Two local women offer contrasting views on the gun debate

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – A local woman, whose daughter was shot and killed in 2010, disagrees with a statement made to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that gun restrictions hurt women.

“Men are attacked just like women are attacked,” said Nardyne Jefferies, who lost her 16-year-old daughter Brishell Jones during a rash of shootings in D.C. three years ago.

Jefferies takes issue with the notion put forward by Gayle Trotter, a local mother of six who spoke out against federal legislation aimed at curbing gun violence in the country.

Addressing lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Trotter characterized guns as an “equalizer” for women in a sometimes violent society.

“I did not call gun control sexist. I just urged the senators to think about the affect they would have on women,” Trotter tells WTOP. “Any restrictions further than what we have now will have an impact on a woman’s ability to choose to defend herself.”

Although an ardent proponent of the Second Amendment, Jefferies has a different take. She says that singling out women is, in her words, ridiculous.

“I don’t feel that (owning a gun) makes you equal to the offender. I don’t think it really matters what your gender is,” Jefferies says.

Trotter’s comments resonated with a divided public and brought the issue of gender to an already complex and emotional debate.

But Jefferies flatly disagrees with the basis of Trotter’s argument.

As long as there is crime, she says, there will be both male and female victims.

Four young men also died in the rash of shootings that killed her daughter. Six men were convicted of various charges for their involvement in the spree.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.


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