Good question — which is why Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) evaded it by complaining about the length of the questions. Bear in mind that Moran held this townhall meeting specifically to discuss legislative responses to the Newtown shootings; it was titled “Preventing Another Newtown: A Conversation on Gun Violence in America.” If it’s a conversation, shouldn’t Moran be prepared to, y’know, converse? Instead, Moran refused to address the issue of self-defense for women:
It’s unclear what length of questions he expected. Perhaps it was something along the lines of “When you gonna grab the guns?”
Note too the loud cheers that erupt when the question is posed. Clearly, this woman’s concern didn’t come from the fringe, not even among Moran’s constituents. The question of rape is especially pertinent, since it is primarily a crime of domination and power. Why wouldn’t we want women to have the ability to change the power equation in these attacks? And while it’s true that a weapon can be turned against its owner, as one woman shouts in near the end, it’s at least as likely that a woman will get killed in a rape as it is that she’ll lose her weapon in a struggle with an attacker. A properly trained and armed woman would still have an advantage over an attacker, or at least a fighting chance.
Too bad Rep. Moran is apparently incapable of answering that question. Maybe he should stop holding townhalls on subjects for which he has little knowledge and spend his time studying up on those issues instead.
Update: Two different readers, my friend and Brad Thor among them, says that the woman is Celia Bigelow. Katie identified her in her Townhall post.