President Obama on Thursday night appeared at a CNN town hall on guns, just two days after announcing his executive actions tightening laws governing the sale and purchase of firearms. Viewers who watched the event on CNN saw Kimberly Corban stand up and challenge President Obama, a figure she, like many in the U.S., sees as someone who’s trying to take her guns away. Corban shared her chilling personal story of surviving a brutal rape almost 10 years ago. As a 20-year-old college student in Colorado, she was sexually assaulted for two hours by a home intruder. She’s now happily married with two children, but is still haunted by the demons of that harrowing experience. It changed her life in more ways than one, and she now carries a firearm, she told the president, as a means of protection for herself and her children.
“I have been unspeakably victimized once already, and I refuse to let that happen again to myself or my kids,” Corban told Obama on national TV. “So why can’t your administration see that these restrictions that you’re putting, to make it harder for me to own a gun, or harder for me to take that where I need to be, is actually just making my kids and I less safe?” she asked.
Obama began his response by praising Corban for her courage and strength in sharing her story, and then went on to disagree that his executive actions make buying a gun harder for a person like Corban. His full response was lengthy, but he concluded like so: “All I’m focused on,” he told her, “is making sure that a terrible crime like yours that was committed is not made easier because somebody can go on the Internet and just buy whatever weapon they want without us finding out whether they’re a criminal or not.”
After the live event aired, The Washington Post caught up with Corban and asked her how she felt about the president’s answer to her question. “I would say it was more of a non-response,” she said. “He kind of dodged the question.” She went on to criticize Obama for not fully grasping her perspective. She said her experiences have led to believe danger is immediate and present, “not just in far-off places.” She added, “My nightmares are real. They are my memories. I don’t want that for my own kid.”
Viewers were moved by her appearance tangling with Obama on CNN, posting both in favor and against her remarks on social media. She is no stranger to the spotlight over the years, thanks to the way she fought back against her attacker.
Watch video of their complete exchange below:
Read the full story at The Washington Post.