Transcript: Testimony by Attorney Gayle Trotter opposing gun control before the Senate Judiciary Committee
Transcribed and edited by Jenny Jiang
Partial transcript of testimony by Gayle Trotter, Attorney and Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence on Jan. 30, 2013:
…We all want a safer society. We differ on how to make our society safer, and we differ on whether some proposals will actually increase public safety.
I urge you to reject any actions that will fail to make Americans safer and, in particular, harm women the most.
I would like to begin with the compelling story of Sarah McKinley. Home alone with her baby, she called 9-1-1 when two violent intruders began to break down her front door. These men were forcing their way into her homes to steal the prescription medication of her recently deceased husband. Before police could arrive, while Ms. McKinley was still on the phone with 9-1-1, these violent intruders broke down her door. One of the men had a foot-long hunting knife. As the intruders forced their way into her home, Ms. McKinley fired her weapon, fatally wounding one of the violent attackers. The other fled. Later, Ms. McKinley explained, “It was either going to be him or my son, and it wasn’t going to be my son.”
Guns make women safer. Over 90% of violent crimes occur without a firearm, which makes guns the great equalizer for women. The vast majority of violent criminals use their size and their physical strength to prey on women who are at a severe disadvantage. In a violent confrontation, guns reverse the balance of power. An armed woman does not need superior strength or the proximity of a hand-to-hand struggle.
Conceal-carry laws reverse the at balance of power even before a violent confrontation occurs. For would-be criminals, conceal-carry laws dramatically increase the risk of committing a crime. This indirectly benefits even those who do not carry. Research shows that in jurisdiction with conceal-carry laws women are less likely to be raped or murdered than they are in states with more restrictions on gun ownership.
Armed security works. Brave men and women stand guard over Capitol Hill, including this building where we are now. Armed guards protect high-profile individuals, including prominent gun control advocates some of whom also rely on personal gun permits.
While armed security works, gun bans do not. Anti-gun legislations keep guns away from the sane and the law-abiding but not the criminals. No sober-minded person would advocate a gun ban instead of armed security to protect banks, airports, or government buildings.
We need sensible enforcements of the laws that are already on the books. Currently, we have thousands, thousands of under-enforced or selectively-enforced gun laws, and we fail to prosecute serious gun violations and impose meaningful, consistent penalties for violent felonies involving firearms.
Instead of self-defeating gestures, we should address gun violence based on what works. Guns make women safer.
The Supreme Court has recognized that lawful self-defense is a central component of the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms.
For women, the ability to arm ourselves for our protection is even more consequential than for men because guns are a great equalizer in a violent confrontation. As a result, we protect women by guarding our Second Amendment rights. Every woman deserves a fighting chance.
- Judiciary.Senate.gov: “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?”
- Judiciary.Senate.gov: Video of Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence on Jan. 30, 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Gabrielle Giffords: “Too many children are dying”
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Capt. Mark Kelly’s testimony on gun violence before the Senate Judiciary Committee
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson’s testimony in support of an assault weapons ban before the Senate Judiciary Committee
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Professor David Kopel’s testimony on gun control before the Senate Judiciary Committee
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Testimony by Attorney Gail Trotter opposing gun control before the Senate Judiciary Committee
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Testimony by NRA President Wayne LaPierre opposing gun control before the Senate Judiciary Committee
- Judiciary.Senate.gov: Written testimony of Gayle S. Trotter, Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, on gun violence on Jan. 30, 2013 (PDF)