My second wife was a beautiful woman. When we walked through a restaurant, you could hear men groan as their wives or girlfriends kicked them under the table. Over the years, alcoholism claimed her looks. If you hadn’t seen my second ex in five years, you wouldn’t recognize her. Her descent into the physical, emotional and financial abyss taught me an important lesson: you can’t stop someone from making bad choices. They either learn from the consequences of those choices or they don’t. This thought occurred to me after dropping ex 2 at rehab 7 and reading an anti-Florida campus carry post . . .
“A gun-free-zone campus [is] a sanctuary where criminals can rape and commit mass murder without fear of resistance.” That’s NRA jefe Marion Hammer’s argument for Florida campus carry. Writing for mediamatters.org, Timothy Johnson rejects that argument, and Marion’s assertion that “Not only are opponents of this bill engaging in a war against the Second Amendment and self-defense, they are engaging in a war against women who need to be able to defend themselves against rape and physical violence on a college campus.”
To “prove” that carrying a gun increases a woman’s odds of being raped or injured, Johnson links to a farrago of anti-firearm falsehoods. TTAG’s debunked each and every one of his pet pseudoscientific studies. Suffice it to say, whether or not carrying a gun is statistically advantageous doesn’t change the fact that it can be personally advantageous. Or that gun rights stem from our human right to protect ourself from violent aggression.
Johnson soon jumps from “armed self-defense too dangerous for women folk!” to something equally condescending and, let’s face it, sexist. He reckons that “allowing” women to arm themselves against aggression puts an undue “burden” on them to protect themselves. The implication: we, men, created this problem. It’s up to us, men, to sort it out and protect the women folk.
Concealed weapons would be yet another excuse to blame victims for their own assaults.
Like other items on the list of measures that would supposedly prevent attacks, guns would not address the causes of sexual assault. Even worse, they could reinforce rape culture because the burden of stopping assault would be further placed upon women . . .
Expanding concealed carry restrictions on campus would arm potential perpetrators — not just of sexual assault but also of violence in relationships.
To reduce sexual assault, focus should be maintained on preventative programs that challenge rigid gender roles and promote healthy relationships as well as intervention trainings that teach peers to be active bystanders rather than on measures that will not solve the problem.
The Tar Heel editorialist is saying that the government shouldn’t let female students carry guns on campus because society would blame female students who don’t defend themselves against attack by force of arms for not being armed. Crazy eh? The DTH is admitting the effectiveness of armed self-defense while seeking to deny women that ability in the interests of equality. Go figure.
The idea of armed self-defense as an unnecessary and ineffective “burden” on women got me thinking about my ex. It’s exactly the kind of “argument” I heard from her over many years. You can’t blame me for being an alcoholic! It’s a disease, not a choice. And yet she continually makes choices that do nothing to alleviate her suffering and much to increase it.
It’s part and parcel of her failure to take responsibility for her condition, expecting someone else to do so on her behalf. Only they can’t, can they? I couldn’t stop my wife from drinking. Her family couldn’t stop her drinking. Counselors and specialists couldn’t stop her drinking. Only she could – can? – do that.
I’m not saying a female facing the threat of violence is the only one who can stop her attacker mugging, raping, beating, stabbing or shooting her. But I am saying that arming or not arming yourself against that possibility is a choice. At least it should be. Women should be free to decide whether or not they want to carry a gun. On campus or off.
Anyone who seeks to deny women their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms – whether they do it for “their own good” or for “society’s sake” – is doing women a disservice. They’re enabling the entirely mistaken belief that someone else can and will protect them from harm. It’s what we who know alcoholics call “denial.” And make no mistake: it’s deadly.