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Guns On Campus No Guarantee Against Sexual Assault

Educators and counselors say sexual assaults often happen in settings where the victim would be unlikely or unable to use a gun in self-defense.

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Photo: Courtesy: Flickr, Gerry

Most colleges and universities have banned concealed weapons on campus.

An Indiana legislator has introduced a bill that would allow public university students to bring concealed weapons to college campuses, but anti-sexual assault advocates say allowing guns would not make students safer.

Current law says each college and university can decide for itself whether to permit concealed weapons on its property. And most, if not all, have chosen to ban them. State Senator Jim Banks’ (R-Columbia City) proposed law would change that – making it illegal to prohibit guns on state property.

The premise is that armed students could better protect themselves from aggressors, including sexual abusers. But IU Sexual Assault Services Center counselor Debbie Melloan says a gun might offer less protection against rape than it would seem to.

“Most sexual assaults happen between people who know one another. You’re going to be in a close, kind of private setting…are you going to be willing to shoot the person that is your friend?”

IU-Bloomington Director of New Student Orientation Melanie Payne, speaking for herself and not the university, shares Melloan’s concern.

“They’re not picturing, you know, a nice, comfortable date that goes wrong, or a group party situation that goes wrong,” she said of students who might envision protecting themselves with a gun.

Payne says she’s also worried allowing students to carry firearms on campus would risk everyone’s safety, especially if guns and heavy drinking are mixed.

“When students are not in safe situations, more times than not it has to do with groups of people, and alcohol, and bad decision-making anyway and that’s – I think that’s a recipe for disaster,” she said.

Payne and Melloan say students who know what constitutes sexual assault and the circumstances in which it usually happens are the ones who have a better chance of protecting themselves.

  • Pingback: Why Allowing Concealed Weapons On College Campuses Is Not A Women’s Issue | News Talk One

  • Bob-O

    So if someone is a friend, it’s not really rape? How disgusting.

    Try this, allow concealed carry on campus and offer a firearms class first quarter with some real trainers. See how fast the rapes plummet when it is known that the women on campus are trained to defend themselves.

  • Dont rape me, bro

    Once a friend starts acting all rapey, he is no longer your friend. You have every right to defend yourself as necessary.

  • Dont rape me, bro

    Difficulty in retrieving a weapon during an attack is no justification for banning that weapon. Stop infringing on my natural right of self defense, and let me worry about the tactical planning.

  • Ken

    Anti-sexual assault advocates? 1 that makes no sense, 2 it suggests there are pro-sexual assault advocates, 3 were you home schooled, 4 what is the criteria for “writing” for this site cause this reads like a 10th graders English assignment.

  • Seriously?

    So is Melloan saying…. that getting raped in a close, kind of private setting, by a friend is not a “legitimate rape”?!? Someone better inform Rep. Akin.

  • Ken

    Debbie Melloan and Melanie Payne have no suggestions on what you should do, they just know guns aren’t the answer. Your best bet is to be completely helpless. And rape only happens on dates or with people you know? Never if your alone walking around a campus at night or in an empty parking garage or if someone unwelcomed enters your residence? Besides with the price of tuition these days being so high, to pay pay stupid women to counsel and direct student orientations apparently, every one in college is getting raped anyway.

  • sanchanim

    Do they seriously let this woman teach??? Forget the guns issue, she come across like the person just because it is a known person is asking for it, or some such BS. Crazy….

  • Pingback: Indiana State Legislator Touts Guns on Campus As Rape Prevention Measure «

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