Lawmakers in 10 states are contemplating campus carry laws to help women deal with sexual assault
S.E. Cupp: It's common sense to allow women to defend themselves in college and beyond
Editor’s Note: S.E. Cupp is the author of “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity,” co-author of “Why You’re Wrong About the Right,” a columnist at the New York Daily News and a political commentator for Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze.” She will be participating in a new NRA ad campaign featuring gun-owning mothers. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
As the nation contemplates better ways to prevent sexual assault on college campuses, legislators and college administrators alike have recently offered some mind-bogglingly dumb ideas.
One of them is California’s new requirement that students at state schools sign consent contracts before (and during!) sexual intercourse to avoid any confusion – as if most rapes are the result of mere miscommunications.
Others insist that holding fast to the time-honored but totally ineffective tradition of adjudicating sexual assaults within the university instead of in courts of law (as if they are student council issues instead of crimes) is the best way to protect the colleges, er, the rape victims.
While there are certainly problems on campus that need addressing, binge drinking among them, the obvious solution to make an unsafe environment safer is to give students a fighting chance to fend off attackers. That means allowing them to be armed.
It might not surprise you to learn that guns are banned on most college campuses; most are so-called “gun free zones” (that somehow criminals with guns manage to penetrate).
But many colleges, including my alma mater, Cornell University, also ban knives, stun guns and pepper spray, leaving young women (and increasingly young men) with only their hands to defend themselves in the case of an attack.
Students – even those who are licensed gun owners – are systematically disarmed at the college gates and told to rely on campus security guards, who rarely stumble upon a rape in progress, and call boxes to protect themselves against sexual assaults. And when they are attacked, despite these supposedly good security systems, they are told to rely on college administrators and a jury of their peers to mete out justice. How is this responsible?
With lawmakers in 10 states now contemplating campus carry laws that would finally treat college students like free citizens instead of wards of the state, the usual anti-gun voices are coming out to dismiss this fairly straightforward idea as sheer insanity.
But isn’t this about women’s rights?
As a woman and a gun owner, I’ve never understood why there wasn’t more overlap between the gun rights groups and feminists. On abortion, the feminists are clear: No man is going to tell a woman what to do with her body, or even that of her unborn child. “No uterus? No opinion,” as the saying goes.
But when it comes to rape (on college campuses or anywhere else for that matter) feminists are perfectly comfortable allowing men – in particular Democrats in Washington – to tell them how they can and cannot defend themselves.
Where, for example, was the outcry from the National Organization for Women when Vice President Joe Biden told women that they “don’t need 30 rounds to protect” themselves, nor do they need a semi-automatic rifle, which he said would be “harder to aim” and “harder to use.” Instead, he suggested firing a shotgun into the dead of night, which is illegal in most places.
Where were the feminists when Colorado Democratic State Rep. Joe Salazar said women can’t be trusted with a gun because “you just don’t know who you’re going to be shooting at” and “you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped.” Instead, he insisted, women should just trust the system. “It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have whistles,” he said.
So why, then, do women still get raped?
Likewise, I listened carefully but heard no outrage from women’s rights groups over the University of Colorado’s tips for female students to avoid being attacked. Some bordered on the absurd, like “vomiting or urinating may convince the attacker to leave you alone.” Others were downright offensive, like “passive resistance may be your best defense.”
So, rather than allow a woman to actually defend herself, the University of Colorado believes a woman can urinate her way out of a rape or she might just have to sit there and take it.
When will this madness end? And when will feminists demand that women on college campuses be allowed to protect and defend themselves against sexual assault?
We’ve tried things your way for a long time, colleges. And disarming students and pretending there’s no problem hasn’t worked. Isn’t it time to bring common sense back to campus?