Shawn Mitchell

Freshman lawmaker Joe Salazar, (D. Thornton) became an embarrassing distraction for the liberal juggernaut in Colorado last week when he blurted out what he really thinks of the Second Amendment, the right of self defense, and the faculties of women in peril.

Hint: His views are appalling. As backlash developed, Salazar offered a defensive, non-apology. Then, the liberal power structure went into a defensive goal-line line crouch to contain the damage. The whole drama offers a two act play: embarrassment, then farce.

Embarrassment hit when Salazar argued women should be barred from bearing arms for self defense on campus. Debating a bill to carve colleges and universities out of Colorado’s concealed carry laws, Salazar intoned: “It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at.”

He wasn’t done. “And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna 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.”

Of course, happens all the time.


This perfect distillation of paternalistic liberal hostility to arms and self defense, wrapped in contempt for the stable judgment of women under stress wasn’t immediately reported. (Who can imagine why such sexy nuggets went unseized by Colorado’s scribes?)

The bill was part of an extensively covered slate of anti-gun measures, but Denver’s media tried to ignore the blunder. The blockade broke the following week when the political website Revealing Politics posted the clip on YouTube and criticism caught fire on social media.

As the flames licked around him, Salazar hastily offered the classic non-apology: I’m sorry if people were offended because they misunderstood.

“We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns make people safer on campus,” he said. “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. I am a husband and father of two beautiful girls, and I’ve spent the last decade defending women’s rights as a civil rights attorney.”

Denver’s old media couldn’t keep ignoring the story, but at least instead of “Lawmaker trashes self-defense; ridicules women.” the scribes could announce: “Lawmaker apologizes.”

Shawn Mitchell

Shawn Mitchell was elected to Senate District 23 in the Colorado General Assembly in November of 2004. Shawn is an attorney at private practice in Denver and Adams County.