After the University of North Carolina’s Daily Tarheel newspaper ran a story on the subject of concealed carry and sexual violence, it stirred another student to write an editorial slamming the idea. In the original story, Michael Newbern of national organization Students for Concealed Carry says that guns make for a safer campus.
“When a victim has the opportunity to fight back,” Newbern told the Daily Tarheel, “we know an attacker will always choose a weaker victim.” He told the paper that his group has always insisted there is a connection between stopping violent crime – including sexual assault – and higher rates of lawful concealed carry.
But that position was attacked fiercely by a later op-ed in the same paper. According to the Tarheel’s editors, “concealed weapons would not significantly reduce sexual assault and would create inadvertent risks within other forms of interpersonal violence.”
Most remarkably, they argued that guns “would reinforce rape culture because the burden of stopping assault would be further placed upon women.”
They went on to cite domestic violence statistics that show that perpetrators used guns in more than half of all cases of female homicide.
Common Sense Instead of Statistics
The debate over campus concealed carry, sexual assault, and rape culture is not one that’s going to be won by waging a war of statistics. Statistics mean absolutely nothing when you’re being raped behind the astronomy department. All too often, we play this game with the gun control crowd, each side picking and choosing numbers that will back up their argument. None of that is necessary. We need to address these issues with more common sense and less number crunching.
And that common sense tells us that some women – some women – may feel safer if allowed to carry a gun. It tells us that allowing concealed carry permit holders to exercise their Second Amendment rights on campus does not preclude looking for other ways to cut down on sexual violence. It tells us that no one is going to brush off their hands and say, “Ok, problem solved,” the moment concealed carry is allowed. It tells us that a rapist will use a gun to commit his crime whether or not he is “allowed” to have that gun on university grounds.
For some reason, feminists have taken the position that there is absolutely nothing they can, should, or will do to stop themselves from becoming victims of sexual violence. The moment any such propositions are made, they retreat to their fighting positions, screaming that it is up to men to stop raping them. But that’s simply ridiculous. Rape is detested, scorned, and heavily punished. And yet it has been around since the beginning of time. It will be around until the end of time. You’re not going to change the values of a rapist with feminist educational pamphlets. You may, however, change them with a gun.