Baylor is no stranger to the concealed carry on campus debate. There is, however, a new argument is rising into popularity that has yet to hit the university. This year, lawmakers in 10 states who are in support of guns being permitted on campus are highlighting sexual assault prevention. The idea is that if females were armed, they would be less likely to be attacked, and in the case of an attack, could better protect themselves.
While the idea has many flaws, the largest and perhaps most tasteless is gender discrimination. Though sexual assault victims are statistically more often female, these crimes are not limited to attacks on women. That is why statements from supporters of the idea of arming women as sexual assault prevention is insensitive to say the least.
A supporter of a concealed carry bill for campuses in Nevada, Assemblywoman Michele Fiore said “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.”
If that is any indication of the thought processes of the lawmakers, it is a safe bet that there is a significant amount of gender discrimination present.
Moving past that, the entire premise is lacking. Rather than attacking the issue of sexual assaults and promoting education, these lawmakers are saying the solution is to do away with the assailant. This could be because the bills they are trying to pass have nothing to do with sexual assault, and are simply a platform they are using to garner more supporters of concealed carry on campuses. If this is the case, playing the sexual assault card is uncalled for and insensitive.
Additionally, going from a rape whistle to a gun is an intense step up that the average college student may not be ready for. Just because it could be legal to carry a gun on campus doesn’t mean everyone should. Why not simply carry pepper spray? That is sure to stop an assailant, even if only long enough for the victim to run away.
The permanence of shooting someone is a scary thought. It is normal for anyone to get jumpy when walking to their car in the dark alone. It is not unreasonable to imagine a scenario in which said jumpy person is too quick to the draw when someone startles them.
Also, statistics have shown that a large amount of sexual assaults dealing with college students have involved alcohol. If there are two things that never mix well, it’s booze and berettas.
While firearms can most definitely be used to stop an assault, passing bills of this nature would not be preventative of attacks. Moreover, the use of a sensitive topic like sexual assault to further support of concealed carry is unneeded and uncaring. If lawmakers are truly concerned about sexual assault, they should be working to promote education of the topic rather than encouraging further violence.