Colorado State Senator Evie Hudak has been taking heat for comments she made to a survivor of rape who was testifying against a campus concealed-carry ban that ended up passing a Senate committee Monday night.
Hudak, D-Westminster, told The Denver Post in a statement that she "didn't mean to be insensitive" and that she offered the young woman "a sincere apology in a private conversation."
The young woman in question was Amanda Collins, 27, of Reno, Nev. who testified in front of Colorado's Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee against House Bill 1226. Collins told the committee that she was a survivor of rape and that she believed that if she had been permitted to use her concealed carry permit on campus that night, things might have been different.
"As I live with the memory weighted with the question of my life, what would have been different if I had been carrying the weapon I was licensed to carry that night, I would like to leave you (the committee) with a question: how does rendering me defenseless protect you against a violent crime?"
At the end of Collins' testimony, Hudak took the microphone.
"Thank you for sharing your story," Hudak said. "Very, very unsettling story. I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had had a gun. You said that you were a martial arts students and yet, I mean, person, experienced in taekwondo, and yet because this individual was so large, was able to overcome you even with your skills and chance are that if you had had a gun then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you. The Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence says that for every one woman who used a handgun to kill someone in self-defense, 83 were murdered by them."
Responding, Collins said, "Respectfully, Senator, you were not there. And you're right. My parents equipped me to ensure I would not be an easy victim and I would not be an easy target. They did everything they could to reduce the risk of me being raped. And that's all it did, is it reduced the risk, it did not guarantee that. Furthermore, had I been concealed, had I been carrying concealed he would have known I'd have my weapon. And I was there, I know without a doubt in my mind at some point I would have been able to stop my attack by using my firearm."
According to KDVR, Collins also testified before the Nevada Senate Judiciary Committee in 2011 for a bill to allow students with permits to carry concealed weapons on state college campuses. The bill there passed the Republican-controlled Senate but was killed in the state's General Assembly.