When Cosmopolitan magazine teamed up with Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun Everytown for Gun Safety group to produce an anti-gun guide for single women, I never expected the result would feature a picture and quote from yours truly. Well, to be honest, I didn’t hear anything about the partnership until my friend Liz Sheld of PJ Media wrote an article about the partnership and highlighted my “contribution.”
According to the anti-gun activists and editorialists, I am a “gunsplainer.” And what exactly am I ’splaining? The quote used by Cosmo is this: “If you’re the victim of a violent crime … the burden of stopping that assault is not going to be on the person committing that assault, not at that moment in time. The burden of stopping that assault is on the victim, it’s on the victim.”
I doubt the editors at Cosmo actually watch NRA News “Cam & Co.,” but apparently they read Media Matters for America, which tried to attack me for this truncated comment back in 2015. According to Media Matters, I “repeatedly argued that the ‘burden’ of stopping all violent crimes—including sexual assault—was in fact on the victim.” Acknowledging this fact apparently amounts to victim blaming or victim shaming, or at least that was the narrative the anti-gun crowd tried to advance.
A little context about that quote. I was referencing and rebutting an editorial in the student newspaper for the University of North Carolina, TheDaily Tar Heel. The editorial took an anti-campus carry position, and claimed in part that allowing concealed-carry permit holders to lawfully carry on campus “could reinforce rape culture because the burden of stopping assault would be further placed upon women.”
Frankly, I’m still puzzled by their attempt to try and turn my statement into something controversial. No matter your views on gun ownership, most people understand that if you’re the victim of a violent crime, the police aren’t going to be on scene to actually prevent that crime from taking place. Most people acknowledge that it’s absurd to think that the person committing the violent crime will suddenly come to their senses and stop their attack out of the goodness of their heart or a newfound moral compass. Most people, including those who are opposed to carrying a gun for self-defense, still encourage people to be prepared to fight back, either through unarmed self-defense or the use of non-lethal self-defense tools ranging from tongue depressors (to vomit on your attacker) and pepper spray to stun guns. Heck, even the original editorial in TheDaily Tar Heel acknowledged that the burden of stopping assault is already on the victim of the crime.
But not Cosmopolitan and Everytown, I guess. To them, that burden … that unwanted responsibility reluctantly accepted … must be on someone else. Who would that be, exactly? The police? The criminal? “Society?” Unfortunately for readers of Cosmo, that’s one thing the anti-gun activists don’t want to explain. Fortunately for all of us (with the exception of those violent criminals out there), more Americans are figuring out for themselves that self-defense is a human right, and one that they want to be able to exercise if need be.