ONTD Political

Fox News uses rape to promote laws allowing guns on college campuses

12:44 pm - 04/10/2011

Across the country, lawmakers are debating whether universities should let students and faculty with permits carry their concealed weapon on campus. Those who want to put an end to such gun-free zones have found an unlikely hero in a petite, soft spoken, young woman who wonders why colleges protect most Constitutional rights, but not the one that matters most when staring into the face of a violent criminal.


Amanda Collins, 25, is a wife and new mom, and a concealed weapon permit holder for years. At her father's law office in Reno, she showed us the 9-mm Glock she carries for her safety.

"It's got a pretty standard magazine," she said, "and night sights so you can see in the dark when you're aiming."

However, Collins couldn't aim her gun at the serial rapist who attacked her at the University of Nevada at Reno, where she was a student. That's because, like most public colleges outside of Utah and Colorado, UNR is a "gun free" zone. The rule required her to leave her gun at home, leaving her defenseless the one time she needed its protection most.

In October of 2007, while walking to her car after a night class, Collins was grabbed from behind in a university parking garage less than 300 yards from a campus police office. The school's "gun-free" designation meant nothing to James Biela, a serial rapist with a gun of his own, who saw Collins as an easy target. "He put a firearm to my temple," she recounted, "clocked off the safety, and told me not to say anything, before he raped me."

The university has since installed more emergency call boxes and lights in the parking structure, but Collins says that won't stop an attacker who knows the campus is a gun-free zone, a policy she believes invites crime, and may have even emboldened the man who raped her.

Just months later, Biela went on to murder 19-year old Brianna Dennison in a case that received widespread national attention. While Biela now sits on death row, Collins is convinced the outcome would have been different had she been armed.

"I know, having been the first victim, that Brianna Dennison would still be alive, had I been able to defend myself that night."

Collins is believed to be the first victim of an on-campus rape to come out and publicly share her horrific attack in an effort to change the law and keep people safe.

Last month, she testified before Nevada lawmakers in support of [missing from source] , a bill that would allow concealed weapons at the state's public universities. It would abolish the requirement that permit holders get permission from the university president -- a request that is routinely denied. (Amanda was finally allowed to carry her weapon -- after she was attacked).

But others say campus gun-free zones are vital to maintain security and reduce chances of gun related accidents and violence. Reno police oppose the bill, as does an academic group called the Nevada Faculty Alliance. Dr. Gregory Brown, professor of history at UNLV and vice president of the UNLV Faculty Alliance, points to studies that argue more guns on campus translates into more violence at school.

Nevada State Senator Michael Schneider, D-Las Vegas, fears guns in the hands of students will be disastrous.

"They are not trained professionals," Schneider said. "By the time any student could get a gun, when they were attacked by someone else with a gun if they went for their gun, it would be a bad outcome."

But author John Lott, who writes in support of gun rights, argues that at the 70 schools that allow students and faculty with permits to carry guns, "not one has experienced the type of harm predicted by opponents. Not a single permit holder on these campuses has been involved in a firearm accident or crime."

For Collins, the ban defies logic.

"I don't understand why (the state) trusts good, responsible people to be able to have their firearm across the street, and as soon as they cross an arbitrary line, they somehow lose all reason and ability to be able to be competent with that responsibility. It makes no sense to me at all."

Her main argument comes from self protection. "Everyone deserves a chance to defend themselves," she says. "The criminals who are intent on committing a crime don't care about what the rules and regulations are. The only ones that do are the law abiding citizens, and those are the ones who are permitted to carry everywhere else."

Later this month, SB 231 heads to the Senate floor, where Schneider vows to block it.

A dozen other states, including Florida, Idaho, and Texas, are also debating whether to lift gun bans on college campuses. As traumatic as it to relive her attack, Collins says she'll testify wherever and whenever she can to help make that happen.



So basically... sexual assault is the woman's fault until Fox News can use it to promote fuckery. Cool.
intrikate88 10th-Apr-2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
I am so, so sorry for this woman and what she had to go through.

But most women probably won't use a gun when it's their boyfriend not letting them get up when they ask. Or when a friend of a friend gives them a drink and there's something in it. Or when they wake up at a friend's house with their pants off. Guns won't stop rape. Rapists choosing not to rape stop rape.
vulcanicity 10th-Apr-2011 06:49 pm (UTC)

Guns won't stop rape, rapists choosing not to rape stops rape.
bluetooth16 10th-Apr-2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
Female/POC/LGBT Republicans have been advocating for this for ages now. In many cases, they are survivors of sexual assault/rape/domestic violence/other violent crimes. They see it as a way to empower survivors and prevent others from becoming victims. Although Fox is probably guilty of hypocrisy on this issue, there are still some people who aren't.
roseofjuly 11th-Apr-2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
The thing is, I don't think guns in confrontations really work the way people think they do. Even trained police officers don't have enough time to pull a gun if someone ambushes them from behind and sticks a gun to their head - how would you even know you needed one?
nesmith 10th-Apr-2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
My biggest problem with these arguments is the assumption that if a victim had had a gun of her own, then it wouldn't happen. If she was grabbed from behind and a gun put to her temple, how does that guarantee that she'd have been able to use hers? Not to mention attackers who aren't armed or who only have knives or other weapons grabbing someone with a gun, taking it, and now they have it, or even people carrying guns who are nervous and end up shooting someone who wasn't coming after them at all.

I've just never understood the argument that more guns = more safety. Though I would gladly carry a sword at my side if I were allowed to so idk.

Edited at 2011-04-10 06:19 pm (UTC)
lightbird777 10th-Apr-2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Exactly. And it's still putting the onus on the victims to defend themselves when it should instead be on the rapists who should just not rape people. Not to mention everything that could go wrong if and when the victim has to prove (in a victim-blaming rape culture) that it was self-defense.

Also, one really needs to be trained to deal with that kind of situation, in addition to knowing how to use a gun. It takes a lot of mental and spiritual training to be able to react properly in a traumatic situation like that and to not freeze up.

ETA: Edited for clarity.

Edited at 2011-04-10 06:31 pm (UTC)
layweed 10th-Apr-2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
How is carrying a gun going to help prevent against rape if someone ambushes you and grabs you from behind? Idgi. And how would it even have helped Amanda Collins from being raped by this guy, who had a gun of his own? Idgi. Fear factor? Yeah, I don't think so.
nesmith 10th-Apr-2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
The argument I've seen pulled out with situations like these is that if you don't know whether someone has a gun or not, it makes criminals less likely to target you. Frankly I think it's stuff and nonsense--it's more likely that criminals would make sure to have guns of their own, shoot first, or find ways of grabbing someone so even if they were armed they wouldn't be able to attack. This idea that more and more and more guns is the cure-all for crime really doesn't make any sense at all.
evewithanapple 10th-Apr-2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Yep, I'm sure the women I've talked to who were roofied and then assaulted would have been totally fine if they'd only had a gun. It's not like rape happens in circumstances other than a stranger jumping at you from behind a bush. Date rape? Never heard of it!
teacup_werewolf 10th-Apr-2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
That's my thought, I mean when are people are going to realize that the most common form of rape isn't "Jumping out from an alley", but date rape. How is a gun going to help you then?
apocalypsos 10th-Apr-2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. One less crime the rapist is committing.
alierakieron 10th-Apr-2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Of course, carrying a gun also means that in the event of an assault, there's a gun present.
jiaren_shadow 10th-Apr-2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
While I'm sympathetic to what this woman had to go through, what I find so problematic is that this argument still puts the blame on women and the onus on them to protect themselves. It perpetuates the "if only" type of victim-blaming in which people shake their heads and say things like "oh, if only she had a gun so she could shoot him before he forced himself on her".
z29wsr 10th-Apr-2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Great! Now after being raped a woman can be shot to death, because if non-rapists can carry guns on campus I'm sure the rapists won't hesitate to either. STUPID.
da_widget 10th-Apr-2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
But he's got a license~! He must be a responsible citizen!
tiddlywinks103 10th-Apr-2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
koalafrog 10th-Apr-2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Call me cynical, but the attitude the courts system and society in general seems to have towards rape victims, never mind victims of attempted rape, makes me imagine that, in a world where women would be expected to just shoot their attackers, women would be locked up right and left for murder and attempted murder because no one would believe the man she shot was trying to assault her.

Holy long sentence.
ladypolitik 10th-Apr-2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
merig00 10th-Apr-2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
ladypolitik 10th-Apr-2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
"I dont have a logically unsound argument, I'm friends with a Rape Victim Who Carries A Gun!"
umi_mikazuki 10th-Apr-2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
It still puts the onus on the victim instead of the attacker.

Ugh, victim-blaming.
roguebelle 10th-Apr-2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Does "carry a gun every time you leave the house" now join "don't dress like a slut" and "never drink or you're asking for it" in the litany of moronic advice as to what women "should" do to avoid getting raped?
raggedyanndy 10th-Apr-2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
As a former R.A., I would like to say OH FUCKING HELL TO THE NO. Do you know how much damage and trouble comes as a result of one Thirsty Thursday in the residence halls? And you want to make it OK to add GUNS to that mix?
____jonas 10th-Apr-2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
I would flat out refuse to attend a university that allowed guns on campus.
angelofdeath275 Wheres that "LOOK AT THIS WOW! ITS FUCKING NOTHING." gif10th-Apr-2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
However, Collins couldn't aim her gun at the serial rapist who attacked her at the University of Nevada at Reno, where she was a student. That's because, like most public colleges outside of Utah and Colorado, UNR is a "gun free" zone. The rule required her to leave her gun at home, leaving her defenseless the one time she needed its protection most.

They're seriously trying to say if she had a gun she would not have been raped. How about, if rapist don't rape people, she wouldn't have been raped.





freebacon Re: Wheres that "LOOK AT THIS WOW! ITS FUCKING NOTHING." gif10th-Apr-2011 10:53 pm (UTC)


rauduskoivu 10th-Apr-2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
romp 11th-Apr-2011 12:07 am (UTC)
This thread has taught me that there was no rape or murder before gun laws. How wonderful that must have been.
freebacon 11th-Apr-2011 12:14 am (UTC)
fun wondrous times

skipping through fields of flowers and no rapes as far at the eye can see!

truly a golden age
cyranothe2nd Also, a gun killed Batman's parents11th-Apr-2011 12:27 am (UTC)
As an instructor on a university campus, this really disturbs me. I would flat refuse to accept a job at a university that allowed guns on campus, period.
postitnotes +111th-Apr-2011 01:56 am (UTC)
As a student, I don't need another excuse to be terrified of my campus, which is already in a region with a lot of gun use from gangs.
lady_grace 11th-Apr-2011 04:20 am (UTC)
I hate guns. I wish they could be outlawed completely. But I realize that that's never ever going to happen.
mollywobbles867 11th-Apr-2011 04:50 am (UTC)
As someone who breaks into a cold sweat if I'm in the same proximity of a gun, the idea of guns being allowed on campus freaks me out. It was bad enough when someone was robbing students at gunpoint for a couple of days before being caught (my campus is urban and very open to the public). I don't remember if they were a student, though. Anyway, I have daymares about school shootings. Seeing a gun in someone's bag or on their hip would not make me feel safe at all. Also, am I the only one who remembers what almost happened when Giffords was shot? A man had his gun there and almost shot one of the people who got the gun away from the shooter. Also, officers have said that letting people carry guns on campus makes it more difficult for them to catch the real culprits in the event of a crime because they have to secure everyone who is carrying a weapon. Or, people could get confused and shoot the wrong people. What if someone hears gunshots in a class room and then runs in and shoots who they think is the shooter, but they end up shooting the person who just shot the shooter? And then someone shoots them? Or the police do? Guns only create problems. They don't solve them.
drakyndra 11th-Apr-2011 09:47 am (UTC)
So, out of sheer curiosity, I'd like to hear of just how often there has been a case in which carrying a gun has saved a woman from someone trying to rape her (Or a man for that matter.)

I'll take one example. Just one.
jamethiel_bane 11th-Apr-2011 11:34 am (UTC)
... I was actually IN THE BUILDING for the Monash university shooting. Stricter gun laws? KPLZTHNX. I think Australia could still have stricter ones than what it's got, but then I'm a little paranoid on the subject.

All making weapons more freely available does is mean there are more weapons freely available. To everyone.

Also, seriously? Having a gun would NOT STOP this guy from raping her if he stepped up behind her in the dark and put a gun to her temple. The only thing effective way of stopping people from raping others is if people decide not to rape. It's not rocket science.
staringiscaring 11th-Apr-2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
How horrible for that girl. Shame on Fox for using such a crime for their own agenda.
roseofjuly 11th-Apr-2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
The thing is - given with the way he ambushed her and had a gun to her temple - how would her having a gun have helped her? He came up to her from behind and before she could react to even draw a gun, she had one against her temple ready to fire. How could she even have gotten her own gun and pulled it on him? And even if she had been able to get it out...you've got two guns pointed at each other now. Maybe he shoots her before she shoots him. Or like Schneider says:

"They are not trained professionals," Schneider said. "By the time any student could get a gun, when they were attacked by someone else with a gun if they went for their gun, it would be a bad outcome."
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