It’s often said that the truth hurts, which is never truer than when facts slam full speed into an insupportable ideological viewpoint. That is the lesson for an Indiana lawmaker advocating for women to arm themselves to prevent sexual assault. Jim Lucas is a Republican serving in the Indiana state legislature. Lucas has been in hot water of late for sometimes crudely expressed online social media posts about women that included his desire to see more women utilize the Second Amendment defensively.
This time, Lucas was attempting to express his desire to see more women take up gun ownership to prevent themselves from falling victim to sexual assault. Lucas is open in his support of the Second Amendment and often shares this online. After a sexual assault victim’s advocate penned an article in the Indianapolis Star recounting a 1994 sexual assault she experienced, Lucas posted a handwritten note to the writer on his Facebook account. Lucas wanted the paper to permit news stories “about the thousands of Hoosier women that are taking steps & learning how not to be a victim.”
Curiously, this was seen by gun control ideologues as “victim blaming.” In truth, that is not what Lucas was doing at all.
Curiously, this was seen by gun control ideologues as “victim blaming.” That is not what Lucas was doing at all.The fact that Lucas speaks (or in some cases writes) about women and guns in a direct way should not negate the truth that women who are armed certainly stand a better chance of fending off an attacker than those who are not. When the only option is to wait for a judge to arbitrarily approve a restraining order (a piece of paper that most criminally minded stalkers aren’t going to heed) or wait for the police to arrive, becoming a concealed-carry certified gun owner is by far the faster, more effective option.
Women on college campuses are now successfully petitioning those in leadership for approval of the right to carry concealed as the U.S. Department of Education reports the number of sexual assaults at four-year universities increased 49 percent from 2008 to 2012. Data show that there isn’t a marked increase in the number of rapists; rather the ones who commit violent assaults on campuses do so repeatedly because they aren’t stopped and prosecuted. Of those surveyed who admitted to attempting or committing rape, 63 percent said they had done so at least six times. Given that fact, one victim with a concealed handgun could, in theory, save herself and five other women from experiencing this tragedy.
The White House Council on Women and Girls cited reports calculating the economic devastation rape causes on affected communities: Between $87,000 and $240,000 for each incident. These costs include victims’ services, medical costs, law enforcement, loss of productivity and decreased quality of life. Rape victims experience chronic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, diabetes, anxiety, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse and a myriad of other mental and health effects for years afterward.
Rape on campus and in general tends to occur when certain factors are consistently present—alcohol in excess and illicit drug use to the point of incapacitation. There are steps that women can take to lessen the chance of being assaulted, including refusing to get drunk, staying in groups, eschewing late night gatherings with large groups of strangers, utilizing a buddy system and carrying a concealed firearm.
Considering the ramifications, allowing the incidence of sexual violence on college campuses and in the broader society to continue seems nonsensical, does it not?Considering the ramifications, allowing the incidence of sexual violence on college campuses and in the broader society to continue seems nonsensical, does it not? The fact that state lawmakers like Lucas articulate their desire to protect women in ways that many find offensive doesn’t blunt the truth here. Perhaps those upset by his words prefer the suggestions of elected Democrats who advise women to urinate or vomit on their attackers. Or maybe if men all don rompers and accede to the widespread attempt to feminize them, rapes will occur less frequently?
Of course, those suggestions are unadulterated poppycock. We have a clear path forward here. My concern is not that Lucas posted silly things online in the past or that he utilized the word “victim” in an offensive way. We must decrease the incidence of rape on college campuses and in American society at large. One way to do that is for women to take control of their own safety through proper, lawful utilization of their constitutional right to bear arms.
Stacy Washington is a decorated Air Force veteran, Emmy-nominated TV personality and host of nationally syndicated radio program “Stacy on the Right,” based in St. Louis. She loves God, guns, and is a member of the NRA, obviously.