Last week I told you about a National Review opinion piece on guns published under the byline of Celia Bigelow and Aubrey Blankenship, two Koch-ite wingnut-welfare recipients. The piece was an extended plug for the Bushmaster AR-15:
Sorry, President Obama. As young women, we prefer an AR-15 "assault" rifle with a 30-round magazine for self-defense.Well, now (via TBogg) I see that a woman named Gayle Trotter testified today at the Senate Judiciary Committee's gun hearing -- the Huffington Post says she "captivate[d]" the committee with her "vivid testimony" -- and I can't help but notice that she and Senator Chuck Grassley got the Bigelow/Blankenship sponsored-content opinion piece read into the Congressional Record as a tax-funded infomercial:
In fact, we wouldn't want to be stuck at home without one. In the wake of mass murders like Sandy Hook and the horrific rapes and murders of thousands of women each year, pepper spray, mace, or five-round handheld pistols aren't going to cut it.
So what's a girl to do? When choosing our tool for home defense, we want the best -- in accuracy, handling, and aesthetics. The best choice by all three criteria is -- hands down -- the AR-15.
SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY: Miss Trotter, your testimony discussed the need for women to be able to use firearms to defend themselves and their family. The law currently permits the lawful possession of semiautomatic rifles such as AR-15. Can you tell us why you believe a semiautomatic rifle such as AR-15 has value as a weapon of self-defense, and does banning weapon-- banning guns which feature designs to improve accuracy disproportionately burden women?Nice -- multiple mentions of the AR-15 brand, by both Trotter and the senator! And Greassley got in lots of talking points -- about accuracy, about legality. I bet Bushmaster is very pleased. And as for the rest, it's curiously similar to the Bigelow/Blankenship piece, which read in part:
GAYLE TROTTER: I believe it does. Young women are speaking out as to why AR-15 weapons are their weapon of choice: the guns are accurate, they have good handling, they're light, they're easy for women to hold, and, most importantly, their appearance.... The peace of mind that [a woman] has knowing that she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage when she's fighting hardened, violent criminals...
Our goal when defending against a home invader is simple: to hit where we aim....Both mention lightness! And ease of use! And the intimidation factor! And did I mention accuracy?
The AR-15 is lightweight and practical. As light as five pounds, it produces low levels of recoil, and it's easy to shoot. It also looks intimidating, which is what you want when facing an assailant or intruder....
Why, if I didn't know better, I'd think the opinion piece and the Grassley/Trotter Q&A were written by the same people.
The HuffPo describes Trotter as a humble attorney who's lately developed an interest in gun policy. Well, yes -- but she's an attorney for the wingnut-billionaire-funded Independent Women's Forum, for which she's also become a pundit of sorts, opining on such issues as Obamacare and the Violence Against Women Act (spoiler alert: she's against both). She may have come late to the gun issue, but she's been doing right-wing posts at her blog for a couple of years now (second-earliest post: "AVATAR: 3-D Mythology of the American Left"). She has also blogged at the movement-conservative Catholic site First Things (sample hardball question from her Rick Santorum interview there: "How do you stand up for your principles in the face of the nastiness of your opponents?"), and she's been writing recently for the Daily Caller (sample piece: "The Future Must Not Belong to Those Who Blame America").
So I don't want to hear that she's just some ordinary American woman who spoke truth to power. She's an operative. This was not her first rodeo.
(HuffPo link via Memeorandum.)