2012 was a solid year for the North American Logic Shark. They got to rest from the stunt jumping the 2011 Legislature put them through, but as they say, there’s no rest for the delirious. Our logic shark sighting today comes from the House Judiciary Committee as they made a daring attempt at jumping yet another one (surprised face goes here).
Our daredevil o’the day is Rep Cary Smith, R-Billings, whose bill, HB 240, which seeks to allow guns on college campuses.
But wait, I hear you say, can’t you already carry guns on college campus in Montana? Well, in the strictest interpretation of your question – no, you can’t just carry them around everywhere on campuses. But in the real world, sensible spirit of your question – yeah, yeah you can. Even the sponsor admits that when he mocks a claim that Montana campuses are gun-friendly. Which is, honestly, true. Most, if not all, Montana campuses have a place where firearms may be stored and accessed by students who are involved in shooting sports like hunting and competitive shooting.
But, allowing weapons to be used, safely stored and respected as part of student life isn’t enough to be “gun-friendly” for Rep. Smith. Apparently swapping your scarf for a bandolier as you saunter down to your Comparative Politics class is where we need to be. Because nothing says “I’m here for nuanced and productive discourse” than a 9 mil. Right, Amy Bishop?
The shark sighting occurred when, with all the grace of a blind Bobby Knievel on a Big Wheel, the hearing jumped it. Smith explained that this bill is needed because “we’ve had the federal government investigating the assaults on campus. It’s not working.” Smith is, of course, referring to the swath of sexual assaults committed at the University of Montana. What he implies, is that if these women would had have weapons they or maybe even someone else had, they could have prevented the horrific crimes perpetrated against them.
What Smith and the other proponents fail to realize is that guns don’t stop rape.
It’s a bit odd that a body that in 2011 referred to women as cattle and recently decided to open them up to new, dangerous opportunities to be criminally prosecuted for making decisions regarding their own bodies is suddenly concerned with the safety of Montana’s women. Though, I guess when you think of women as livestock already, auctioning them off as victims to suit your needs is pretty small potatoes.
But let’s be clear. Rape is a crime. And it’s hard to stop crime from happening in every instance, but we can always work towards prevention. And rape prevention starts with treating it like the crime it is. It starts when we stop blaming victims for their attacks. It starts when we start treating women like people who can make their own decisions regarding their health and body. It’s NOT prevented by exploiting crimes perpetrated against women to get frivolous gun legislation passed.
But there is a silver lining for logic shark enthusiasts. At this rate, they’ll be back in record numbers just in time for barbecue season.
[Editor's note: Good news. Cowgirl Blog now has a new regular contributor. Please welcome Lash! Post author is indicated at the end of posts in fine print near the comment count--though if anyone knows how to change the CSS or php to put this on top I'd be most grateful.]