AL: More women packing heat because of serial rapist

NBC 15 (Mobile, Alabama) is
reporting that with news of a serial rapist on the loose, an increasing number of women are training for and receiving concealed carry permits.

Business, especially gun sales, has picked up since police announced a serial rapist on the attack in West Mobile. In the past week or so, the report says as many as seven women have bought guns at the Mobile Shooting Center.

"We have had a few come in and talk about, with the rapist being around them, having to buy some or they're feeling a lot safer to buy some from women that you would assume that wouldn't carry a pistol," store employee Jeremy Hickman told the news channel.

Mobile Police Chief Sam Cochran told NBC 15's Mike Rush that he respects their right to protect themselves within the law. In the as many as eleven rapes police believe may have been committed by the same man, the attacker got in his victims' homes through unlocked doors or windows. In that scenario, "if the question is, 'Can a woman use deadly force and shoot an intruder in her house when she feels threatened?' Absolutely she can," Cochran told NBC 15.

According to the 2003 National Crime Victimization Survey, 93% of violent crimes against innocent citizens last year were carried out without the criminal use of a firearm. 96% of rapes and 75% of robberies were committed by criminals without firearms.

For all rapes, woman who resisted with a gun were 2.5 times more likely to escape without injury than those who did not resist, and 4 times more likely to escape uninjured than those who resisted with any means other than a gun.” (Southwick, Journal of Criminal Justice, 2000)

Not all women must choose to carry a concealed firearm to benefit from Ohio's self-defense laws.

In 1966 the police in Orlando, Florida, responded to a rape epidemic by embarking on a highly publicized program to train 2,500 women in firearm use. The next year rape fell by 88 percent in Orlando (the only major city to experience a decrease that year); burglary fell by 25 percent. Not one of the 2,500 women actually ended up firing her weapon; the deterrent effect of the publicity sufficed." (Congressional Record, 90th Cong., 2d sess., January 30, 1968, p. 1496, n. 7) Five years later Orlando's rape rate was still 13 percent below the pre-program level, whereas the surrounding standard metropolitan area had suffered a 308 percent increase.

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