Silencers without guns

Posted: Aug 18, 2004 12:00 AM

The other day I woke up in a great mood. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I was thinking about how I could make the world a better, more diverse place.

When I got to the office, I thought about the dozens of lawyers who had just signed up for my new pro bono legal network, designed to sue universities for enforcing unconstitutional speech codes. I thought about calling it the ?be more tolerant of dissent or we?ll sue your butt off? network. A little self-censorship convinced me to change the ?butt? to ?tail.?

But then it hit me that, like a hypocrite, I haven?t done any pro bono work lately. It was then that I decided to write the following letter to ten women?s resource centers around the nation to offer my expertise on a topic often neglected in the postmodern academy:

Dear Women?s Center:

My name is Mike Adams. I am an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at UNC Wilmington, and a regular columnist for the Heritage Foundation?s I am also a member of the NRA and a weekly commentator at I am writing to offer my expertise, free of charge, to Women?s Centers around the nation that are interested in combating violence against women.

? It is my opinion that the response to the problem of violence against?female students has lacked a diversity of viewpoint. Specifically, there has been a lack of discussion about the possible benefits of gun ownership among women, particularly those who have been harassed, stalked, or otherwise victimized in the past.

As such, I would love the opportunity to visit your campus to talk about the following:

*The benefits and responsibilities of gun ownership in general.
*The desirability of concealed carry permits for women.
*The basic rules governing the use of deadly force.

Since I am traveling extensively in the coming year, I believe that I will be able to coordinate a visit to your university sometime in the coming months. Again, the lecture would be provided at no cost to the university.

Please contact me immediately, if you think that you would be interested.

Below, I have summarized the responses of the ten women?s centers I contacted:

Bucknell University. No response. I suppose that they were unable to fit me in between the ?safer sex? forum, the ?sex discussed here? forum, and the ?love your body? forum. The ?love your body? forum helps to reduce STDs and pregnancies by encouraging women to gain weight and be happy with their own bodies, regardless of what a man thinks. ?Love your body? day is often endorsed by university wellness centers, not to mention Pee Wee Herman.

Duke University. No response. Duke was apparently unable to fit me in between the Women?s Revolutionary Knitting Forum on September 1st, the Women?s Revolutionary Knitting Forum on September 15th, the Women?s Revolutionary Knitting Forum on September 29th, the Women?s Revolutionary Knitting Forum on October 13th, the Women?s Revolutionary Knitting Forum on October 27th, the Women?s Revolutionary Knitting Forum on November 10th, and the Women?s Revolutionary Knitting Forum on December 8th.. The Duke Women?s Center is committed to weaving the fabric of diversity for generations to come.

Emory University. No response.  Between the ?Creation and ritual in African ceramics? lecture, the ?Biography of a pot? lecture, and the ?Women in clay? lecture, Emory was truly busy molding the lives of their young students. But I really started to ferment when I learned that they found time for an ?African beer tasting? event.

Georgia Tech. No response. This was despite their claimed emphasis in women?s ?safety concerns.?

Princeton University. No response. They did, however, schedule an ?athletics and homophobia? lecture and a ?women of color? luncheon. Rumor has it the Princeton Women?s Center is changing its name to the Black Lesbian Pole Vaulting Center.

University of Alabama. No response.  The university had already sponsored the following eleven events for the semester: faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, faces in the mirror, and faces in the mirror. Apparently, the women needed to spend the semester in deep reflection.

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst. No response. Despite a claimed interest in ?empower(ing) women? and ?stop(ping) oppression? they seemed uninterested. Women in Massachusetts usually defend themselves by yelling ?shove it? instead of wielding a handgun.

Georgetown University. No response. Women in Georgetown feel empowered already. Hillary Clinton has a house near their campus.

Sarah Lawrence College. No response. This women?s center has hosted scores of exciting lectures over the years including the following:  "The Murder of a Pakistani Muslim Immigrant Woman in Chicago,? ?Secular Women of the Jewish Left and the Rise of Jewish Feminism,? ?The Relationship Between Lesbians and Psychotherapy,? ?Bon Bons, Lemon Drops, and Oh! Henry Bars: Candy, Consumer Culture, and the Construction of Gender,? ?A Cultural History of Gender, Class, and the American Cigarette? (talk about penis envy), ?New York African-American Lesbians and Religious Autonomy,? ?The Hidden Lesbians in the Diaries of Anne Lister,? and ?Women Hobos of the Depression.? That last one sounds like a real bummer.

North Carolina State University. Finally I got a response, indicating that N.C. state is ?unable to offer a program on gun ownership at this time? for two reasons: 1) ?the North Carolina statutes forbid guns on their college campuses? and, 2) ?statistics indicate that a lot of people who attempt to protect themselves with a gun are often killed with the gun themselves.?

Of course, I never intended to argue that women should actually carry their guns to class. But I did intend to show that the benefits of gun ownership outweigh the detriments. In others words, guns thwart crimes more often than they cause accidents.

Oh well, at least I tried. After all, most of these centers will be sponsoring the Vagina Monologues later this year. That should be enough to scare most of the men away.  So maybe they don?t need guns after all. Maybe I just need to see things from a woman?s perspective.