shot in the head, and her husband Mark Kelly also spoke at the hearing.
The proceedings on Wednesday marked the first round of congressional hearings on gun control since December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Following the attack, which killed 20 young kids and six educators, President Obama and other lawmakers have been pushing for stricter gun control legislation to curb gun violence.