Last week, Bob Beckel, The Five—Fox News—host asked, “When was the last time you heard about a rape on campus?” Actually, Bob, I heard about one two weeks ago. And that was only one. Statistically, a rape occurs every 21 hours on college campuses throughout the United States. According to my research, out of 4,000-plus colleges and universities in America, only 25 allow concealed handguns on campus. Only six states allow licensed students to carry concealed while on school grounds. Since 2003, Colorado has been one of them. Recently, Colorado was the center of debate as to whether or not guns should be allowed on college campuses. However, it is not just since the Newtown shooting that Colorado has been fighting the guns-on-campus battle. In March 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court found the University of Colorado had been in violation of the state’s 2003 Concealed Carry Act.
Students at the University of Colorado did not even get to enjoy their freedom for an entire year. Last week, the Colorado House passed a bill that would ban weapons from state college campuses. In defense of the bill, Representative Joe Salizar said, “It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles.” Safe zones didn’t help Amanda Collins. Amanda was a student at the University of Nevada in Reno in 2007 when she was raped. A concealed carry permit holder, Amanda wasn’t carrying that night. The University of Nevada at Reno is a safe zone. Guns aren’t allowed on campus. Knowing that she could lose her permit, get expelled from school and even face jail time, Amanda followed her school rules and left her gun at home. In an interview with the NRA’s Cam Edwards, Amanda said that safe zones “ensure the perpetrator that they’re going to be unmatched when they pick a victim.” A gun that night would have saved Amanda from being the victim of a brutal attack. The National Crime Survey—from 1979 to 1985—found victims that physically resisted an attempted rape with a weapon were far less likely to be raped. In fact, when women resisted an attempted rape with a gun, only 0.1 percent of victims report the rape being completed. The 2000 Journal of Criminal Justice report found women were four times more likely to escape an attempted rape uninjured when they used a gun in self-defense.
As for the case for guns on campus, the Students for Concealed Carry found that since Colorado Springs University allowed students to conceal carry there was a 90 percent drop in sexual assaults on campus.
There are over 207,000 sexual assault victims each year and 1 in 5 women attending college will be raped while in school. Colleges attempt to keep their students safe by suggesting ways to prevent rape. But, the steps you often read essentially tell young women they have no choice, penalize them for being independent, and make them believe they are at fault. For example, here are a few recommended steps to preventing rape:
- Don’t walk alone
- Say no strongly
- Know your sexual limitations
- Claim you have Aids
- Don’t drink alcohol at all
- Wear comfortable clothing
Or would you rather just be able to carry your gun? Biologically, women tend to be physically weaker than men due to men’s higher testosterone levels. Men have more lean muscle mass, generally making women the physically weaker sex, in turn making them more vulnerable to attack. Dr. Michael G. Conner writes, “Weight, shape, size, and anatomy are not political opinions, but rather tangible and easily measured.” Guns level the playing field.
Salizar said, “”Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at.” Well, I do. I’d be shooting at the man just seconds away from hurting me.
Over 80 percent of rapes on and off campus go unreported. If you have been a victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault, please report the incident to the police. Remember it is rape even if:
- You know your attacker
- You are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You did not physically resist
For more information, visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).