Hey Republicans, Guns Won’t Stop Campus Rape — But Just Not Raping Might Though

In a fun bit of news to make your skin crawl and your vagina clam up tighter than a vise, the gun lobby has found a new way to support their cause of putting a Glock in every right hand and a Sig Sauer in every left: arming college students to lower the rats of sexual assault. Because who’s going to be against the people that just want to stop all that raping, think of the poor women, amirite?

Arming college students will not stop campus rape in any measurable way.

Let me repeat that again, because I worry that it may not have sunk in: Arming college students will not stop campus rape in any measurable way.

Sure, on it face, it sounds great: if so many young women are being assaulted, why not arm them and teach them how to protect themselves? Because, well, it doesn’t work. About 2/3 of rapists are someone the victim knows — an acquaintance or friend — which makes it significantly less likely the victim is going to pull out a gun and shoot. As Oklahoma State University professor and president of One in Four, an organization that creates programs to help campuses educate students on sexual assault, John Foubert told the New York Times:

“It reflects a misunderstanding of sexual assaults in general. If you have a rape situation, usually it starts with some sort of consensual behavior, and by the time it switches to nonconsensual, it would be nearly impossible to run for a gun. Maybe if it’s someone who raped you before and is coming back, it theoretically could help them feel more secure.”

Past just the limits of force in acquaintance rape, conservative estimates from the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse put the incidence of alcohol being involved in sexual assault at a rate of over 50 prcent. While it’s nice to believe that every college student who would choose to be armed if the gun lobby wins this battle would train themselves properly on gun usage, drunk college students are not who I want carrying lethal weapons willy nilly. Furthermore, in an alcohol-exacerbated tense situation, the last thing I want is for the gun to fall out of the hands of the victim and into the hands of his or her already agitated perpetrator.

As it stands, only nine states allow guns on college campuses — the remainder either outright forbid them, or leave it up to the colleges within the state in question, all of which have individually banned guns on campus. Critics of legislation that would support concealed-carry on college campuses worry that the votes will just tend to go towards party lines — congresspeople are already splitting fairly evenly between Democrats and Republicans on whether they oppose the bill.

And that’s what’s making it all the more icky – the fact that the Republicans are now trotting out women’s rights when it’s convenient for them, to push an agenda. The same party that regularly vetoes women’s reproductive and biological rights as humans is now bringing forth its female speakers in state and national legislature to support a bill that wouldn’t help women nearly as much as they claim, with statements are embarrassingly tone deaf as this one that Nevada assemblywoman Michele Fiore gave to the Times:

“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.”

Again, I repeat, arming college students will not stop campus rape in any measurable way.

[The New York Times]

[Image via Getty]