Rape is not an easy subject for any woman to talk about, let alone a woman who has survived a rape. The U.S. Department of Justice Uniform Crime Report says that in the U.S. a woman is raped every five minutes. A 1991 Seattle Rape Relief study says that fully half of all women will at some point in their lives be sexually assaulted.
The same study says that 20 percent of all males will suffer the same fate, which seems somewhat high. Something to be aware of though, seeing as how when men are raped it's by other men.
The physical effects of rape are bad enough all by themselves. Rapists sometimes beat their victims into submission, or use a gun or a knife to intimidate them. He may use a foreign object to carry out the act, especially if he's unable to complete it himself. There is the chance that the victim might become pregnant, or contract a venereal disease.
After the physical trauma come the perhaps even worse after-effects. Depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, fear of intimacy, or post-traumatic stress which may last for years. Suicide is not uncommon. Rape destroys lives.
Amanda Collins knows all about rape and what it does to a woman. Not a day goes by when she doesn't remember her own nightmare. Yet, she had the courage to relive the experience in all of its awful detail. She told her story before the Colorado State Legislature, which was meeting to discuss banning all handguns from Colorado State campuses, even for those law-abiding women with legally obtained concealed-carry permits. Ms. Collins is one of them, and sure as she told the world what happened to her, she firmly believes that had she been armed when she was confronted, things would have turned out differently.
However, on the night that she was raped, as any good, law-abiding citizen would have, she left her gun at home because the campus at which she was attending class was a "gun-free" zone. The school did not even permit guns to be kept in a locked vehicle. It was a fateful decision.
Ms. Collins, who is also a student of the Korean Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do, was accosted by a big man who not only over-powered her, but was wielding a gun to insure that he maintained control.
State Senator Evie Hudak - LSD (liberal/socialist/Democrat) Westminster, though expressing sympathy for what had happened to Ms. Collins, seemed to feel that it was enough that she'd survived the experience. She'd heard Ms. Collins' testimony and the young lady had wasted her breath.
"Statistics are against you," the senator sniffed. She seemed incredulous that Ms. Collins, despite her training and martial arts experience, had somehow been overcome by a man simply because he was bigger and stronger than she was. If she'd had a gun, according to the senator, it would have done her no good. "He'll take the gun away and use it on you." said Senator Know-it-all. For good measure, she added that for every woman who uses a gun in self-defense, "83 are murdered."
Statistics? What the senator should have said was "My statistics." She failed to cite her source, not that it mattered to her. She said it, therefore it is.
The U.S. Justice Department's Annual Crime Victim Survey shows that the probablility of a perpetrator completing a rape drops to less than 1 percent if the potential victim has a gun.
That a state senator, particularly a woman who wasn't present when the attack took place, and who apparently has never been raped, would tell another woman who definitely has been, that a gun would not have helped her is troubling. She wasn't there. What's even more disturbing is that the senator seems to think that if a person has martial arts training, that ought to be more than enough to stop any attacker.
The good senator has either been watching too many martial arts movies or not enough of them. The good guy almost always gets his butt kicked early in the movie, whether it's Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Jackie Chan, or Jeff Speakman. Even Bruce Lee gets hurt.
Having martial arts training is, at face value, an unquestionable advantage. It isn't, however, a guarantee. No matter how much knowledge or experience one has, somebody always has more. As good as you may be, someone is always better.
Size is a huge advantage. David didn't try to out-box or wrestle Goliath to the ground. He used a slingshot, the .44 magnum of his day, and the stone that took Goliath down came in faster and a lot harder that Goliath must have thought possible. The big guy underestimated a smaller, lightly-armed opponent. He made a big mistake and it cost him.
It's not at all surprising that Amanda Collins would have been overpowered by a larger, stronger, more powerful opponent. But to say that having a gun in her hands would have done her no good? If nothing else, it would be reasonable to assume that a rapist is overconfident. That's the same mistake that Goliath made.
In Ms. Collins' case, the rapist had a gun, therefore, he was determined to rape her. He counted on the fact that they were in a "gun-free " zone, and that she would not be armed. Imagine his surprise if she'd pulled her own weapon, making victim and attacker sudden equals. The attack might well have been over before it started.
For the sake of argument though, let's say that Ms. Collins' attacker was unarmed, but determined to carry out the rape even after he knew that she had a gun. How would she know that? Well, if the attacker is dumb enough to grab for the loaded gun, what other conclusion could she arrive at?
Ok. He's made up his mind to take the gun away, but he's probably got some ground to cover before she squeezes the trigger. That means he's got to take at least one step and move his hands to grab the gun. Like most people, the attacker probably has little, if any, martial arts training. He'll telegraph the move. Maybe he'll pull his hands slightly back before he steps in, for example. He might move a shoulder. Or his eyes could widen just before he moves. For the trained eye, that's big movement, and slow, especially when all she has to do to counter is squeeze the trigger. She wouldn't even have to aim because he'd be right on top of her. Not very good odds.
But suppose he does manage to grab the gun before she fires. Well, he's fighting to get the gun out of her hands. The attacker's hands are now tied up. She knows where they are and what they're doing. That means that the attacker can't protect his eyes, nose, throat, groin, shins, knees, insteps, or toes, to label a few potential targets. Odds are excellent that Ms. Collins would have used her skills to take advantage of those targets of opportunity.
Even if her attacker achieved complete surprise by coming from out of the shadows and put his gun to her head, his intent was to rape Ms. Collins. That too, may be an advantage. His single-mindedness may not allow him to think clearly. With a gun at her head, the last thing he would expect would be that she would resist. Had she been armed, Ms. Collins would have waited for her chance. Maybe he'd have dropped his eyes to focus on his belt or pants and put the gun aside ever so slightly and away from her head for just a second. That's all it might have taken to turn the tables.
Amanda Collins, if given a reasonable chance to defend herself, would have won that fight. Evie Hudak, on the other hand, hasn't a clue what self-defense involves. She thinks that, by banning handguns from college campuses, that she and the Colorado State Legislature are making "the rules."
That is the mistake that Senator Hudak and all LSDs make. They think that they make the rules, and everyone is bound to live by them.
But, as James Earl Jones made clear to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, the criminals say, "Rules? There are no rules here."