Oh, girls just wanna have gu-u-uns! Oh, girls just wanna have guns! So says Regis Giles, a 19-year-old conservative activist with a unique new idea to protect women and girls from prowling rapists: equip them with guns. The telegenic lass hails from an esteemed lineage: the blog Guanabee reports she is “the younger sister of the woman posing as a prostitute at ACORN and the daughter of Doug Giles, a Christian motorcyclist who called Sarah Palin-hating women ‘shemales’.” On her web site, Girls Just Want To Have Guns, she has posted a video of herself (which you can watch after the jump) speaking at CPAC, a recent conference for conservatives, in which she rails, “I’m sick and tired of seeing defenseless girls being abducted in broad daylight by some fruity freak aroused by raping and murdering them!”
I’m thrilled to see another young activist concerned about rape; I just wish her argument wasn’t all wrong. Girls abducted in broad daylight? Really? It would behoove Regis Giles to research the facts about rape, like the fact that most women and girls are sexually assaulted by someone she knows. According to statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, approximately 73 percent of victims know their assailants: they are their classmates, neighbors, boyfriends, stepfathers, bosses, and friends. Stranger rape — and rape plus murder — are dreadful, of course, but they are a relatively small percentage of sex crimes. However, as blogger Irin Carmon on Jezebel so eloquently put it, “In this comfortably black-and-white world, all rapes take place by sickos who grab innocent girls as they skip down the meadow, and all rapes can be prevented if that girl whips out a semi-automatic.”
It’s a nice idea — give women guns, no more rape! — but meeting violence with violence does not get to the root cause of any social ills. A gun in hand does nothing to stop the abuse of power and disregard for human dignity that propels sexual abusers and rapists. I’m all for the Second Amendment and not opposed to owning a gun myself. But I’d much rather live in a world where rapists are deterred by society first and the criminal justice system second, not my 9mm.
(Warning: Giles’ web site home page shows her posing with a dead bear, so don’t visit the site if that bothers you.)