Campus Carry: Should women start carrying guns to avoid sexual assault and rape?

10:39 AM

With the recent mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the conversation about the sexual assault epidemic following the handling of the Brock Turner rape case at Stanford, there seem to be more problems than answers. But could more guns on the streets and on campuses be the answer to both issues?

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In response to the recent tragedy and the outcry that something needs to change, more than just prayers and condolences, part of the United States responded with demands for tighter gun control. And the other part started defending their second amendment rights. If I were to look at gun control laws over the past twenty years and ask which side was winning, I would say the second amendment is.

Which is why it is important to look at their logic for preventing such a tragedy from happening and ask “what if someone else in the nightclub could have shot the attacker?” In a perfect world, I am sure some well-trained man or women would have a handgun, could easily spot the assailant, and take him down in one shot. However, this is so obviously not a perfect world, and I know that nightclubs are loud, crowded, and dark. Furthermore, it was complete panic inside of Pulse. It is more likely that whoever had the handgun would have just shot more people or been a target.

concealed carry inforgraphic

If I apply that same question to the Stanford rapist case, asking “what if she or a bystander just had a concealed carry permit?” and I can’t even picture what would have happened in a perfect world because I can not see a single good outcome from that victim having a gun with her. Then the idea that to stop rape on campuses just requires more guns demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding on what causes and leads to rape in college. Besides, I would hate to see the backlash and victim blaming by the media if a woman were to actually shoot her assailant.

When I asked the team about women carrying guns for protection against rape and they thought it was an equally bad idea:  

“a gun is a lethal weapon. Is this what we have to resort and protect our rights as women, the right to deny sex if we don't want to? Do women have to subject themselves to the dangers of carrying a gun in order to fight off potential rapists? If this is what the world has now come to, this puts an enormous responsibility on women all over the world. And God forbid the woman has to fire the gun, the mental repercussions of shooting and possibly killing someone can be just as damaging as getting raped. Encouraging women to carry guns leaves us with an impossible choice to make, kill a human being or be sexually abused. We, as women, should not have to protect ourselves by taking measures as drastic as carrying a gun, a killing machine. How much more can we take?”

I do not know how much more women can take of this. I don’t know how many more rapes or mass shootings that I can take. Something needs to happen. I don’t know what or how except that adding more guns into the equation is a terrible idea. I called my senator and state representative to share my concerns, a small gesture that hopefully would add up if enough people contact representatives.

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Gun right advocates appeal to sexual assault in a push for campus carry laws: Should women carry guns to avoid rape? 

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