Victim of an on-campus rape publicly shares the story of her horrific attack, fights to overturn campus carry bans
[Editor's Note: The following article should take on a whole new meaning for people in the Buckeye State when they consider that the Ohio State (University) Police are currently investigating five possible rapes on campus at OSU.]
by Chad D. Baus
FOXNews.com recently reported that lawmakers across the country are debating whether universities should let students and faculty with permits carry their concealed weapon on campus. Those who want to put an end to such gun-free zones have found an unlikely hero in a petite, soft spoken, young woman who wonders why colleges protect most Constitutional rights, but not the one that matters most when staring into the face of a violent criminal.
From the article:
Amanda Collins, 25, is a wife and new mom, and a concealed weapon permit holder for years. At her father's law office in Reno, she showed us the 9-mm Glock she carries for her safety.
"It's got a pretty standard magazine," she said, "and night sights so you can see in the dark when you're aiming."
However, Collins couldn't aim her gun at the serial rapist who attacked her at the University of Nevada at Reno, where she was a student. That's because, like most public colleges outside of Utah and Colorado, UNR is a "gun free" zone. The rule required her to leave her gun at home, leaving her defenseless the one time she needed its protection most.
In October of 2007, while walking to her car after a night class, Collins was grabbed from behind in a university parking garage less than 300 yards from a campus police office. The school's "gun-free" designation meant nothing to James Biela, a serial rapist with a gun of his own, who saw Collins as an easy target. "He put a firearm to my temple," she recounted, "clocked off the safety, and told me not to say anything, before he raped me."
...Collins is believed to be the first victim of an on-campus rape to come out and publicly share her horrific attack in an effort to change the law and keep people safe.
...For Collins, the ban defies logic.
"I don't understand why (the state) trusts good, responsible people to be able to have their firearm across the street, and as soon as they cross an arbitrary line, they somehow lose all reason and ability to be able to be competent with that responsibility. It makes no sense to me at all."
The entire report can be viewed here:
Even as the debate rages across the country, students at colleges and universities around the State of Ohio continue to be made victims of violence. Consider these headlines:
University of Akron: Gallucci Hall breached: two victims held at gun point
Two victims were held at gun point Wednesday while three armed men stole over $2,700 worth of merchandise from the victims' fifth-floor room in Gallucci Hall.
Victims Jamie Underwood and Stuart Helmuth, both of Plain City, Ohio, were not injured during the robbery. The University reports that security is being increased and the case is being taken seriously.
A fifth-floor resident of Gallucci Hall who wished to remain anonymous talked about the crime and the police response.
"I don't like that guns can just be brought in like that," said the resident. "Before [the crime] people just kind of walked in."
The armed suspects were able to enter the building due to a weakness in security and demonstrate the state of student safety.
Laura Massie, director of Media Relations said, "The police are still trying to determine [how they got in]."
The suspects might have "just kind of walked in" under the noses of police, despite a branch of the UAPD located in Gallucci Hall – just inside the residence doors – and security cameras throughout the building.
Miami University: A recent Oxford Press article regarding concealed handguns on college campuses noted that since January 2010, there have been 16 assaults and 17 burglaries on campus.
Youngstown State University: YSU student robbed at gunpoint on campus
A YSU student was the victim of an on-campus armed robbery early this morning.
YSU spokesman Ron Cole said it happened in the Lincoln Avenue parking deck where the student was confronted by a suspect armed with a hand-gun. The student was not injured and reported the incident to campus police.
Legislation aimed at lifting the ban of bearing arms for self defense on Ohio's campuses has been introduced in each of the past three state general assemblies (126th [2005-2006], 127th [2007-2008], 128th [2009-2010]), but the bills were never given serious consideration, no matter which party was in the majority. And despite the fact that voters elected one of the most pro-gun caucuses in recent history (at least on paper) last November, no such bill has yet been introduced in the 129th General Assembly (2011-2012).
Meanwhile, the students of Ohio's campuses continue to pay the price in the loss of blood and treasure.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.