Salon Columnist Says Encouraging Women to Carry Guns Is 'Victim Blaming'

Amanda Marcotte’s columns at Salon routinely induce eye rolling, followed by a heavy sigh and a shake of one’s head. How can one person be wrong so often and never grasp it?


Her latest effort follows on the heels of the shooting in Alexandria. After all, a progressive will never let a good crisis go to waste.

Marcotte writes:

“There are striking parallels between the intimate terrorism of domestic violence and the mass terrorism perpetrated by lone-wolf attackers,” Amanda Taub of The New York Times wrote after last year’s Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting. “Both, at their most basic level, are attempts to provoke fear and assert control.”

In light of this, it would seem that the smart move would be to tighten laws making it harder for abusive men to get their hands on guns they use to terrorize women and, in some cases, escalate by terrorizing the public at large. Unfortunately, many conservatives are trying to invert this logic to argue that instead of tightening gun laws, the focus should be on selling more guns — to women, who would then expected to use those guns to protect themselves against rape and domestic violence.

This shows how little she understands about American gun laws.

You see, for men convicted of domestic violence, it’s already illegal for them to purchase firearms.

Even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction will strip a man of his right to keep and bear arms for the rest of his life. He can vote, work for the federal government, any number of things … but he can’t own a gun.


The only alternative here would be to create laws that punish people who haven’t been convicted of anything.

Marcotte’s ideas would restrict gun sales through legal channels — which will not prevent criminals from acquiring guns, it should be noted. After all, for all his sins, James T. Hodgkinson was never convicted.

However, Marcotte doesn’t stop there. She chooses to believe that empowering women to protect themselves and victim-blaming are are the same things:

Last week a Republican state representative from Indiana, Jim Lucas, drew attention when he sent a letter to a local reporter who had written about helping rape survivors recover. Lucas apparently took issue with the article because it didn’t put enough blame on the victims for failing to prevent their own rapes.

“After reading your front page article in the Sunday Star about the tragedy of rape, it would be nice to see a follow up article about the thousands of Hoosier women that are taking steps & learning how not to be a victim,” Lucas wrote on his official Indiana legislature stationery, thereby adding an analog flourish that most mansplainers — lazily using social media to lecture female journalists — don’t bother with these days.

Read Lucas’s comments. Of course he doesn’t claim that rape victims are responsible for being raped.


Feminists like Marcotte routinely claim that talking about what women can do to be safer implies that women who don’t do those things are responsible for their predicament.

Authorities advise everyone to avoid going to an ATM in a bad part of town at night, or on how to make their homes look occupied while on vacation. Why, then, is offering advice to women about fending off rapists forbidden? No one is responsible for the actions of another. However, that doesn’t negate the wisdom of simply not becoming an easy target.

Frankly, women should be armed.

On average, even fit women are weaker than men — particularly aggressive, predatory men. But the mere presence of a gun can drastically increase their chances of not just surviving, but walking away unscathed.

Marcotte, however, would prefer women simply hope that evil ceases to exist.


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