Since surviving an on-campus rape at knifepoint in November 2014, Florida State University student Shayna Lopez-Rivas has become an outspoken voice in support of a controversial issue – the right to carry a concealed firearm on college campuses.
In an opinion article for the Tallahassee Democrat, Lopez-Rivas explains why she’s standing behind this cause:
“On Nov. 13, 2014, a man with a knife raped me on campus. I used pepper spray; it didn’t work. And now every time I look in the mirror and see the scars on my body, I am reminded of that night…
I remember the details well enough to know that had I been trained, like I am now, in tactical firearms defense – and had I been carrying – I would not have been raped.”
“This is not a fantasy. This is my reality and it’s the reason I fight to get the campus carry bill passed…
I will not be a sitting duck for a rapist or a shooter on a university campus that claims sovereign immunity when it cannot protect its students and continues to insist that students should not be able to protect themselves. I should not have to be unarmed and afraid in the place I work and attend class.”
When, in late November, a fellow student wrote an op-ed claiming that campus carry proponents use rape survivors like Lopez-Rivas as “scapegoats” for their cause, she again chose to stand up for herself by posting a scathing response on Facebook:
The post reads, in part:
“My scars (you know the ones on my arm, chest, stomach, thighs, and elsewhere) those are not scapegoats, I live with them every. single. day.
My tears shed and nightmares had, those are not scapegoats. The gun lobby didn’t tell me to have them…
Shame on you for making a victim of a violent crime feel ashamed and sad for fighting for something she believes in.”
The bill – which would allow those with a concealed weapons license to carry guns at public universities and colleges in Florida – has been passed by four House committees in the state.
It will be presented to the full House to vote on in their January 2016 session.