Tags: MidPoint | Jane Velez-Mitchell | college campuses | guns

Jane Velez-Mitchell: Guns on Campus to Prevent Rape 'Ludicrous'

By    |   Tuesday, 24 February 2015 04:39 PM

Arming college women as a deterrent against campus rape is a "terrible idea" for an admittedly "serious problem," television journalist and best-selling true-crime author Jane Velez-Mitchell told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

"We have to deal with it, but the idea of a bunch of co-eds running around with holsters packing heat — it's a cartoonish idea," said Velez-Mitchell. "It's a Wild West notion, and it really could create more violence on campus."

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Yet the idea of legalized "campus carry" in order to protect against sexual predators is getting a serious look in several state legislatures, The New York Times reports.

It's about time, conservative commentator S.E. Cupp wrote on CNN.com.

"Students  — even those who are licensed gun owners — are systematically disarmed at the college gates and told to rely on campus security guards, who rarely stumble upon a rape in progress, and call boxes to protect themselves against sexual assaults," Cupp wrote.

"And when they are attacked, despite these supposedly good security systems, they are told to rely on college administrators and a jury of their peers to mete out justice. How is this responsible?" she wrote.

But Velez-Mitchell argued against introducing firearms into an environment where alcohol consumption is already a contributing factor to sexual assault.

"Alcohol is usually involved in these rapes," she said. "In most cases, the victim knows the perpetrator. Quite often, it's in a frat house or party setting. Add guns to the mix, that's a prescription for disaster.

"And just think about it on a practical level," she added. "You have a woman who may start out kissing a guy, and then this perpetrator doesn't want to take no for an answer. What's she going to do, say, 'hold on, let's hit pause on this sexual assault, I want to go get my purse and whip out my handgun?'

"It's a nonsensical notion," said Velez-Mitchell. "It is a big problem. We have to deal with campus rape, but arming everybody? It's ludicrous."

Despite a discredited Rolling Stone article on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, there is widespread agreement that the problem is real.

"We need an entire cultural change on campus," said Velez-Mitchell. "First of all, universities have to start taking rape seriously. Obviously they want to sweep it under the rug, because [if] mom and dad hear that there's rapes on campus, they're not going to want to send their daughter there. So there is this hush-hush mentality. That's got to go.

"Most rapes on campus are not reported, and there's a reason for that," she said. "So we have to encourage women who are sexually assaulted to go to the police and prosecute these cases.

"We also need to change this binge-drinking, frat-house, party-animal environment on college campuses," she said. "I mean, hello, the reason we go to college is to learn, not just to engage in 'Animal House' behavior.

"What's gone on in our country that we've taken the 'gentle' out of 'gentleman?' " she said.

"We need to sit these students down and say college is serious business. Forget about the parties and forget about the machismo and the one-upmanship and 'I'm going to prove how much of a guy I am by seeing how many women I can bed.' Let's hit the books, people. That's what college should be about."

But colleges themselves are reluctant to take that line because, "if you take the party out of school, a lot of kids aren't going to want to go to that school," said Velez-Mitchell.

"The universities want to get these students in and so what happens is they turn a blind eye to this frat-house culture," she said.

"As a reporter I have gone up to some of these frat houses after some controversy, some scandal, and the attitude is absolutely unbelievable," she said. "It's like, 'hey, I'm king of the castle. This is a no-consequence zone. Get the heck out of here.' And I'm looking at these young men, saying, is this preparing them for life in the real world? No."

She also said that campuses need to make practical security improvements.

"I walked through a Midwestern campus — I was terrified out of my mind after doing a report one night, walking through a dark area into an unsupervised parking lot," said Velez-Mitchell. "I was terrified. I was like, 'where is the security? Where are the lights? Where's the campus police?'

"We need to make this campus environment safe — safe for women, safe for men, but especially safe for co-eds walking around at night," she said. "I mean it's ludicrous the way these campuses are designed today."

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Arming college women as a deterrent against campus rape is a "terrible idea" for an admittedly "serious problem," television journalist and best-selling true-crime author Jane Velez-Mitchell told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV.
Jane Velez-Mitchell, college campuses, guns
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 04:39 PM
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