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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Pro-gun people: guns will not prevent rape

In a guest column in Tuesday’s Alligator, Santa Fe College student Thomas Ryan argued that more women should be pro-guns.

Based on his logic, because one out of every six American women is a victim of rape (attempted or otherwise), more women should buy guns to protect themselves.

I can’t understand how he arrived at this conclusion.

I guess it’s easier to pressure women into arming themselves than it is to teach men to recognize consent and not, you know, rape people?

Obviously, his argument is hopelessly illogical.

But, out of curiosity, I did some research and looked into the steps and costs for young women to obtain handguns.

Luckily, gun laws in the “Gunshine State” are notoriously lenient. According to the civil liberties section of www.About.com, Florida, unlike other states, does not require people who apply for a concealed-carry license to complete a state-certified firearms training course.

Applicants may take courses from private instructors or the National Rifle Association.

However, I’d rather be on the safe side.

A state-certified concealed weapons course costs $65.

But wait. I’m a beginner who has never shot anything other than a paintball gun. According to the Florida Firearms Training website, I should take a $150 prerequisite course.

After that, I’d take the $200 Ladies Only Advanced Concealed Carry course, because I’d prefer to have the best possible understanding of the deadly weapon I’m planning to carry.

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Now that I have all of my prerequisites out of the way, I can apply for a license.

Florida gun laws require applicants to be at least 21 years old and pay a $300 application fee. After my application is cleared, I’m free to buy my handgun and accessories. According to www.besthandgunsforwomen.com, a prime handgun choice for women is the lightweight, compact Glock 19.

I’d probably go to my hometown’s Gander Mountain sporting goods store to purchase mine. Luckily, according to its website, there’s a sale on Glock 19s: For a cool $500, I could buy my Glock.

I’d also need something to carry my gun in.

On www.Amazon.com, I found the most adorable brown leather concealed-carry purse with a locking CCW gun compartment — only $90 and almost as good as Gucci.

So my total, including courses, registration and my weapons purchase, comes to $1,305, or half the cost of tuition for a Summer A/B semester at UF.

However, I’m only 20, so I can’t do any of this.

This is unfortunate, considering the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) states that 44 percent of victims are younger than 18.

So, about half the women raped annually couldn’t carry guns anyway.

Besides, even if I did pay all that money to ensure I’d never fear a stranger in a dark parking lot, the chances of being assaulted or raped by someone I know are much, much higher.

According to RAINN, 73 percent of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Of that, 38 percent of rapists were a friend or acquaintance, and 28 percent were an intimate acquaintance.

The predominant cultural belief that most rapists are masked strangers is a myth. Furthermore, a gun will not protect you if you are intoxicated or have been drugged.

The situation in which a gun would be useful in defending against assault or rape is, unfortunately, rare.

Do you really think you could shoot someone you know — a guy a friend set you up with on a date, or a man who lives in your residence hall or apartment complex — if he tried to rape you?

Besides that, rapists are impossibly hard to prosecute.

According to RAINN, out of every 100 rape cases, only three of the men accused will spend a single day in prison.

Ryan’s arguments, and others like his, are old and exhausting.

Why should women be held responsible for not being raped? The pattern of victim-blaming associated with rape is unbelievable, and now a sensitive issue is being manipulated and politicized by pro-gun lunatics.

Handguns, lipstick knives, cat-shaped brass knuckles and pink cans of mace won’t protect women against rape in the long run.

Of course, we can speculate endlessly on how to reduce rape, but there’s no cut-and-dry solution.

We can talk about educating men on consent and generally being decent human beings, but one thing is certain: Adding guns to the equation will accomplish nothing.

Chloe Finch is a journalism junior at UF. Her column usually runs on Thursdays. You can contact her via opinions@alligator.org.

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