Friday, February 20, 2015

I’m Nobody’s Victim

The above linked article really pushed a lot of buttons for me. In fact it infuriated me so brace yourselves.

"... first, the idea that carrying guns makes your surroundings safer ..."
I don't think many people believe guns make your surroundings safer anymore than more cops on the street make a neighborhood safer. Both carrying a gun and police presence come into play after the fact: when a woman is attacked, if she carries a gun, she can shoot the mother fucker and, depending on the situation, keep him from raping and killing her or keep him from doing it again. Cops cannot and do not prevent crime, they merely clean up the mess. If a cop is around, most criminals including rapists won't commit their crime THEN. He/she/they will wait until the cops leave or go somewhere else to commit their crimes.

"... second, the idea that the onus is on rape victims—rather than their rapists—to prevent their rapes."
You know I get pissed as hell whenever someone says something like this. As if a victim or potential victim is absolved of all personal responsibility for their safety. As I said, the police cannot prevent a crime because Knuckle-dragger #42 isn't going to attack anyone while their around but, aside from hiring a 24/7 personal bodyguard, every female will be at risk sometime. I'm not apologizing for the sick freaks who prey on women or children nor am I blaming the victim but, dammit, a little foresight goes a long way to keep anyone safER. Not safe, because no one is safe all the time - or any time in my estimation. Nothing will prevent a would-be rapist from attacking someone somewhere.

The idea that a woman is not or cannot be responsible for her own safety is the rankest form of paternalism to come down the pike. This mentality keeps a woman from feeling or becoming able to care for herself without someone - usually a male - to "take care of her". It keeps women weak and needy and under the thumb of someone else - again, usually a male. But what happens if that male is not around when #42 spots a possible victim. She sure as hell can't take care of herself, prevent or minimize the damage inflicted by #42 or one of his spiritual brothers. Anyone who doesn't teach their children, male or female, how to take care of themselves, how to recognize a potentially dangerous situation, how to extricate themselves from that situation with the minimum of damage to themselves is a neglectful parent and an accessory before the fact.

Furthermore, if a woman doesn't take steps to prevent her own victimization nobody will. I am absolutely certain that, if the onus to prevent rapes is on the rapist, no rapist is going to prevent their raping someone. To suggest such a thing is patently absurd.

"Gun use can obviously be responsible in the individual instance, but in the aggregate, it's not ..." 
First of all, I don't care about the aggregate, I care about one individual walking alone in the dark on campus. If I or someone I care about is carrying a gun, I know that I or they are properly trained in it's use. If faced with a situation in which I or those I love cannot avoid or get away from then I want to be absolutely sure we have the maximum chance of survival.

Second, when they are talking about "the aggregate" what are the parameters of the study? Are we talking about an 18 year old who has never been away from home, a 26 year old single mom who's never fired a weapon, a 46 year old who has been educated and educated herself in self-defense up to and including firing a gun or a 52 year old veteran with hand-to-hand combat and weapons training? Does their aggregate include prior victims of assault, domestic assault or sexual assault? An aggregate is as useful or useless as the parameters used to develop it.

"... having firearms within reach makes men four times more likely to commit suicide than in situations when the guns are not accessible ..."
In this case, I don't care about possible suicides and including it in this discussion does nothing more than cloud the issue under discussion which is the safety of WOMEN. Also, anyone truly bent on suicide will find a way to kill themselves.

" ... and it makes women three times more likely to become homicide victims."
As for women being more likely to be homicide victims; says who? PERHAPS this is true but, again, what woman are we talking about and who owns the gun? Are we talking about one of the ladies I mentioned above? Is she at home, in her car, walking down the street or on her way to the campus library? Is it her gun? Has she been trained to use it? Who is the her killer? IS this a domestic violence situation? Because if it is the dynamic changes drastically.

Show me the research instrument and methodology before you make such sweeping statements. Is the statement based upon a survey instrument? If so how was it administered? What population data is it based on; urban, suburban or rural? How big is your sample? Does it include college students in the sample? What's your error rate?

In reality none of that matters because I don't care about "women" in general or as an aggregate. I care about exactly one at a time. It might be me or my roomie or one of her daughters or her granddaughter and I guaran-damn-tee that all of the above are not shrinking violets. We might still be raped but it's not going to easy and the rapist is not going to get away without some damage. The mere possibility that we will be murdered because we have a weapon has nothing to do with the probability that we will be raped.

"... that college campuses are already unstable in a regulatory sense—and consequently, that the introduction of guns into an environment marked by drugs, drinking, and other forms of constant, experimental (if often mild) illegality would be a literal death sentence to many people involved."
If it's that fucking "unstable" then that's a whole other issue. If a campus is that unstable - which is hard to tell since most university boards of directors and administrators would rather be skinned alive than admit they have a violence and/or sexual assault problem let alone publish actual numbers of assaults or attempted assaults. That very instability is why these women need to be educated in protecting themselves and being able to carry a gun is an OPTION they should have.

"Since empirical data suggest that most victims of homicide know their assailants, the higher risk for women strongly indicates domestic violence."
Says who? Show me the numbers on THAT and you'd better be able to back them up with hard data.  Again, this may be true but the author, Jia Tolentino, herself admits that it's merely an extrapolation of data that was not gathered and evaluated for that subject. The data originated from a study about rape on college campuses not domestic violence. The proper research instrument could be, should be and would be VERY different.

"So: guns make domestic violence more deadly for women."
Depends on who's holding that gun and whether she knows how to use it.

"Rape on college campuses (as well as in general) happens in situations that mirror very closely the dynamic of domestic violence—the introduction of coercion and sexual assault under the cover of relationships and interactions that seem outwardly acceptable. And yet the weird abstraction of rape, the displacement of it from within the community—the idea that sexual violence is committed by people jumping out of bushes, instead of three-quarters of it being committed by people the victims know—"
So it's only date rape that occurs on college campuses? And "in general" rape off campuses are also date rape? Better pony up with some hard, verifiable facts on that before I will even consider that to be a valid statement. And, IF rape is an acquaintance-based crime, how distant does the relationship have to be for a rape to NOT "mirror very closely the dynamic of domestic violence"? What is it when someone "jumps out of the bushes"? "Three-quarters of it"? Really? Prove it. And even if you can, again, how close or distant does the relationship - the degree of "knowing" - have to be to fall into either category?

"... this rhetoric invokes the safety of potential rape victims as a reason to allow guns on campus, which is a situation—due to the power differential that underlies sexual assault—that would dramatically decrease whatever safety these potential rape victims have."
I absolutely disagree with this. The power differential is at least situational and at most nonexistent when a properly trained, armed woman is the potential victim. A rape victim, potential or otherwise, has no safety thus it cannot be decreased. Ask a rape survivor and find out if SHE thought she was safer not having a gun.

"The sponsor... Michele Fiore, said in a telephone interview: "If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head."

This is absolutely true. A dead rapist will rape no more; therefore the number of subsequent assaults would automatically drop every time one of these brutal bastards bites it.

"As for how many of "these young, hot little girls" would agree, the answer is 14 percent. According to the Times, 86 percent of women and 67 percent of men are in opposition to gun carry on campus, as are a "vast majority" of college administrators and faculty."

That's fine but what about that 14 percent? Why shouldn't they at least have the OPTION of trying to protect themselves? And, personally, I don't really think men deserve a vote on this subject, unless one considers them to viable targets for sexual assault. That's possible but, again, that's another story. Neither do administrators and faculty get a vote other than as potential victims. Their position in the college hierarchy doesn't make them disinterested parties. If they're honest they should admit that at least part of the reason for their opposition to carry permits on campus is to lessen the college's potential liability in a lawsuit.

"Those in favor, I'll venture to say, are either getting paid or deluding themselves: longitudinal studies have shown that a 1 percent increase in gun ownership leads to "a 1.1 percent increase in the firearm homicide rate and a 0.7 percent increase in the total homicide rate."
Who, pray tell, is paying them? Self-delusion is in the eye of the beholder. Which longitudinal studies? Who did them? When? Why? Who PAID for them? Again, show me the research models. If an increase in gun ownership causes a 1.1 percent increase in the firearm homicide rate - and I'm saying IF because I haven't seen the numbers - then should not the increase in the total homicide rate also be 1.1 percent?

Also, "homicide" is the act of a human being killing another human being. Lots of things including death through military action, lawful execution and getting shot by accident are considered homicide. The real question lies in the MANNER of death; was the homicide murder, accidental or self-defense? In other words, was it a justifiable homicide? So, yes, if a victim is armed and kills her attacker in self-defense it is indeed classed as a homicide. However, it is a justifiable homicide in self-defense. The cause of death is homicide, the manner of death is self-defense. Such a situation would indeed cause the homicide rate to increase but NOT the murder rate.

"It's sickening to imagine what guns on campus would do in terms of rape."
Not to me. What is "sickening" to me is that someone else gets a vote on how I defend myself. Personally, I'm all for increasing the homicide rate among rapists.

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