The aurgument goes that if women on campus were allowed to legally carry firearms, the already-alarming rate of campus rapes would drop. Eleven U.S. states are considering laws that will allow them to do that legally, and others have already dropped the no-gun-on-campus restrictions.
Image by cszar via Flickr
The argurments against the idea say things like “if women are armed, they will be raped anyway, but now at gunpoint.” And that could happen, but I think they miss the point.
Allowing women to arm themselves does two important things: One, it recognises the seriousness and pervasiveness of the problem of campus rape. A recent survey at a major university found that one in three female students were sexual assault victims.90 percent of sexual assaults and rapes were never reported to the university.
Two, allowing women to arm themselves on campus acknowledges to them that they are worth protecting, and they are able to stand up and protect themselves – they are no longer expected to allow themselves to be victims.
And I think that’s the important point. When I beaned Kenny with a 2-by-4 in the third grade, he’d made the mistake of continuing to try to touch me when I told him to stop. My parents had taught me to never let a boy do that, and that’s what I told the teacher when she marched us in off the playground to punish us for fighting. The look on her face when I said that, empowered me for life and reinforced the idea that I was worth defending. I believe it was that attitude that helped keep me safe and confident during my years on campus.
No single act or law will eliminate campus rape, but wondering if that alluring little red-head has a glock in her handbag might help deter unwanted sexual advances.