Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Gun Raffle

I received this email today, which I am going to post here:

Hello, Quoting the president of the RSO the Orange and Blue observer, "If more women carried firearms, there would be fewer cases of rape."On Thursday, April 14, the Orange and Blue Observer will be raffling off 3 semi-automatic handguns to display their constitutional right to bear arms as well as their contention with the Illinois laws prohibiting citizens from carrying concealed weapons. Shocking though it may seem, their actions are completely legal, and the only recourse we as students have is to protest their actions, acknowledging them to be extreme distortions of the concepts of safety and self-defense. Two weeks ago, when the OBO raffled off an AK-47, we were able to rally together students within 2 hours to protest. ..Please help us increase our numbers and strengthen the protest against deadly weapons --without safety training-- on our campus.

Quoting both the Daily Illini and the Orange and Blue Observer, here's the other side of the story:"If more women carried firearms, there would be fewer cases of rape"'"God made man and woman," Observer Editor Leo Buchignani said. "Smith and Wesson made them equal. For the first time in history, handguns neutralize the male strength advantage over women. I don't understand why all feminists don't arm themselves." The Observer held the "Defense of the 2nd Amendment" to protest Illinois' gun laws, some of the strictest in the nation. These laws cause hundreds of preventable rapes, murders and robberies. Gun laws hurt vulnerable groups like inner city communities, minorities and women the most because they are most in danger from predators. The Observer feels gun law is a moral issue and protests the immoral Illinois gun law regime." (End of Email)

First, I would like to applaud the students who are protesting for getting that together so quickly. I am happy to know that people are mobilizing against this. Maybe I am just naive, but I can't believe this is occurring on a college campus. Is it necessary for any college student to have an AK-47? I am also shocked that this group is using feminism as its basis for why people should be able to carry concealed weapons. The answer to violence against women IS NOT to give everyone guns without training or permits. How about the obvious other answer: work to restructure society in a way that violence against women is reported and the perpetrators are prosecuted. If violence against women wasn't tolerated (or in some ways sanctioned) by society, maybe it would occur less. The Observer believes that carrying guns is a moral issue, and that Illinois has an immoral gun law. WHOSE MORALS? Who defines moral rights? We do live in a violent society, however, I do not believe the answer to this is more violence. I know the gun debate will probably never end, this is just another chapter. I am actually too flustered right now to get together the sociological argument against this (if someone wants to help with this, please comment). I just want to be on the record stating that this is the most disturbing thing that I've encountered on this campus since I arrived two years ago....

PS - I know I'll get nasty comments on this post, so bring them on.

5 Comments:

At 10:14 PM, Blogger laura said...

Wow, this is great! I didn't realize that all it would take to make me equal is a gun. I wonder if guns overcome multiple social liabilities or just the pesky gender thing? I've got to get right on this...

 
At 11:00 PM, Blogger Carolyn said...

My friend Katherine brought up one good point (maybe the only good point) about this entire controversy. She pointed out that the group raffling the gun is advocating for women to take care of themselves, instead of men taking care of them. While I may not like the way the prescribe that we take care of ourselves, I guess it is better than saying to arm your boyfriend/husband/dad/brother with the gun for you. I still don't like it, but I do see that point.

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I got the email too Carolyn. As you probably know, The Observer is a really conservative student paper. Trying to say feminists should support owning a gun for protection is a rhetorical device. Like Laura alluded to, it doesn't change the social structures that put women at a disadvantage. It doesn't change the violent culture that promotes and fosters making little boys violent through video games, playing with guns, and training to be soldiers all their lives.

For domestic violence awareness, feminist groups would hang up clothes women died in from domestic violence, unwashed with their blood still dried on to them, clothes still ripped, bullet holes screaming with silence.

Women get killed by guns.

Suggesting that feminists should support gun-owning completely changes the issue; it puts responsibility back on the women experiencing bloody violence, when it is a societal problem of gender and power. A conservative agenda of promoting gun-ownership cannot be allowed to hijack feminism and make gun-ownership an issue for feminists to support. A feminist issue would be figuring out how to create a society where women aren't killed by guns, but neither are men.

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is terrible about the OBO's suggestion that women arm themselves to prevent rape is that it makes the victims and their supporters the people responsible for rape. It's like saying, "Rapists aren't responsible for rape; feminists and liberals are responsible because they won't allow potential rape victims to carry guns." In any case, even if women all carried guns, the truth is that women who are armed during an attack are very likely to have their own weapons taken from them and used against them by their physically stronger attackers.

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger Leo Buchignani said...

lol. Why do we have to be saying anything about responsibility? I think most sane people would agree that rape is the rapist's fault. But since there seems to be no cessation of rape in the forseeable future, why not take preventative measures? Rape whistles are another (far less effective) preventative measure, but ya'll aren't getting bent out of shape about those. Just admit you're anti-gun for reasons unrelated to their efficacy against rape.

~Leo Buchignani

 

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