This is one of those ideas that sound so simple and logical. Why wouldn’t it work?
Well, what happens when she blows away the boy next door? Or her cousin? Her uncle? Her dad? Her ex-boyfriend? Her priest? Her best friend’s boyfriend?
Rape stats show that most women are raped/sexually assaulted by people they know, most often family member or neighbours. Even in ‘Stand Your Ground’ States there’s going to be a lot of questions about how many men suddenly get blown away, who don’t meet the public perception of rapists.
Consider Larry Murphy. Does he match the image of a drooling, perverted, maniac, as portrayed in the Jethro Tull song Aqualung?
Not in the slightest. Nor did Paul Bernardo look like that. Nor did Ted Bundy, who was a member of the Young Republicans, and worked a help phone line beside a lady named Ann Rule. We know a lot about Ted because Ann wrote a book about him called The Stranger Beside Me. Even knowing he’s a serial killer, Ted Bundy looks just like your next door neighbour.
Rapists Aren’t Stupid
Another point that the pro-gun lobby forgets is that rapists aren’t stupid. They don’t want to spend time in jail, it would interfere with their lifestyle, which they enjoy very much. This means rapists plan their crimes carefully.
Take Paul Bernardo, he used what is called a blitz attack, overpowering his victims before they had any chance to respond. In other words these poor girls didn’t know what was coming until he was literally on top of them, pounding their heads against the ground. He is what is classified as an Anger Rapist. Even if armed, it is unlikely any of the women he assaulted would have been capable of responding before he had gone.
What about ‘The Gaffer’, the man found guilty in the Sheffield Incest case? His daughters suffered from a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome, were totally terrified of their father, and incapable of opposing him, and only filed complaints with police when they were living with their boyfriends, and their Father wasn’t around every day to threaten them (news reports indicate that the boyfriends were supportive which would have helped a lot). Here’s a father who started raping his daughters when they were about ten years old. It was the only life they ever knew, and as far as they knew it was normal.
Why not wait until she’s passed out, and assault her then? That’s what Jonathon Richard Hock did. He live streamed the event, and plead guilty when charged. Now you might say she shouldn’t have drank so much, but this wasn’t found out until a friend of hers told her about seeing the video online, so how do we know he didn’t roofie her? Attacking woman who are unconscious from drink is a popular pastime. What about these four footballers (and no, this isn’t Steubenville). Or this guy at a party? This used to be one of Paul Bernardo’s favorite tricks, find some drunk chick, and have sex with her. That’s why several of his friends reported him to the police, and why the police were investigating him for the Scarborough Rapes at the same time police in another jurisdiction were looking for the killers of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. It is hard to use a gun while drunk.
Of course if you’re a doctor, you’ve got an excuse for anesthetizing patients. It is considered bad form to fondle patients while they are under. It really is. You can get imprisoned for it. As more than one doctor has found out. An in this case a nurse. The point being, you can’t use a gun while anesthetized, and rapists know that.
Or why not rape her while she’s out from a head injury? Sounds cruel, but then rapists are cruel. This guy in Winnipeg even stole her cigarets. Then there’s this guy from Scotland, who watched his stepdaughter get blotto, fall down hitting her head, picked her up, and rather than calling for help, raped her while she died. Or the three who knocked a woman out, and were raping her when she came to. Exactly how a woman who is dying, or has been beaten unconscious is supposed to use a gun, nobody has bother to explain yet.
So What’s the Real Solution
It isn’t going to be simple, and it isn’t going to be easy. There are several issues in play:
- Property Rights – a woman or man owns their own body
- Affirmative Consent is required for sex
- Part of Affirmative Consent is Confirming Age
Note that I’m being gender neutral here. Women do commit sex crimes. Not very many, but it does happen.
The other part is that currently we keep hearing the line, ‘But she didn’t say no’ from defence attorneys. She or he shouldn’t have to say no, the person initiating the contact should make sure that they have consent, before continuing. Another constant complaint is, ‘She looked older then eighteen’ and I’m sorry, if you didn’t ask, you deserve whatever sentence the judge hands you.
It is up to the person initiating contact to gain Affirmative Consent, and Affirm the Age of the party they are seeking to have sex with. If they don’t, they have no right to continue.
That part is simple. Here’s the hard part – convincing society that this is the way it should be. Remember the days when everyone walked around inside Sears smoking? I do. It wasn’t that long ago. They also used to have tobacco spittoons, I’m old enough to remember seeing them in the older stores in Toronto.
You don’t see them anymore. Society has changed. You don’t see people smoking in stores anymore. Society has changed. It didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen in a decade. It took nearly fifty years to go from smoke filled stores to clear air.
But it did happen. It happened because people pushed for it.
Giving girls and boys guns won’t make them safer. Convincing everybody around them that the rules have changed will.
As to Predators, the easiest way to combat them is to make it easier for victims to report crimes. According to stats most rapes aren’t reported. It is easier to catch the predators, when you have more reports about them, so encouraging reports is a damned good idea.
Sure, it isn’t as sexy as giving victims guns, but after you give the victims guns, you have to train them in how to use the guns effectively, and annual retraining is a good idea to keep skills sharp. Exactly how big is the infrastructure you are going to devote to producing the weapons, and providing the needed training?
Provide the police 25% more funding to their sexual assault units, encourage victims to come forward by changing the laws that blame the victim, and not the perpetrator for the crime. Then you’ll see a lot of predators behind bars, really fast.
Saturday March 16, 2013