Listening to the pro-gun testimony at the Senate Judiciary Hearing today has been a bizarre experience. The three people testifying against limits on gun ownership are Crazy Wayne LaPierre of the NRA; David Koppel, adjunct professor at the University Denver; and Conservative Attorney Gayle Trotter of the Independent Women’s Forum, who is totally stealing the show.
“Guns make women safer,” she said. “Over 90 percent 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.”
Some background on Gayle Trotter from HuffPo:
Guns haven’t always been Trotter’s specialty. A tax lawyer by trade, Trotter appears to have published her first op-ed about gun control issues this past fall, when she urged voters to “cling to your guns” in a piece published on the conservative website The Daily Caller.
Two months before the gun-control piece came out, Trotter argued that President Obama “has the idea of government completely wrong” in an op-ed on Fox News Channel’s website. Obama, Trotter wrote, “is a card-carrying member of the jet-setting liberal class that wants to bargain with the American people to win their votes.”
Trotter’s presence at the Senate hearing appears to be tied to her status as a Senior Fellow at the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, a nonprofit whose mission is to “to expand the conservative coalition” by pitching conservative ideas with a specifically feminine focus. According to its website, IWF’s mission is two-fold: “increasing the number of women who understand and value the benefits of limited government, personal liberty, and free markets,” and “countering those who seek to ever-expand government.”
Since April of 2012, Trotter has produced a few dozen op-eds and media appearances for the group, on topics ranging from Obamacare to Trotter’s opposition to the Violence Against Women Act. Before becoming a senior fellow, Trotter was the group’s lawyer. In March of 2012, before she started posting on IWF as a senior fellow, Trotter identified herself as general counsel for the group in a blog post about Obamacare, published by The Huffington Post.
If you’re not watching this hearing, you’re missing a show that’s funnier than Saturday Night Live or The Daily Show. Of course Crazy Wayne has been entertaining too and the adjunct professor from the University of Denver–supposedly a constitutional expert–has made quite a few jaw-droppingly bizarre remarks also.
Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, who looks and sounds as if he’s at death’s door, got Crazy Wayne to admit that the NRA is opposed to requiring background checks for people who purchase weapons at gun shows. That was quite a coup, achieved after powerful efforts by Crazy Wayne to dodge the question.
Watch the hearing at the C-Span website.
The Washington Post is publishing a running transcript of the hearing. Read it here.