This is not a post about the Second Amendment; nor are we agreeing or disagreeing with the bill banning firearms on campus. Those are subjects beyond the scope of this blog. What COTWA objects to is the inappropriate politicization of rape in ways that harm the presumptively innocent. It is a theme that runs throughout this blog.
Rep. Landgraf played the rape card because of its intense emotional appeal. But, in this case, rape was a monumentally bad choice. Why? Because the vast majority of rape on campus is committed by an acquaintance when the woman is drunk. Moreover, for most claims of college rape, it is impossible for outsiders to know for certain what really happened; they fall into that infamous gray hole. To suggest it is somehow appropriate to actively encourage young women to bring concealed firearms into that setting doesn't just border on irresponsible, it crosses the line in a mad dash.
It gets worse. Kimberly Guilfoyle, on the Fox News show The Five, might just get the prize for most inane comment of the decade. The show's panel was debating how female college students should defend themselves from sexual assault on campuses that have been deemed "Gun Free Zones." Democrat Bob Beckel initially wondered if rapes really are that much of a problem on the grounds of American's universities:
Bob Beckel: When was the last time you heard about a rape on campus?
Eric Bolling: What are you talking about? It's rampant!
Bob Beckel: It's rampant?
Eric Bolling: Rapes on campus!
Dana Perino: In particular, date rape on campus.
Bob Beckel: Date rape, well that's one thing... date rape... well, what are you gonna do? You gonna take, take, take your gun out and shoot your date?
Greg Gutfeld: Maybe you should!
Kimberly Guilfoyle: If your date is a rapist... you shoot them.So much for silly things like due process, trials, and the rule of law -- vigilantism is the way to go, according to Fox News.
Then, when a lawmaker tries to say the right thing, he's excoriated if he says it sloppily. Colorado Rep. Joe Salazar (D) explained why guns on campus are a bad idea to battle sexual assault:
It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop a round at somebody.Salazar was trying to say that other methods to prevent rape are preferable to vigilantism, because they are. But politicians looking to score points twisted his comment beyond recognition and claimed he thinks women are too irrational to know if they are being raped. The fact that Salazar said nothing of the kind was irrelevant.
When it comes to rape, it's politically incorrect to call for the rule of law, but perfectly okay to lapse into an O.K. Corral moment, as Kimberly Guilfoyle did when she urged young women (likely drunk) to take the law into their own hands (likely on a date) whenever they decide they've been raped (even if they are wrong).
Guilfoyle makes the Duke lacrosse pot bangers look humane by comparison -- all they wanted to do was castrate young men accused of rape.