“There was no mistaking the whoop of joy that rose outside Saket District Court on Friday, when word got out that four men convicted in last December’s horrific gang rape and murder had been sentenced to death by hanging,” nytimes.com reports. “People burst into applause. They hugged whoever was beside them. They pumped the air with their fists.“’We are the winners now,’ said a woman holding a placard. Sweat had dried into white rivulets on her face, but she had the look of a woman who had, finally, gotten what she wanted.” Justice? What was that quote about justice delayed? It’ll be quite some time before the convicted rapists swing, if at all. Meanwhile, the Times asks the obvious question: will capital punishment decrease the incidence of forcible rape in India? Some within the country hold that position . . .
“A base but very human part of me would like them to suffer as much as they made that woman suffer,” wrote Nilanjana S. Roy in The Hindu, noting that most rapists are not strangers. She went on to envision the result if convicted rapists were hanged consistently for a year: 10,000 neighbors, shopkeepers, tutors, grandfathers, fathers and brothers.
“I wish I could believe that this sort of mass public execution — if we agreed that this was the way forward — would do more than slake our collective need for vengeance,” Ms. Roy wrote. “But I don’t believe in fairy tales.”
Ms. Nundy, the Supreme Court litigator, said the real challenge lies in shaking up the criminal justice system, which is desperately short of judges and mired in outdated thinking about violence against women. Upon receiving a report of rape, she said, police investigators still routinely use a “two-finger test” to determine whether the victim has a prior sexual history; if the answer is yes, she said, the likelihood of a conviction plummets.
“Rape is not just something that is localized — you find these people, you wipe them out, you’re done,” she said.
So . . . how do you round-up these rapists for public execution? Unless you’ve got a department of pre-crime rousting proto-rapists—and what could possibly go wrong with that?—you have to ID the perps after they’ve raped. At that point, the damage is done. That’s if it was done.
Yes, there is that. A rush to judicially-sanctioned executions for rapists, combined with the public spectacle of a row of rapists dangling at the end of a rope, could easily create mass hysteria, leading to false accusations, wrongful convictions, state-sanctioned murder and mob rule.
Don’t get me wrong: a rapist swinging on a rope is one less rapist on the loose. But this “common sense” solution (i.e. one examined without critical thinking or relevant data) fails to address the nature of the crime or the criminals involved—many of whom would risk even the ultimate sanction to insert their genetic material into unwilling women.
Sorry, but it’s true. Rape involves violence, but it is not, as the victim industry would have you call it, “a crime of violence.” It is a crime wherein a bad guy attempts to procreate. And that, friends, is a serious genetic imperative. Serious enough for the rapist to risk his life to satisfy that base instinct? Abso-damn-lutely. As long as the prospect of death wasn’t both credible and immediate.
You knew I was going there. Where else could I go? A personal defense firearm is the best rape deterrent money can buy.
I’m not talking about women (in general) deterring rapists (in general) by the simple fact that they might be carrying a concealed weapon. If you look at the data for forcible rape in the U.S. by state there doesn’t appear to be any correlation between a state’s percentage of concealed carry permit holders and the incidence of rape (remembering that correlation does not equal causation anyway.)
I’m talking about the deterrent effect of a pistol revealed immediately prior to an attack. And/or the deterrent effect of a pistol fired at or into a potential rapist as he mounts his attack.
At the risk of falling into the same trap of relying on common sense to make my case (absent relevant data) it seems pretty clear that a defensive gun use is a far more effective rape deterrent than any judicial process. Oh, and that data could be forthcoming. Check this excerpt from the story from Indian women turn to firearms against threat of violence [via theguardian.com]
Gang rapes in the capital, New Delhi, are commonplace. One recent news magazine’s investigation revealed widespread misogyny among the city’s senior police officers, many of whom said the crimes were the fault of the victims.
“There are so many incidents, especially in Delhi. Women who are working or who are travelling should definitely have a gun,” said [Dr Harveen Kaur] Sidhu. She explained that changing lifestyles were making women more vulnerable, particularly single women working or coming home late at night. “Why should I be dependent on someone else, even my husband or the police, for my own safety? I should be independent,” she said. “Imagine all the problems and mishaps which could be avoided if women could defend themselves properly. The females have to be self-armed and protected and should send out a strong message that we are not taking this anymore.”
Funny that The New York Times missed that angle to the story. And notice that it’s self-armed and protected and sending out a message to rapists. In other words, Dr. Sidhu prioritizes personal defense over general deterrence. As she should . . .
I was talking about my profession with a store owner the other day. She was a beautiful woman of a certain age. “I really should get a gun,” she said. “There’s never been any trouble but I’m sometimes alone in here at night and, well, there could be a first time.” I asked her why she hadn’t applied for her CCW permit, especially now that Texas has reduced the number of mandatory training hours.
“I want to get mine too,” her colleague chimed in.
“Let’s do it together,” the owner said.
I reckon women are the anti-gunners’ weak point. If we can get women to get comfortable to own, shoot and carry a gun, we can begin to roll back the cultural bias that’s been eroding gun rights in liberal enclaves throughout America.
I believe that defense against rape is the best “argument” for female concealed carry, stronger even than defense of children. We should not hesitate to bring-up the subject whenever we raise the right to keep and bear arms.
Do you believe women have the right to defend themselves against a rapist? Isn’t a gun the best way for a woman to defend themselves against rape? Why would you deny them that right? In fact, why wouldn’t you actively promote armed self-defense for women?