Students Should Know: Do Your School’s Gun Laws Favor Rapists Or Victims?

Written by Rob Morse on February 9, 2018

Western culture changed. Compared to 50 years ago, we now encourage women to excel in the workplace. We want women to take all the education they can and then start powerful careers.

Unfortunately, college presidents and university regents don’t provide physical safety on campus. In theory, schools can learn from the experiences of others. In fact, most college administrators give lip-service to the psychological damage caused by sexual assault on campus. Until we change the political landscape that keeps honest people disarmed, avoid the colleges that leave you defenseless and vulnerable.

What choices do you have?
Suppose you’re offered an educational experience at a prestigious school. Does the school provide 24-7-365 security? Most don’t. That means students have to provide their own physical security or they are vulnerable to attack. Trading your safety for your education is a very uncomfortable choice. The consequences are real. Sexual assault will change your life forever.

Are all schools the same?
10 states explicitly allow licensed concealed carry of a firearm on campus. 16 states forbid it on public campuses. In practice, public and private schools have a wide range of regulations for self-defense. Some schools treat their students and staff who are over 21 years of age as adults. Other schools have extensive regulations. Some won’t allow pepper spray on campus even for faculty. Let’s look at both sides of the issue.

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Here are arguments against your defense.
-Many of the academics who run universities don’t want to deal with the messy details of physical security…unless the physical security is for them. These administrators cling to a fantasy ideology that “violence has no place at our university.” Unfortunately, the thugs aren’t listening. We see that rapists and robbers think there are lots of opportunities on campus when we look at crime statistics.

We don’t want to give guns to kids. That pat answer ignores the fact that licensed concealed carriers are usually over the age of 21 and can carry a legally concealed firearm off campus. How does disarming the cafeteria delivery driver make the 17-year-old coed any safer? Have words on paper been effective at stopping crazy attackers?

We don’t want untrained gun owners on campus. This is another false alternative. We know how licensed gun owners behave. Licensed concealed carriers have a lower crime rate than the police. Compared to the police, licensed concealed carriers are much less likely to shoot an innocent bystander.

Armed students and armed staff restrict the educational mission of the school. If you’ve looked at the #metoo hash tags, then you have to wonder if the mission of some colleges is to provide opportunities for sexual assault. Let’s stop sexual assault on campus so that everyone can focus on classwork.

Here are arguments for your defense.
– The risk of sexual assault and rape is unusually high for college students. 23 percent of women on campus say they have been the victim of sexual assault. Providing “safe spaces” and giving freshman girls a rape-whistle hasn’t done much to change the rate of sexual assault. You will be your first responder if you are attacked.

-Administrators claim that force and violence don’t belong on campus. Their magic words and gun-free-zone signs are not working. School should teach us to make distinctions. University administrators can’t discriminate between dangerous attackers and dangerous defenders. Higher education failed to give these administrators the discernment that so many of us gained from real life. Tens of millions of responsibly armed civilians carry concealed every day. Concealed means concealed, so you never knew they were there. Meanwhile, the criminals ignore the no-guns signs and come on campus looking for easy victims on a “gun-free” campus.

-Sexual assault has serious consequences. It will be harder to trust people for the rest of your life after you’re attacked. Many victims seek counseling, suffer from post-traumatic stress, and need medications to recover.

-Colleges frequently ignore or undertreat rape victims. Some student health centers simply tell the injured student to seek treatment at home.

-Sexual assaults almost never becomes rape if the intended victim uses a firearm for self-defense. Fortunately, most of the intended victims don’t have to shoot their attacker.

-Colleges do not provide a safe location for legal gun owners to store their firearms as they travel onto and off of campus. For that reason, disarming you on campus often disarms you off campus as well. Friends of mine were assaulted as they left campus.

As you can tell, this is not an academic discussion for me. I know too many students who were sexually assaulted or violently robbed. That is why I want you to consider your physical safety when you’re choosing your school. I want you decide if the promise is worth the risk.

You have choices. Your opinion counts if you’re a student because it is your future that is at stake. I want you to decide for yourself rather than have some board of regents make the decision for you.

Please stay safe.

photo credit: maekke Werdmühleplatz via photopin (license)

 

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