Gayle Trotter, the conservative activist who became the breakout star of Wednesday’s gun violence hearing in the Senate with her adamant cry that women need assault rifles to defend themselves, wrote last year that she opposed the Violence Against Women Act.
The reason, she said at the time, was the law would create the prospect of “false accusers” stealing taxpayer money by using shelters and legal aid.On Wednesday, Trotter used the fear of violence against women to support gun laws that allow access to large capacity magazines and assault weapons in her testimony.
“An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon,” she said.
Trotter based her defense of gun rights on the need for women to defend themselves against those who would commit violent acts against them. Back in 2012, she was not as supportive of the federal government’s efforts to protect women with VAWA. The law, she wrote on the website of the Independent Women’s Forum, could promote false accusations of domestic violence.
Trotter opposed VAWA, she wrote last year, because it opened the door to false accusers wasting taxpayer funds.
“Americans all want to deter violence, but we also need to protect that foundational principle of the presumption of innocence,” said her April 2012 post. “Needed resources like shelters and legal aid can be taken by false accusers, denying real victims of abuse access to these supports. That result runs directly counter to the VAWA’s spirit.”
Trotter was also skeptical of the law for other reasons cited by the Republicans in Congress who kept it from being renewed last year, including provisions allowing illegal immigrants victimized by domestic violence to seek temporary visas.
“VAWA now touches hot button immigration issues, which have the potential to encourage immigration fraud, false allegations of abuse, and denial of a rebuttal by the accused spouse, whether male or female,” she wrote.
Women’s groups have for the most part been outraged by Republican delays of the VAWA renewal. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) tied the debate over guns to VAWA on Wednesday after he presided over the judiciary hearing, tweeting that “improving the background check system is important in thwarting deadly domestic violence.”