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Guns on Campus: F-

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 10/11/2015 Charlie Allenson
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My heart goes out to Amanda Collins. She was a University of Nevada student who was raped on campus a few years back. A horrible act of violence that no woman should have to endure. And that no rapist should ever get away with.
In the time since her attack, Amanda's become something of a poster girl for carrying guns on campus. In fact Nevada Assembly Bill 148 is named Amanda's Law. And she's become a mouthpiece in the NRA's push to put more guns on more campuses across the nation.
But there's another piece of Amanda's attack that requires closer examination. In an article written by Ms. Collins about her rape, she rues the fact that although she had a concealed carry permit for a gun, she wasn't armed at the time. Her contention was and is if she had been armed, she would have been able to defend herself with her own weapon.
Here's what she wrote:

But here's the truth: Had I been carrying my firearm, I would have been able to stop the attack. Not only that, but two other rapes would have been prevented and three young lives would have been saved, including my own.

Amanda knows this how, exactly?
Truth is an often slippery word. Philosopher and scholar Peter Abelard puts it this way, "By doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth."
So I am questioning Ms. Collins's truth. Not about the rape and subsequent emotional and physical trauma. Not at all. That pain is unimaginable.
I do question her "truth" that had she been packing the outcome would have been different. Or for that matter anyone carrying a gun on campus is going to be safer. And any attacker would be vanquished by a well-placed grouping of 9mm shots. With no possibility of hitting or perhaps even killing any bystanders.
Ms. Collins "truth" is based primarily on woulda, coulda, shoulda. Or a long string of "what ifs." Would the call box overhead have prevented her from being attacked? Probably not. But one thing that often gets overlooked in her story is that Amanda is a black belt in karate. So in theory, not having a gun shouldn't have mattered. In theory, Amanda would have been able to save herself. Right?
Assaults don't happen like they do in the movies or on TV, where the victim has plenty of time to draw down on the bad guy. Physical assaults can be fast, brutal and leave you stunned in a heartbeat with no chance to react defensively, weapon or not. Frozen. A deer in the headlights. Maybe bleeding and unconscious.
For comparison, let's look at some firearm accuracy statistics that apply to members of the law enforcement community. Professionals. For example, NYC police officers are trained to hit what they shoot at. As one would expect of any law enforcement officers. The NYPD initial firearms course is 13 days, with further training mandatory depending on specialization.
How accurate are trained NYC police officers? According to a RAND study, NYPD officers hit their real-world targets only about 27 percent of the time. And they must re-qualify throughout the year.
Closer to Ms. Collins's home, the Las Vegas Police hit their targets only about 27 percent of the time. So much for the pros.
Now let's take a look at ordinary citizens -- civilians, people like Amanda, you, me, and just about anybody else. In many states, firearms training can be measured in hours. Some other states require no training at all.

In one study, carrying a gun means you're 4.5 times more likely to have your own gun used on you. And you're 4.2 times more likely to be murdered with your own weapon.
Here's another little gem of a figure. If you're a woman and live in a state with a propensity for higher rates of gun ownership, you're nearly five times more likely to be shot to death.
Let's get back to our institutions of higher learning. There's a lot that life on campus can offer. Some of it is enlightening. Some of it is fun. Some are both. Then there are the less desirable bennies of campus living. Including the possibility of being shot because of that gun-on-campus thing again. Four Delta Chi fraternity members were shot at Northern Arizona University. Let's move on to Texas and the sad tale of Blinn College freshman Lacie LaRose. She was shot to death during a beer pong argument. Beer pong.
Also in Texas, at Texas Southern University, a sophomore fired shots into a group near a student housing complex. Gun on campus.
Nearly half the school shootings since Sandy Hook have occurred on the campus of a college or university. And well over two-thirds of campus shootings resulted in gun violence deaths.
What does this all mean? What does the NRA have to say about all of this?
Well, so far this year some 22 NRA-backed bills have made their way through 15 state houses to ease restrictions regarding guns on campus. Plus, the NRA has a whopper of a defense for putting more guns in the hands of more students. The NRA says that people opposed to guns on campus are OK with tolerating sexual assaults. So I guess by allowing guns on campus, the NRA is OK with students being murdered. Nice.

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