The passage of Colorado House Bill 13-1226 compels me to write this letter. I am not a Coloradoan, but my daughter attends college in Colorado. As such, I must express my absolute disgust with this and any legislative attempt to reduce her safety by limiting her access to means of protection.
Colorado Democrats* either don’t fully grasp the darkness of the criminal mind, or are so frightened by it they prefer to ignore it, hiding behind the illusion of legislated safety. Unfortunately for those who legislate against protection, reality will always trump fantasy.
Following some incredibly irresponsible statements during discussion of HB 13-1226, rape has received a great deal of media attention. Considering that 89 rapes were committed on Colorado campuses in 2011**, and being a father of a young woman in your university system, rape is a legitimate concern. In a pathetic attempt to downplay the issue, Colorado Democrats have decided that a woman does not have the right to choose an effective means of protection because apparently women are unable to accurately determine that they are indeed being raped, and are unable to safely or responsibly manage a deadly weapon.
I am not a woman, but if I were I would be insulted. Insulted that Colorado Democrats have limited my access to an effective means of protection, instead advising me to blow a whistle and urinate. I guess as long as I have access to birth control I shouldn’t be concerned about a strange man forcing himself on me. It’s not like I’ll have to carry his baby, right?
The passage of HB 13-1226 signals that Colorado Democrats prefer to spare a rapist the pain of getting shot rather than spare a woman the pain of having a man force himself on her, that a rapist’s life be spared while a woman’s life is destroyed. To that I ask, “Would you rather live with the fact that you shot a man, or live with the fact that a man forced his body into yours, over, and over, and over again; breathing, panting, drooling, smirking; then left you to wipe off the remnants and try to go on living as normal?”
Colorado Democrats prefer to imagine a rapist as an innocent college boy who had a little too much to drink and just wanted to have some fun. Being drunk does not excuse violent assault, nor the consequences of that assault, and using your imagination to characterize a rapist as an otherwise squeaky clean collegiate is childish and dishonest.
Consider a man. A powerful, lustful man. Sexually frustrated. Sexually desperate. How dark his mind would have to be to grab, strangle, threaten, rip, tear, thrust, finish, then get up and walk away. Rape is not an alcohol fueled sex romp gone awry. It is a vicious use of power and violence, it is the destruction of a soul, the beginning of a lifelong nightmare.
As a student in Colorado, I want my daughter to have access to whatever she feels is necessary for her protection. She might never carry a gun, but the fact that Colorado Democrats would choose to deny her that option disgusts me. The fact that Colorado Democrats would question her ability to determine whether or not she is being raped disgusts me. And the fact that Colorado Democrats belittle the monumental decision she would make in choosing to use deadly force disgusts me.
I hope – with all of the hope available to me – I hope my daughter never gets raped. But if she does, I want each of you, if you vote for these protection-limiting bills, to know that I will hold you personally responsible. I want each of you to know that you will go to bed every night for the rest of your life with the knowledge that there is a man out there who holds you personally responsible for the living hell his daughter must now endure.
If you don’t want that responsibility, I suggest you vote down any and all anti-gun, anti-protection, anti-freedom legislation, now and forever. It’s easy to vote for legislation that feels good. It’s much more difficult to accept responsibility for the pain afterward.
And responsible you will be.
* As per openstates.org: 33 Democrats votes for, 28 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted against, for a 33-31 passage
** As per statistics provided by the US Department of Education through The Campus Safety and Security Data Cutting Tool (Queried for all Colorado institution data for “Criminal Offenses – On-campus” and “Criminal Offenses – On-campus Student Housing Facilities” reported instances of “Sex Offenses: Forcible”)