“Proud firearm owner” Theresa Inacker drew a straight line from a woman’s reproductive rights to her right to defend her body “in a manner she chooses” during CNN’s gun violence town hall Wednesday.
The town hall, titled “America Under Assault: The Gun Crisis,” was hosted by Chris Cuomo and featured a number of guests who had been affected by mass shootings from Columbine to the present.
“I’m a volunteer with the coalition of New Jersey firearm owners. I’m a proud firearm owner. And I care too,” Inacker began when host Chris Cuomo took her question. “I think there’s a little bit of a misunderstanding that we don’t care. We do. We’re against violence. All violence.” (RELATED: ‘You Got To Be Kidding Me’: El Paso Victim Shocked When Realizing ‘Gun-Wielding’ Mother Left Firearm At Home)
Referencing the argument made by many abortion-rights advocates, Inacker continued, “My question is do you believe a woman has a right to choose whether or not to defend her own body? And in the manner she chooses? And the government should not interfere with that decision?”
Former Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey responded first, saying, “That’s a little off the topic here. But I do believe in a woman’s right to choose. Into the area about ‘any means she chooses,’ I don’t know what you mean by that. There are laws if you’re talking about deadly force. For example: You carry a gun or whatever. There are certain circumstances under which you can resort to deadly force,” he added, noting that using deadly force when the law was not on her side could result in legal trouble down the road.
“Certainly if you’re assaulted or whatever, you have a right to defend yourself. When you talk about deadly force that’s different,” he concluded.
Cuomo jumped in then, saying that she had made an interesting argument. “You’re playing on what we see with reproductive rights. In each case people who are making the impassioned argument what’s the concern? The concern is the well being of the person who winds up being the recipient of the act. Right? Talking about reproductive rights, which obviously isn’t what we’re talking about but still important. It’s what about the fetus? Or the baby? When is it a person? You’re thinking about who is going to be impacted by the decision that’s made. That’s the same thing here. I have a right to own a gun. I do. I do own a gun. My right has restrictions on it. Right?”
Cuomo then argued that “we did not have an individual right read into the Second Amendment” before the passage of Heller. “The difference is huge. It used to be about what the state could make you do. You have to have the arm. It has to be able to be used and you have to know how to use it. When you come to work in Washington’s Army you know what you’re doing. And we don’t have to train you up and equip you. Now it’s different. It’s about what you as an individual are empowered to do,” he concluded.