No doubt by now you’ve heard of Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore’s argument that “young, hot little girls on campus” should be carrying guns to help prevent rape. Those opposed to the Second Amendment and concealed carry have already started complaining about the pro-gun side “exploiting” campus rape to push their agenda.
I think we are all grateful that the anti-gun side never exploits anything to push THEIR agenda. Right?
That said, is this a good idea? The correct answer is: “I don’t care.” We’re talking about American citizens who have the same rights as anyone else, and it’s wrong to deny them those rights because they step from the street where concealed carry is legal and into an unprotected building that happens to contain classrooms and left-wing professors likely to get the vapors if they knew. If students are irresponsible with guns, on or off campus, there are legal means for dealing with that, which mostly work well when not manipulated by the Bloomberg anti-gun machine. I am in no way in favor of drunken gun accidents, but on the other hand, I have both bourbon and handguns at home, and nobody has ever told me I can’t.
Will it prevent rape? To be frank, I am highly skeptical. An awful lot of campus rapes involve lots of liquor. If you’re heading out to be get smashed, you should leave your gun at home, just like you should leave your keys at home. Police looking to unwind often do just that, bringing a “designated shooter” with a concealed handgun to be armed on behalf of their inebriated colleagues. Conveniently, he can be the designated driver, too. That model could almost work for campus rape, except that it’s entirely possible that the rapist will induce his impaired victim to leave a party voluntarily and without raising any red flags among her friends. And indeed, since sex with someone too drunk to consent constitutes rape in many places, it’s possible that a rapist could induce his victim to have sex voluntarily (I am omitting here the problem of joint intoxication—which is yet another important wrinkle to consider when discussing campus rape).
But, when you get down to it: so what? Maybe most campus rapes can’t be prevented with guns. That suggests that some rapes CAN. And getting rid of even 1% of on-campus rapes is a very, very good thing indeed.
There is also the argument that this would empower rapists to carry guns to threaten victims, which of course they never, ever do today. Because rapists are scrupulously law-abiding. Except for the raping thing.
I know of big, well-known, Div. I campuses where guns are permitted right now (though they hardly advertise it). And I knew a guy in college who, contrary to any number of rules and laws, kept an unregistered, unlicensed gun in his dorm for 4 years (in a state requiring license/registration). He never raped anyone, though. Funny how being a decent person mattered more than the law.
It all comes back to our rights. Young, hot little girls have a RIGHT to defend themselves, whether from strangers or friends, from rape or robbery, if they choose. And so does everyone else on campus, from department chairs to adjuncts, from the president down to the janitors, regardless of age, sex, or attractiveness. Criminals don’t respect the gun free zone, so the rest of us shouldn’t have to.
That is the fundamental reason that guns should be allowed on campus.