“Seventeen years ago, I was raped,” an anonymous author reveals in Why guns on campus will not make women safer at wagv.org. “I had a gun in my purse.” Not to diminish the author’s pain or anguish, not to place the blame on anyone or anything but her rapist for the assault, but off-body carry is not ideal in any situation. I try very hard to conceal in a way that I KNOW I can get to the gun before a criminal can lay hands on me. And while nothing is sure in this life, it’s surely better to have a gun, a chance to defend yourself with a gun, than not. There. Story over. But it goes on, Here’s her description of the incident [paragraph breaks added] . . .
On March 6, 1998, my best friend Michella came to visit for her 21st birthday weekend. I stopped for gas about twenty minutes before I was to meet up with her and some friends. I had a hippie bag slung over my shoulder with my gun inside. I noticed an old friend, Mason, who was also a soldier, by the side of the Marathon station so I stopped to catch up with him before pumping my gas.
Because my husband and I had been fighting, throwing around the “divorce” word, I unloaded on Mason, telling him everything. He appeared sympathetic, hugging me, rubbing my shoulders, letting me cry on his shoulder. He comforted me. He started to rub my back again, when I noticed it was time for me to leave.
I tried to pull away but within a split second I was face down on the bench seat of his truck with a knife to my throat held by his right hand and his gun pressed against my left shoulder, aimed at my head. I had no time to reach for my own gun that was literally inches from my hand. Time slowed, I disassociated from my own body and could see the whole incident as it happened.
Somehow, in spite of all my training, I knew I couldn’t take his life. I knew the trauma caused by taking his life would be impossible to overcome. I knew, with his military training, I’d be killed. The entire incident lasted less than three minutes. He threatened my life, and the lives of my family and husband. As I got out of the car, I could have shot him, easily. But I was still in shock. I somehow made it to my car and left.
The author concludes that “not everyone is equipped to handle the responsibility that comes with owning a gun” because some women “lack training, and many aren’t able to think clearly through the rush of fear and adrenaline.”
The first part is true. The second, not so much. Each year, tens of thousands of Americans, some say over a million, successfully defend their lives and property with a gun. Despite the “rush of fear and adrenaline.”
Speaking to the author’s experience, not all women would have been unable to get to their gun. Not all woman would have been hesitant to pull the trigger on a molester or rapist. Some would have taken the shot. But ALL women have a right to keep and bear arms, no matter what any one women has experienced or believes.
There are other ways to protect ourselves from sexual assault; education, harsher consequences for offenders, and teaching college kids to stay in groups, especially after dark, are a start.
Instead of inspiring and empowering women to defend themselves against assault, the author wants society to take care of the problem. Meanwhile, college kids should cower collectively. “Let’s table the gun discussion and find other viable solutions that don’t put women at greater risk for being murdered with a gun,” she concludes. How ironic – and naive – can you get?