After a sexual assault victim said she’s too scared to walk or drive the streets without a firearm handy, a male Democrat state lawmaker made the case that people like her should just “stay home.”
Arizona State Sen. Lupe Contreras made the stunning remark during an Arizona State Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 3rd about several bills designed to ease gun restrictions in the Grand Canyon State.
Watch a condensed clip of some of the exchange below:
AZ Dem Sen Contreras tells survivor of domestic abuse & sexual assault “to stay home” if she feels unsafe, denying the rise in crime across Arizona then voted no against our Constitutional right to carry a gun. Must be nice to be a male & not have to worry about being attacked! pic.twitter.com/O78ACG8Hhl
— Republican Party of Arizona (@AZGOP) March 16, 2022
As reported at the time by the Sierra Vista Herald, the bills were “designed to ensure that parents driving onto school grounds to pick up their kids don’t have to first stop and unload their weapons.”
The bills also permitted “adults to stash their weapons in cars parked on campuses provided the vehicle is locked and the weapon is out of sight” and “said anyone with a state permit to carry a concealed weapon can take it into any government building and ignore any ‘no firearms’ signs on the door.”
Toward the end of the hearing, the unnamed woman stepped up to the microphone to explain to the committee members why she felt it necessary to carry a weapon with her at all times.
“The reason that I got my concealed carry is because I’ve been a victim of sexual assault. I’ve been a victim of random assault. I’ve been a victim of domestic abuse. And I refuse to be a victim again. I don’t carry because I want to harm others. I carry because I don’t want to be harmed. My right to defend myself shouldn’t change simply because of my physical location,” she said.
“The last time that I was assaulted, I was in a public space not allowed to carry my weapon. I was stalked by somebody and he attempted to abduct me and tried to drag me to his vehicle. And so because I was respecting the law, I was defenseless. Mind you, I’m differently-abled. I don’t have the privilege of running away and calling the cops and waiting for them to come.”
Following her remarks, committee members were asked if they had any comments/questions. Everybody, including Contreras, said no. Immediately afterward, the bill in question was put to a vote, and it was then that Contreras spoke.
Watch the full exchange below:
“I’ve said it many times that I’m a gun owner, I’m a hunter and I’m a proud Democrat. I don’t need to carry my gun on me at all times to feel safe. I don’t. I don’t walk around, run around and drive around worried about somebody’s going to shoot me, or somebody’s going to hurt me or somebody’s going to do whatever,” the lawmaker said.
“Why even walk around at that point? Stay at home behind closed doors. So I mean, I do understand that, yeah, it is a right that we have. But some people just don’t have that right. And some people just shouldn’t have that right. And with that, I vote no.”
To be clear, despite the Republican Party of Arizona’s portrayal of Contreras’ remarks, he didn’t make them directly to the woman. The full clip clearly shows him waiting until voting time to make his thoughts on the matter clear.
Still, for him to say that after just hearing a sexual assault survivor tell her story didn’t sit well with critics. Keep in mind also that there were other speakers who’d described their own fears as well, only to be dismissed by Contreras.
View some of the burgeoning criticism below:
since he feels so safe being without a gun, will soon fall victim to an assault or be held at gunpoint and he will then know why those who have been in those positions feel the need to carry a gun with them at all times
— C Romero (@cromero620) March 17, 2022
@SenContreras SHAME ON YOU
Telling a victim of assault to “stay home” if she feels unsafe!
As a man, you have been able to walk around with no fear of being raped or attacked.
What you said to that woman is shameful & out of touch.
Ask God for forgiveness.
— AliSwan-Patriot (@AliSwan172) March 16, 2022
“Some people shouldn’t have that right” was what kept black people from owning land.
“Some people shouldn’t have that right” kept women out of the ballot box.
“Some people”, deserve to be voted out of office.
— KrysX (@Krysx7) March 12, 2022
Seems he forgot his oath of office and thinks he’s judge of who should and shouldn’t be allowed to have certain constitutional rights
— Lauren Liberty 2024 🗳 (@lauren_liberty_) March 13, 2022
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