A female Republican politician in Las Vegas sponsoring legislation to allow guns on campuses has caused outrage by arguing that university rapists would be deterred "if these young, hot little girls had a firearm".
Michele Fiore, a conservative assemblywoman, has introduced a bill allowing people with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms at universities in Nevada - one of 10 states in the gun-friendly American West and South where such legislation has been tabled.
"If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them," she told the New York Times.
"The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head."
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Marilyn Kirkpatrick, leader of the state's Democrat minority, said: "It is beyond unfortunate Michele Fiore's response to sexual assault on our campuses is a Rambo-like mentality. To claim that sexual assault is only happening to 'young, hot little girls' and that arming people can alleviate this problem is a false narrative."
One Nevada student responded, arguing that arming vulnerable women was impractical and would end up arming rapists.
Fiore issued a clarification on her website, saying that what she said wasn't "eloquent", but that she stood by her statement.
Arguments about allowing guns on campuses have been intense since the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. Supporters say that permitting armed students and professors lessens the danger of another massacre because they could take on a gunman before police arrive.
They have seized on the national focus on the problem of sexual assaults on campus to bolster their argument. Critics argue that more guns are not the solution, particularly in university environments.
- Telegraph Group Ltd