By Devan Coombes
July 2, 2020
One in five women are sexually assaulted in college. One in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
Think of your friends. Think of five of them. One of them could have been assaulted, likely more than one. How can we let this happen?
College campuses have become one of the primary places where young women come face-to-face with the reality of sexual assault. Yet, schools actively ban effective methods of self-defense and as a result, back young women into a corner. Items like pepper spray, tasers, and firearms are banned from all campus buildings, and more often than not, all campus property. If women chose to defy the school’s policies and carry a weapon, they can face suspension and even expulsion. With no access to a weapon, young women are left unarmed and unable to effectively defend themselves against their assailant. College administrations believe that rape whistles and blue lights attract enough attention and buy victims time to receive help. Yet, time and time again, help doesn’t come quick enough.
Men are bigger, stronger and faster than women, and they will overpower women nearly every time. Firearms equalize this natural difference. Tasers and pepper spray are great for women who are not comfortable with a firearm, but they need to be used within arm’s reach of the attacker. This, again, puts the victim in danger if they find themselves overpowered and pinned by an attacker. However, more often than not, an attacker is armed, which causes more reason to allow women to have the capability to defend themselves. Another issue arises when the assailant has a larger weapon. If all you have is pepper spray or a taser, you no longer have the upper hand. Firearms equalize.
A student at Temple University, Savannah Lindquist, says that the ability to carry a firearm would have prevented her campus rape. She was in her apartment when someone who she thought was a friend held her down and raped her. She tried to fight him off, but he was bigger and stronger than her. She said that during the rape, all she could think about was her gun that was hundreds of miles away at her parent’s house. Temple University doesn’t allow firearms on campus so she opted to leave it with her parents. She had been shooting since she was a little girl and was proficient with her firearm. She says that if she had it with her, she would have been able to defend herself and could have stopped her rape. Lindquist now spends her time advocating for campus carry and finishing up her degree at Old Dominion University.
The Left’s attempt to take away our firearms is not only because they don’t like them. It is about taking away a women’s right to defend herself. But luckily, more women are purchasing firearms for defense than ever before. In 1994, female gun ownership was at 9% and it rose to 12% in 2015. This demographic has only continued to grow.
Since coronavirus started, and violent protests spread across the country, firearm sales have only increased. Many of these firearms have been purchased by women so that they may protect themselves. In March, firearm sales increased by nearly 800,000, reaching 1.9 million sales. This is almost equal to the two million mark that was reached after President Obama’s reelection and the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Now more than ever, women feel like they need to protect themselves and they want a firearm to do so. The firearm industry has previously been a male-dominated 13-million-dollar industry, but that is starting to change. Nearly half of the first-time gun buyers right now are women. A pew research study found that currently 46.8 percent of the 24 million Americans that are interested in purchasing a firearm but haven’t yet, are women.
In fact, self defense is the one of the main reasons that women own guns. With a firearm in hand, women aren’t vulnerable. They are empowered.
It is important that we protect a woman’s ability to protect herself. Women deserve to feel empowered, and not be a victim to crime. If we allow for women to protect themselves, maybe one in six can turn into none.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devan Coombes is a rising junior at the University of Virginia studying Government with a concentration in American Politics and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. On campus, Devan is an active member of her College Republicans chapter, RUF Ministry, and Gamma Phi Beta.
Devan has experience working various political campaigns as a volunteer, staffer, political director, and campaign manager. She was an intern for Denver Riggleman for Congress and a volunteer for Trump Victory. She has also lobbied for gun rights and tax issues with her College Republicans chapter.
Reach her at [email protected] or on social media at @devancoombes.