Gun Control Advocate: Women Too Weak to Carry on Campus

Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

During an airing of Third Rail on Al Jazeera this week, the executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Leah Gunn Barrett, suggested women are too weak to be allowed to carry guns for self-defense on college campuses.

When the topic of discussion shifted to potential rape victims defending themselves on campus, Barrett talked over Florida Democratic Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, asserting that women who are raped in a campus setting often know their attacker and have been consuming alcohol.

"Women are not physically powerful like men are. A gun can be easily turned on a woman and it is frequently," she then said. "Guns do not make you safer."

Vasilinda was the victim of "attempted rape" while in college, an attack she was able to stop using the gun her father had given her for self defense.

The host then asked Barrett, "Is there ever the notion of self-defense for you? Can we have the notion of defending yourself with a weapon against an attack, whether on campus or elsewhere?"

She answered: "Well, yes, and the Supreme Court says that it's perfectly legal to have a gun in your home for self defense purposes, but when you're carrying guns out in public...even in the 19th century, we had stronger gun laws than we do in the 21st century."

Barrett went on to claim college campuses "are some of the safest places in the nation" and asked why anyone "would want to change that" by allowed women to legally carry guns for self defense.

Vasilinda explained that college campuses are not bastions of safety, but places where "20 percent of women" are victims of rape or sexual assault. She said she is very concerned about the safety of women who are denied the ability to defend themselves.