Staying true to liberal ideology means defending positions that are completely at odds.
Case in point. Liberals love the idea of assertive feminism, until they start to picture women defending themselves with guns that have magazines with over ten rounds (perish the thought.) Or, according to liberal Colorado state representative Joe Salazar, defending themselves at all.
Salazar, attacking the notion that carrying guns might make young women in college safer, claimed that:
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 around at somebody.
In his original comments, which he has since retracted, he believes that phones, whistles, and safe zones protect women on campus. Sadly, he is wrong.
According to the American Association of University Women, 90 percent of women know their attacker. This includes not only friends, but mere acquaintances, former relationship partners, stalkers, and others. Over ten percent of women on campus are stalked on average for 60 days. Other statistics indicate that sexual assault is more likely to take place in an out of the way setting manipulated by an attacker. Whistles, call boxes, and other touted precautions are more geared to deterring random crimes.
Campus rape is one of the most under reported crimes. Over 40 percent of women do not tell their closest friends and family, much less police, about being attacked. In 2011, seven women reported to counselors that they were raped at Emory University in Georgia, but none filed an official report. Many fear that campuses will not take investigations seriously. In an extreme case, Eastern Michigan University in 2006 told the parents of a raped and murdered young woman that she had died of natural causes. In last month's national championship football game, two players under suspicion of sexual assault took the field.
Vice President Joe Biden in 2011 kicked off a showy administration campaign to reduce campus sexual assault. It reminded colleges and universities that they have responsibilities under Title IX to female victims of sexual assault. Campuses must obey the rules of reporting and enforcement more rigorously. Many also implemented prevention programs designed to define legal consent and the dangers of out of control drinking.
Unfortunately these programs do not address the crux of the issue. Disarmed young women remain at the mercy of their surroundings on college campuses. Some individuals do not care about the feelings, rights, and future of others. Predators know that gun free zones protect perpetrators of crime, not victims.
They also know that a young woman on a weapon free campus is utterly vulnerable. When liberals like Representative Salazar dismiss the very notion of allowing women to exercise their rights and empower themselves, they place ideology above the safety and dignity of students.