Nevada Republican Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore has come under fire for a comment she made in a recent interview, stating that "young, hot little girls" would be protected from sexual assault on college campuses if allowed to carry firearms.
Fiore introduced a bill in the state last week to allow concealed firearms on college campuses; nine other states have introduced similar legislation. All 10 states have used the argument that arming students, particularly females, would prevent sexual assaults.
"If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them," Fiore told The New York Times via telephone. "The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head."
Guns have been banned from college campuses for years, and many feel that by allowing them back, there could be a greater risk for harm. The attack on the campus of Virginia Tech still brings to mind the dangers of gun violence. Other opponents of the bills state that they are biased, based on an unfounded argument meant to "protect" potential victims of sexual assault.
"It reflects a misunderstanding of sexual assaults in general," John D. Foubert, an Oklahoma State University professor and national president of One in Four, an organization that provides educational programs on sexual assault. "If you have a rape situation, usually it starts with some sort of consensual behavior, and by the time it switches to nonconsensual, it would be nearly impossible to run for a gun. Maybe if it's someone who raped you before and is coming back, it theoretically could help them feel more secure."
Since the interview, Fiore issued a statement clarifying her comment to the Times.
"That may not be the most eloquent way to phrase it; however, I stand wholeheartedly by that sentiment because I want every citizen, whether they're on a college campus or not, to have the right to defend him or herself from sexual assault. So I ask, what's your point? Are you opposed to the right to self-defense or are you arguing that rape is the new normal of attending college? I stand with the people of Nevada and will always defend and protect our rights to self-defense," Fiore posted on her website.