The campaign by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (Mom’s Demand Action) against concealed carry on campuses (“campus carry”) has gotten the attention of a rape survivor, but not the kind they may have hoped for.
“I am against campus carry for the same reason that the vast majority of law enforcement is against campus carry … it’s not only because it would make our campus less safe, but it would absolutely increase the cost of security.” – Ivy Zeidrich, student at University of Nevada, Reno
The activist group claims that allowing campus carry will increase the number of rapes that occur. Data from Colorado Springs University following their legalization of campus carry disputes this claim, with a 90% decrease in sexual assaults.
For rape survivor Amanda Collins, the Moms Demand Action claim goes too far. In an Op-Ed written by Collins to counter Moms Demand Action, she shared her story:
“Eight years ago, during my junior year at the University of Nevada-Reno, I was raped in the parking garage only feet away from the campus police office.
As this stranger raped me while holding a pistol to my temple, I could see the police cruisers parked for the night, and I knew no one was coming to help me.”
Her attacker was later caught and convicted, but not before raping two other women. Collins remarked:
“At the time of my attack, I had obtained my Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit for the personal choice of not wanting to be a defenseless target. In Nevada, permit holders are not allowed to carry firearms on campuses. As a law-abiding citizen, I left my firearm at home, which means that the law that is meant to ensure my safety only guaranteed the criminal an unmatched victim.
. . . Had I been carrying my firearm, I would have been able to stop the attack. Not only that, but two other rapes would have been prevented and three young lives would have been saved, including my own.”
Collins also wrote in her Op-Ed:
“My case is a perfect example that despite law enforcement’s best efforts to ensure our safety, they are unable to be everywhere at once. All I wanted was a chance to effectively defend myself. The choice to participate in one’s own defense should be left to the individual. That choice should not be mandated by the government. As a law-abiding citizen, I should not have to hand over my safety to a third party. Laws that prohibit campus carry turn women like me into victims by stripping away our Second Amendment rights.”
In February 2015, The New York Times noted that across the nation there is a mixed bag of legislation when it comes to campus carry. At the time, 10 states were reported to have bills in the works that would remove or ease up on campus carry.
Seventeen states banned campus carry, but nine allowed guns on campus, although with some school-imposed restrictions. For the rest of the nation, schools to decide the campus carry rules, with most opting to ban guns.
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