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Colorado GOP Wants Joe Salazar's Rape Comments Condemned

DENVER (AP/CBS4) - Colorado Republicans say Democrats should denounce comments from a state lawmaker who said women may not know if they feel like they're in danger of being raped.

Republicans urged state Democratic leaders Tuesday to condemn the remarks that Rep. Joe Salazar made Friday during debate on a bill to ban concealed firearms on colleges. Salazar was arguing that guns don't make campuses safer, and that there are other security measures in place that could prevent unnecessary shootings.

"It's why we have call boxes, it's why we have safe zones, it's why we have the whistles. Because you just don't know who you're going to be shooting at," the Democrat from Thornton said.

He added, "And you don't know if you feel like you're going to be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop ... pop a round at somebody."

"He didn't think we didn't have the ability to discern an inherent danger; that we base everything on emotions and not rational thought," Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton, told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd.

Salazar apologized for the remarks after he made them Friday, but his comments got fresh traction when conservative blogs picked them up Monday.

He issued another apology Monday, saying, "I'm sorry that I offended anyone."

Republicans said Tuesday that Salazar's apology is not enough.

"Questioning a woman's judgment over whether or not she is about to be raped is insensitive and insulting to women everywhere," Lawrence said. "No matter what sort of policy position you're trying to advance, questioning the rational ability of women to perceive threats around them is something Democrat leaders should condemn."

Watch an interview with Rep. Carole Murray, R-Douglas and Teller Counties, in the video below:

Salazar issued another apology Tuesday.

"I am a husband and father of two girls, I care deeply about their safety, and I would never question a woman's ability to discern a threat," he said. "My larger point was about how more guns on campus don't mean you're more safe. I used a bad example. Again, I'm sorry."

He also apologized on CBS4 News.

"Please forgive me, I didn't mean it that way," Salazar told Boyd. "I know that women know how to defend themselves and how to discern a threat, and that's not how I meant it."

A civil rights attorney, Salazar says he's a champion of women's rights. But conservatives say he's the Democratic Todd Akin, the Republican Missouri lawmaker who was ostracized by his party after a callous comment about rape. Republicans say Democrats need to call out Salazar as well.

Watch an interview with Rep. Chrisanta Duran, D-Denver, in the video below:

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper issued a brief statement, saying, "Rep. Salazar acknowledged his remarks were inappropriate and he apologized. That's what he needed to do."

Democratic House Speaker Mark Ferrandino said he has accepted Salazar's apology.

"Whatever his words may have been and however much those words are being taken out of context, he did the right thing to take responsibility," he said. "I was there for the entire debate, and the overall point I understood him to be making is that guns on campus don't mean you're more safe."

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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