Jim Banks, a Republican state senator from Indiana, wants to legalize concealed carry on the state’s public college campuses. And he’s got a novel argument in favor of the proposition.
“That’s what’s compelling about this issue,” he told an Associated Press reporter. “how many female students there are around the state, who have very specific and real reasons to be afraid for their own safety on their campus. The number of sexual assault cases on campuses is alarming.”
Of course a large majority of rapes are committed by people known to the victims, with nearly half perpetrated by friends, acquaintances, or prior sexual partners. And while it’s perhaps appealing on some level to imagine Indiana’s college women carrying guns on study sessions, to dorm parties, and on dates to protect themselves from the men they socialize with, one suspects that that’s not what Banks had in mind.
No, of course it isn’t. Banks read somewhere about the epidemic of campus rape and he just slotted it into his previously existing concept of the trenchcoat-clad ruffian in the bushes. And he slotted THAT into his pre-existing predilection for more guns, anywhere and everywhere.
It’s not actually about rape at all.
Update | As @DanMcDs just pointed out on Twitter, the most likely result of a major impact of widespread campus carry on sexual assault would be a massive increase in rapes perpetrated via gun threats or intimidation.