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Warped View of Reality: Campus Carry Opponents Equate Self-Defense to Blaming Victims

Friday, April 3, 2015

Warped View of Reality: Campus Carry Opponents Equate Self-Defense to Blaming Victims

On Tuesday, Media Matters' Timothy Johnson, who dabbled at the Brady Campaign and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence when he was in college, attacked NRA News’ Cam Edwards for his statements on women’s self-defense. Johnson took issue with Edwards’ observations that rape prevention programs and “intervention training” offer no guarantees and that women who are violently attacked on campus may have to depend upon themselves for protection.

Edwards was responding to an editorial that appeared last month in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel. The editorial said, “To reduce sexual assault, focus should be maintained on preventative programs that challenge rigid gender roles and promote healthy relationships.” Allowing women to carry guns for protection “would be yet another excuse to blame victims for their own assaults,” would “not address the causes of sexual assault,” and “could reinforce rape culture because the burden of stopping assault would be further placed upon women.”

In what appears to be a coordinated messaging campaign, the same anti-self-defense rhetoric was repeated by purported anti-rape activists Annie Clark, a co-founder of End Rape on Campus, and Sandra Park, of the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project, in an interview with CBS News. Clark, a former UNC student who writes for the leftwing news entities Huffington Post and MSNBC, and who formerly worked with anti-gun Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), told CBS, “I think we should be talking about the perpetrators. Telling women to carry guns, first of all puts the burden on the woman to prevent this and secondly, it’s not a solution.” Park added, “If we are saying the victims need to have guns so they can protect themselves, we’re returning the burden onto the victims to somehow be able to individually fight off the offense.”

Leave it to Media Matters and other anti-gun stalwarts to argue that armed self-defense, a form of empowerment for all people, is its own form of oppression. By that reckoning, nature itself sought to belittle and shame animals by equipping them with teeth, claws, and quills to deter and resist larger, stronger, more aggressive predators. While prevention efforts are fine, as far they go, no reasonable person would suggest that they can completely eliminate every risk of deadly assault. Apparently, however, Johnson and his like-minded cohorts believe that forcing women to hazard such attacks without even the option of defensive force is fair price to pay for ensuring that other prevention efforts get due priority.

Johnson also incorrectly insists, “There is no evidence that guns on campus would reduce the incidence of sexual assault.” To the contrary, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck’s analysis of crime victim survey data showed that “rape victims using armed resistance were less likely to have the rape attempt completed against them than victims using any other mode of resistance.”

Johnson’s ideal of a peaceful, egalitarian society may be appealing, but he’s obviously more attached to those ideals than the actual safety of real women in the real world. Wishful thinking, to say nothing of willful denial of current reality, never protected anybody from anything. Cam Edwards is right: female college students should be able to decide for themselves whether or not armed self-defense is among the options they may choose to provide for their own self-defense.  That Johnson and others would deny women even that choice and insist that they depend on the help or solicitude of others for their safety shows little regard for their judgment, capabilities, or even their lives.

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Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

H.R. 8, which would criminalize the private transfer of firearms, has received significant attention from the gun rights community. However, H.R. 1112, which purportedly targets the inappropriately-named “Charleston loophole,” is just as insidious an attack ...

Washington: Hearing for Bill to Expand Gun Seizures Without Due Process

Monday, February 18, 2019

Washington: Hearing for Bill to Expand Gun Seizures Without Due Process

On February 19th, the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice will be holding an executive session on Senate Bill 5745 to expand the circumstances under which Second Amendment rights may be revoked without ...

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

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Friday, February 15, 2019

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

The Nancy Pelosi Speaker Era 2.0 continued on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a markup of H.R 8, the “universal” background checks bill, in the House Judiciary Committee. Following on the heels of last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, the same committee held a markup on ...

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

A study published in Preventative Medicine by Yu Lu and Jeff R. Temple concludes that “the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, access to firearms was the primary culprit.”

Texas: Setting the Record Straight On "Red Flag" Legislation

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Texas: Setting the Record Straight On "Red Flag" Legislation

Over the holiday weekend, a conservative "taxpayer watchdog" group sent out an email to its contact list which gave the impression that NRA-ILA supports "red flag" legislation in Texas.  One wonders what the organization hoped to accomplish by confusing and attempting to divide ...

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the terrible crimes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. It was a somber occasion, but some media outlets couldn’t contain their glee this week that ...

Maryland: 2019 Legislative Session Begins with a Slew of Anti-Gun Bills Introduced

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Maryland: 2019 Legislative Session Begins with a Slew of Anti-Gun Bills Introduced

With the 2019 Maryland Legislative Session underway, gun control groups have made the General Assembly a target for their anti-gun agenda. 

California: City of Los Angeles Discriminates Against NRA Supporters

Friday, February 15, 2019

California: City of Los Angeles Discriminates Against NRA Supporters

This week, the City Council Members of Los Angeles showed their extreme distain of the Second Amendment, the NRA and our supporters.  On February 12, the City Council held the first reading of a proposed ordinance that ...

Colorado: House Committee to Consider “Red Flag” Legislation This Week

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Colorado: House Committee to Consider “Red Flag” Legislation This Week

On Thursday, ​at 1:30pm in the Old State Library, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider anti-gun legislation, House Bill 1177.

Ohio: Legislative Fix Introduced to Correct Drafting Error

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ohio: Legislative Fix Introduced to Correct Drafting Error

The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee could soon consider Senate Bill 53. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.