She survived, but others haven’t been so lucky. And Amanda Collins is on a mission to ensure liberal lawmakers do not take away one of the most valuable deterrents a woman can have when facing a violent sexual predator.
In 2007, Collins was 50 feet away from the campus police department at the University of Nevada-Reno, a gun-free zone, when serial rapist James Biela attacked her at gunpoint and brutally raped her. After he had finished violently forcing his perverse sexual will upon Collins, the 28-year-old pervert went on to rape two other women, killing one: 19-year-old university student Brianna Denison.
Collins, who has become a public proponent of protecting Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights of self-defense, says she lives with more than the trauma of having been raped at gunpoint. She believes the situation might have ended with one deserving victim rather than three innocents if the 2nd Amendment had been better protected. That is because, at the time of her attack, the young woman was a concealed-carry permit holder; but, being a law-abiding citizen, she was not carrying when Biela’s perverse sexual dysfunctions overtook his respect for the rule of law.
In recent weeks, Collins has been fighting legislation being moved in the Colorado State Legislature to ban concealed carry of firearms (which was allowed just in the past year) on college campuses in the State. In an interview last month with National Rifle Association News host Cam Edwards, she refuted the claims of state Representative Joe Salazar (D-Thornton) who recently claimed that police and screaming are the most effective rape deterrents.
If I had been carrying that night, two other rapes would have been prevented and a young life would have been saved. All of these are just sentiments that give a false sense of security. In my experience I know that the university that I attended, the University of Nevada-Reno, they didn’t have any call boxes the night I was attacked. They afterwards installed them but I can tell you that a call box above my head while I was straddled on the parking garage floor being brutally raped wouldn’t have helped me one bit. The safe zone? I was in a safe zone and my attacker didn’t care. It’s known that I could see the police cruisers less than 50 feet away from me, from where I was being attacked but the moment I saw those cruisers, I knew at the same time that no one was coming for me….they were all off duty.
The young woman took her message to the Colorado State Legislature Monday, where her assertions that guns are an ideal form of protection for women were condescendingly disregarded by lawmakers based on a couple of interesting premises: Men are often bigger than women. And guns hurt some people’s feelings.
Collins was addressed by State Senator Ted Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch) after asking a simple question, “How does rendering me defenseless protect you against violent crime?”
Harvey replied: “What we are trying to do here tonight is not to protect ourselves from violent crime. What we are trying to do here tonight is prevent students and teachers from feeling uncomfortable by you carrying a gun to protect yourself.
“Every witness that has come up here tonight, they want to feel unintimidated and feel free to debate freely on a college campus. And having you have the right to defend yourself against a violent attacker weighs more for them than for you and the right to self-defense. And for that, I apologize,” he added.
State Senator Evie Hudak (D-Westminster) told the young rape survivor, “Actually, statistics are not on your side, even if you had a gun.” She said that for every one woman who used a handgun to kill someone in self-defense, 83 were murdered by them.
It isn’t clear where Hudak got her numbers, but FBI statistics indicate that firearm use for self-defense outnumbers criminal firearm use 4-to-1. Of the 2.1 million times firearms are used in self-defense annually, 1.9 cases involve handguns and 10 percent involve women fending off sexual predators.
Also according to FBI numbers, there were an estimated 83,425 forcible rapes reported to law enforcement in 2011. Females age 16 to 24 have the highest likelihood of becoming the victim of rape — two to three times higher.
Hudak went on to claim that because Collins — who also happens to be skilled in martial arts — couldn’t fend off the attacker unarmed, he obviously would have taken her gun away.
“You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experienced in Tae Kwon Do, and yet because this individual was so large, was able to overcome you even with your skills, and chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you,” she said.
“Respectfully, Senator, you weren’t there,” Collins responded. “Had I been carrying concealed, he wouldn’t have known I had my weapon; and I was there. I know without a doubt in my mind at some point I would’ve been able to stop my attack by using my firearm.”
Collins also said that firearms are not a rape preventative, but rather a tool to reduce the risk of rape.
Colorado Democrats and the Judiciary Committee approved the campus concealed carry ban along with six other gun control proposals, despite Collins’ testimony. Lawmakers in the State’s Senate will debate the measures on Friday.
Perhaps if Collins were one of their own — a member of the elected class — like Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), her credibility as a victim would be more respected by lawmakers.