A rape survivor made a personal and powerful argument before a Maryland Senate committee earlier this week in support of the state relaxing its “may issue” concealed carry laws, which now require a showing of a “need” before a permit may be granted.
The problem is, by the time a woman can demonstrate a need to carry, it’s already too late.
“I need you to know this is so incredibly difficult for me, but I feel like if I don’t humanize this, if I don’t make it clear how this legislation actually affects your daughters, your mothers, the women of this state, then it’s all just a bunch of numbers,” Jacqueline Kahn told the senators.
She then described how a man — a stalker — was arrested in her backyard in possession of a rape kit: Duct tape and scissors.
“I wish I could tell you that’s the only time I’ve been stalked, or that’s the only man who has stalked anyone in the state of Maryland.” she said. “But there’s a huge number of women — who like me have been raped, who like me have been sexually assaulted — and we want the right to be able to do what we would be allowed to do throughout the majority of the rest of the United States.”
At that point she pulled out a large map indicating which states were “may issue,” like Maryland, and which were “shall issue.” The vast majority were “shall issue.”
“See all the green states?” Kahn asked. “They actually follow this thing called the Second Amendment.”
She related several other instances where she had been stalked and even came face-to-face with a rapist.
“Why can’t I have a firearm to protect myself?” she asked, slamming her hand for emphasis. “Are you going to be in my neighborhood the next time this guy follows me home?”
She closed her argument by noting the dilemma Maryland’s concealed carry law presents her, and other women like her, with.
“You force me to decide, do I want to be judged by 12 or carried by six.”
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