Sheriff tells women to get guns to ward off attacks

CHARLESTON, South Carolina Tue Nov 1, 2011 6:04pm EDT

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - A South Carolina sheriff who called for women to carry guns to defend themselves against assaults said on Tuesday he has received a positive response to his advice.

During a press conference Monday about a rape suspect's arrest, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said women should walk in groups and get a gun.

"I don't want you to go for the Mace. I want you to go for the concealed weapons permit," the sheriff said, according to a video of his remarks.

Wright said women could conceal a small pistol inside a fanny pack when they go out jogging.

"They got one called 'The Judge' that shoots a .45 or a .410 shell," he said. "You ain't gotta be accurate. You just gotta get close."

Wright's comments were prompted by the case of Walter Monroe Lance, 46, who was arrested in a park Sunday and charged with kidnapping, rape and grand larceny. The suspect has a long record of arrests.

Wright said he knew he would "get all lit up" by anti-gun activists for his remarks, but he was frustrated that Lance kept getting out of jail.

"I really think that would send a message to some of these people that can't control themselves that you better be really cautious who you mess with because they might be armed," Wright told Reuters on Tuesday.

"Just presenting a weapon could have prevented this whole thing from happening."

It is legal in South Carolina to carry a concealed weapon following training and certification. Since his remarks, Wright said, people have told him, "Thank you for saying what I've been thinking."

But not everyone agreed with the sheriff's advice.

"He's blaming the victim," said Melonea Marek, executive director of People Against Rape, a nonprofit rape crisis center in North Charleston. "There's not a guarantee that a gun was going to stop that guy from hurting her."

Caroline Brewer, spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the nation's largest gun control advocacy group, said a 2009 study found that people who carry guns are 4.5 times more likely to be shot than people who don't.

"We share the sheriff's concerns about protecting women from dangerous men, but what we know for sure is that when people carry guns, they greatly increase their risk of being shot," Brewer told Reuters.

"To encourage a woman to carry a gun is to encourage her to put herself at much greater risk of being shot and killed, and we would not recommend it."

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)

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Comments (4)
Patriot_70 wrote:
Let me say that First, the Brady Campaign has an interest in keeping women disarmed and has an interest in maing sure that gun deats are kept high. See, the more people that are hurt with criminals with guns, the more negative press guns get and the more their agenda gets pushed.

That said, Sherriff, if I cna help train the women to shoot, please, let me know. I’m sick of seeing the body count that these arrogant criminals rack up with unarmed and defenseless victims. The governmetn is basically holding the crimianls hand and saying, “See, that one is unarmed, please, attack her!”

As for the rape center, please, read the story of the college girl that was a black belt in Karate and carried a gun, but was attacked in a parking lot in a “Gun Free Zone.” She was raped and almost killed. I know that you think that saying defend yourself is blaming the victim, but in a way the victim that allows themselves to be victimized IS partially to blame. If you leave you keys in the car and leave it running while you walk off and talk to someone, it is partially your fault when it gets stolen. The criminal might be the thief, but the victim has a duty to take reasonable precautions.

IN this case, if you live in an area with a high crime rate, and you do not carry a gun, then you hurt yourself and you hurt everyone else that the criminal hurts after you because you did nothing.

Nov 01, 2011 7:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CalamityJane wrote:
I am shocked that a woman who runs a rape center it telling women not to arm themselves. The “advocate” clearly knows nothing about the various type of guns that are now available. There are small guns that shoot a spray of bullets that will readily disable, probably kill, any rapist. I carry one of these guns in my side pocket and can pull it out readily. Keep you eyes and ears open and you will have plenty of time to defend yourself. Killing someone would be the worst day of my life, but it wouldn’t be my LAST!

Nov 02, 2011 7:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carmen75 wrote:
It is perfectly legal to own and carry a gun, if you have been properly trained and have a concealed weapons permit! This includes everyone age 21 and over. Women are fully capable of arming themselves with a gun. Sheriff Chuck Wright is simply saying women need to be aware that attackers are out there and we have the right to defend ourselves, with a gun, if properly trained. This happens everyday, all over the world and people need to be educated on the proper use of guns. The police can’t be everywhere at all times so you as an individual can take the extra step to protect you and your family. Don’t be afraid to get educated about guns and learn when it is leagal to use them.

Nov 03, 2011 10:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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