During October 20 testimony on the campus carry legislation currently under consideration by Florida lawmakers, University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks contended that allowing women to be armed for self-defense will not accomplish much because they cannot use guns effectively.
According to the Herald-Tribune, Franks argued that guns are “highly effective” when they are being used for crimes, “but are rarely effective in preventing them.” And she suggested the idea that women will be able to stop a sexual assault with a gun is simply not realistic.
She claimed that armed women will not be successful because most victims of such assault know their attackers. She said the only way arming a woman will help is if the woman plans on “going out on a date with her hand on a gun.” The Tallahassee Democrat quoted Franks saying, “Studies done by many, many professional[s] have shown that it is really, really unlikely for anyone to use a gun effectively in self defense, especially in cases of sexual assault.”
It is interesting to note that Franks’ suggestion that arming women would not be effective against sexual assault goes against what armed women have been able to do while under attack by a sexual predator.
For example, in April, The Washington Post reported:
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts in-person interviews with several thousand persons annually, for the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). In 1992-2002, over 2,000 of the persons interviewed disclosed they had been raped or sexually assaulted. Of them, only 26 volunteered that they used a weapon to resist. In none of those 26 cases was the rape completed; in none of the cases did the victim suffer additional injury after she deployed her weapon.
Twenty-six women were able to pull a weapon, and the rape was not completed in any of those cases. Being armed was quite effective for those women.
The Florida campus carry legislation passed in the Senate Higher Education Committee on Tuesday and now goes before the Judiciary Committee.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.