Van Jones Gives Sexual Assault Survivor a Chance to Speak Up for Gun Rights on CNN

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Posted: Mar 26, 2018 5:30 PM
Van Jones Gives Sexual Assault Survivor a Chance to Speak Up for Gun Rights on CNN

CNN host Van Jones hosted a special edition of his show Saturday night featuring the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C. Viewers were probably expecting to hear from more young gun control activists - and they did - but among those voices was Savannah Lindquist, who offered a much different take on the Second Amendment.

Gun control activists have been the loudest voices and given the most microphones in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Many of those advocates, like Cameron Kasky and David Hogg, who are two of the Parkland shooting survivors, have infamously demonized the National Rifle Association and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) - including at this weekend's rally.

While CNN was one of the first networks to feature Kasky and Hogg on their programs, Jones had the chance to speak with at least a few gun rights supporters Saturday. Savannah Lindquist shared with Jones why she advocates for the Second Amendment, particularly after being sexually assaulted in college. 

"Many people are saying guns are the problem," Jones said. "But from your point of view, a gun in your situation might have been the solution."

Lindquist had grown up learning about gun safety and bought a firearm as soon as she turned 21. She described how it helped her safer because it served as a "great equalizer." Unfortunately, she did not have that safety net with her on her college campus, a designated gun-free zone. She was defenseless when she was attacked.

"After three and a half years at my dream school, I dropped out because of what happened," she told Jones, while fighting tears. "And after three and half years all I had to show for my time there was a horrific experience and student loans." 

To make matters worse, instead of being supported and lauded as the courageous young lady she is, Lindquist has often been fielding death threats after becoming a vocal gun rights advocate.

Still, she reflects on her experience a stronger supporter of the Second Amendment than ever. 

"My sexual assault made something very clear: My right to self-defense should not be up for debate."

The March for Our Lives rally was attended by hundreds of thousands of people. While they cheered Hogg's speech, who got red carpet treatment on the National Mall, none of the attendees likely heard from Lindquist.