Media Matters: NRA News’ Campus Self-Defense Message Blames Victims

campus carry
AP/The Tulsa World/James Gibbard

On Friday, NRA News’ Cam Edwards explained that the right to keep and bear arms is also tied to a duty to do so, and that this does not just apply to men but to women as well. It was part of his larger point that the current Campus Carry push rests on the understanding that the individual is ultimately his or her own first line of defense and, by allowing women to carry their guns, it opens the door for them to be able to protect their own lives and dignity.

On Tuesday, Media Matters claimed Edwards’ position on Campus Carry is tantamount to blaming the victim for being raped or sexually assaulted.

How Media Matters could even suggest such a thing is behind comprehension, especially since Edwards’ entire argument is that laws should be changed so that women can carry and protect themselves because they have the same right to do so as men. Edwards was not saying that women are reluctant to exercise their rights or duties but that rules and regulations that prevent them from doing so need to be done away.

Beyond that — even in the video clip posted by Media Matters — Edwards was pointing out the foolishness of a March 22 The Daily Tarheel editorial which claimed sexual assaults against women could be better handled through “preventative programs that challenge rigid gender roles” and “intervention trainings” that teach bystanders to do something, instead of simply gawking when a woman is attacked.

Edwards believes the focus on “preventative programs” and “intervention trainings” presents a promise of safety that will never actually materialize. And he mocked the idea that women should trust in such programs instead trusting their own ability to defend themselves with a firearm.

He said:

Once [an] individual has decided to engage in [a violent crime against women] you can send him down the ‘Encounter Workshop,’ right? You can let them sit down in a ‘Safe Space’ and talk to others about their feelings, [but] that won’t stop the crime occurring right then and there.

But you know what will stop that crime? A woman with a gun.

Edwards is right. It is time for laws to change; time for government to get out of the way so women can carry their guns on campus for self-defense. If their attackers happen to survive being shot in self-defense, those attackers can then be afforded the opportunity to sit in a “Safe Space” for quite some time.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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