Colorado thinking mighty goofy

Richard Leib writes about safety tips for women.
Posted on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 24, 2013 at 5:51 p.m.

Richard Leib

This time we have a Democrat apologizing to women.

Hopping on the president’s anti-gun bandwagon, Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar was trying to explain why he felt that women in college don’t need firearms for self-defense. He said that even if women feel like they might be raped, their suspected attacker might not actually have intent to rape.

He said, “It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at.”

“And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble and when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop — pop a round at somebody.”

When some ladies expressed outrage at the suggestion that they wouldn’t know if they were in danger or not, Joe apologized. Some columnists are having a heyday with him and his opinions.

For me, though, Joe is not alone in Colorado when it comes to goofy thinking. Tips that the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs offered to students who may get attacked on campus are just as ludicrous as Joe’s statement.

Here are the ten UCCS tips. My irreverent reactions are in parentheses.

1. Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself. (Okey-dokey. While we’re on the subject, just how does one judge that one is being realistic? I suppose the real test would be to try something, and if it didn’t work, one would know that it wasn’t realistic to try.)

2. Your instinct may be to scream; go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away. (Or, I guess, it may not. But it’s nice to know that if one feels like screaming, it’s OK.)

3. Kick off your shoes if you have time and can’t run in them. (Brilliant! If one can’t run in shoes, and one wants to run, the shoes should be kicked off. Dang, that is so logical when one thinks about it.)

4. Don’t take time to look back; just get away. (This advice is excellent and should probably also be given to the football coach to teach to his receivers.)

5. If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense. (Or I guess, aggressive resistance may be your best defense. Pick one, passive or aggressive — your choice. Whatever.)

6. Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating. (Maybe that’ll do it. You might want to add, “Honest, I’m not just saying that to keep from getting raped.”)

7. Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone. (This probably is even more effective than No. 6 and you won’t have to add, “Honest, I’m not just doing this to keep from getting raped.”)

8. Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape; do it! (Hmm, this kind of conflicts with tip No. 5.)

9. Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm. (Oh-oh, this conflicts with tips No. 2, No. 3, No. 5, No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8.)

10. Remember, every emergency situation is different. Only you can decide which action is most appropriate. (Perhaps this was added by the university legal department to forestall any lawsuits from students who depended on these rules to keep them safe.)

Note: When it was widely scoffed at last week, UCCS removed its tips in an effort to try again. If this is university-level thinking, it may be more proof that America’s schools have a problem.

Former Elkhart furniture store owner Richard Leib has served on planning committees in several industries. An avid auto fan, he raced in the 1972 coast-to-coast Cannonball Run. He has written on a wide range of subjects.

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