Sexual assault on college campuses is a problem without any clear end in sight. As governments and university administrators struggle to find a solution, the statistics on rape and abuse continue to rapidly climb at an astonishing rate. In a desperate search for answers, a misguided bill to allow guns on campus is being pushed by 15 state legislatures across the United States. These bills would force public universities to allow students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses in an attempt to protect individuals from sexual assault. And as expected, these bills are endorsed by none other than America’s new sexual assault experts: the National Rifle Association.
The NRA is worried about today’s younger generations’ disenchantment with guns, and in a deceptive ploy is trying to turn the national conversation on sexual assault into one around guns. Lawmakers like Nevada State Assemblymember Michelle Fiore are fully on board with the exploitation. Fiore told the New York Times, “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them."
Yet the NRA and the state sponsors of the bill miss the point. Guns dangerously add to the mix rather than creating an atmosphere where students feel safe.
Contrary to what these gun advocates might believe most sexual assault cases are not blunt breaking-and-entering attacks in students’ dorm rooms. Rather most incidents start as consensual and then become nonconsensual. So in the heat of the moment a gun is not really accessible. In addition, most cases cite the sexual assault perpetrator as a trusted friend or partner — someone you would not consider sitting next to with a gun in your purse.
Another problematic issue with this idea is that college campuses and sexual assault are rightly immersed in the culture of binge-drinking and drugs. Adding guns to that spells a deadly recipe for disaster.
Carrying concealed firearms on campus is banned by 41 states either by law or university policy, and that number should be going up not getting reversed. Arming women as a way to tackle sexual assault will only harm — not help — them. The NRA has a clear agenda to push guns into our society and simultaneously into our schools , and with the extreme amount of gun violence already present in our classrooms do we really need another reason to abolish this bill?