"When was the last time you heard about a rape on campus?"
-- Bob Beckel of Fox News's The Five yesterday
The show's roundtable dunce chair was heatedly debating a Colorado measure that would ban women, and everyone else, from carrying concealed firearms on college campuses when Beckel unleashed this little gem. The show's conservative contingent roundly condemned one of the bill's loudest supporters, Democrat and bow-tie aficionado Joe Salazar, for saying that women didn't need guns to defend themselves from rape, that call-boxes and whistles should suffice. According to Eric Bolling and Dana Perino, the threat college women face these days is serious enough that they need to be able to fight back with deadly force; this is of course one hell of a dubious argument, relying, as most vehement pro-gun advocacy does these days, on the kind of paranoia that paints pictures of an America descending into a Thunderdome-esque hellscape where danger from marauding bandits lurks around every corner.
Still, for Beckel to make the asinine statement that rape doesn't happen on college campuses only proves what I've said more than a few times before: Beckel is a slovenly blithering idiot, a tomato can brought in by Fox News to be an easy take-down for its more seasoned, brutish fighters. Of course rape happens on college campuses -- there more than just about anywhere else, in fact.
The most fascinating and entertaining thing about this, though, is watching how quickly the two sides of the ideological spectrum will switch when it becomes politically convenient. If the debate was over, say, abortion in the wake of rape, you just know Bolling, Perino and the rest of those clowns on the right would be arguing that rape isn't that big a deal and that it's often over-reported on college campuses for the sake of covering up sexual encounters thought the better of the following morning, while Beckel would barely be able to contain his gnashing-of-teeth at his co-host's deplorable misogyny. But make it about guns and watch the confirmation bias play hell with the traditional orthodoxies and articles of faith.
All that said, don't you somehow get the idea that if rape-fearing college girls had been heavily armed back when Bolling was in school, he wouldn't even be alive today?