U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Democrat Arizona state Senator Lupe Contreras—the assistant minority leader—is being criticized for reacting to the concerns of a female citizen speaking in support of legislation to expand her gun rights, by telling the woman that if she’s fearful of attack she should “Stay home behind closed doors.”
In her presentation, activist Lauren Snyder explained she was born with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which she described on her blog as “a rare connective tissue disorder caused by a genetic mutation.”
“My level of ability changes daily; some days I need mobility aids such as a cane or braces and sometimes I don’t,” she wrote. “Some days I wake up feeling okay but can end up needing a wheelchair. I never know what to expect and as a result, must always be prepared for the worst. This logic also applies to self-defense.”
A victim of sexual assault and domestic violence, Snyder was limited to 90 seconds to speak in support of HB 2316, which would allow people with concealed carry licenses to carry firearms into a public building. But Sen. Contreras’ reaction was stunning, according to critics who spoke with Ammoland News.
“I’ve said many times I’m a gun owner, I’m a hunter,” Contreras stated. “And I’m, a proud Democrat. Um, I don’t need to carry my gun on me at all times to feel safe. I don’t. I don’t walk around, run around and drive around worried about ‘somebody’s going to shoot me’ or somebody’s going to hurt me. Or somebody’s going to do whatever. Why even walk around at that point? Stay home behind closed doors.
“So, I mean,” he continued, “I do understand that, yeah, it is a right that we have, but some people, some people just, just don’t have that right; some people just shouldn’t have that right. And with that I vote no.”
AmmoLand reached out to Sen. Contreras for comment, but so far, he has not returned our call.
Cheryl Todd, widely known in Arizona as the host of “Gun Freedom Radio” told Ammoland this was Snyder’s first trip to the capitol to testify on legislation. She was astonished at the senator’s remarks.
“He’s an able-bodied male,” Todd observed, “but Lauren has disabilities. She can’t run away… He could not have been more tone deaf.”
Todd felt his remarks were “dismissive” and “arrogant.”
While the senator’s reaction to Snyder is considered flippant by critics, it was his remark that “some people just shouldn’t have that right” which seems to be hitting the rawest of nerves.
In her blog report, Snyder wrote, “Filled with disgust from the arrogant remarks made by Senator Contreras, I knew I couldn’t say anything so I got up and made my way to the vacant seat located right in front of him. That seemed to speak volumes in itself because he immediately began to backpedal and said, ‘Ma’am, you can sit there and stare at me all you want, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about things in general.’ Contreras then proceeded to say, ‘There’s a lot of things that happen in the world, but you can’t run around scared all the time.’ His closing statement was, ‘I do understand that, yeah, it is a right that we have, but some people just don’t have that right and some people just shouldn’t have that right.’
“How could he not be talking about me,” Snyder asked rhetorically. “He was talking about every person who carries a firearm to protect themselves, which of course, included me. This also includes marginalized groups and minorities such as those in the LGTBQ+ community, people of color and disabled people who have every right to defend themselves. This right shall not be infringed, especially when the excuse is that he does not feel worried, so no one else should.”
Todd is not going to let this pass.
“If I have anything to say about it, it will…come back to haunt him,” she said. “His district is where my places of business are located.”
The bill eventually passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee 5-3 along party lines and was sent to the Rules committee.
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