Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) spoke to GW students on the Mount Vernon campus about conservatives’ issues during a GW College Republican event Wednesday night.
Barr began the lecture by highlighting his view of the Republican Party’s successes during its reign as the majority party in Congress.
In the past five years there has been tremendous positive changes in the way government is run, Barr said. He outlined major perennial issues of his platform, including the rejection of the marijuana initiative, a bill to revamp the financial service industry and youth violence bills. Barr voiced his frustration about gun control being brought up as a youth issue.
Folks who want to make (the youth violence issue) a vehicle for gun control bog down solid youth-violence legislation, Barr said.
In response to proposed legislation labeling crimes against homosexuals as hate crimes, Barr said there is already enough legislation.
Murder is already against the law, he said. We don’t need more laws to protect against that and to punish people for that.If you define something as a hate crime, you just make the job of the prosecutor more difficult.
Barr said he did not support the Equal Rights Amendment but did support equal rights.
We already have a basic criminal code to protect basic rights, he said.
One member of the audience asked Barr to explain what the Republican party offered women.
We are the party that seeks to empower individuals whether they are women or men, he said.
About 50 students, mostly women, attended the event. It was co-sponsored by Mount Vernon’s Women and Power leadership program in conjunction with the College Republicans. CRs Chairman Brad Murphy said the event was a historic event.
We’re the first ones, College Democrats or (CRs), to bring a congressman to Mount Vernon campus, Murphy said.
The event was coordinated by freshman Kristina Hauser, a participant in Women and Power in Historical Perspectives program. The purpose of the lecture was to introduce the girls to conservative ideals, Hauser said.
At the end of the lecture Barr said his speech and his interaction with the audience had been valuable.
I enjoyed it.The variety of questions was interesting. I don’t think I convinced everyone of everything I had to say – there was disagreement – but it was nice to be able to discuss the issues.
Freshman Taylor Sims said before the lecture that she had come to see the man behind the mouth. I’ve heard he said some pretty racy things about women’s rights and gay rights.
After the lecture Sims said, I don’t think we saw the Bob Barr we all know and love.