An Indiana Republican state representative has written a letter to the Indianapolis Star stating that women should arm themselves with guns to avoid being victims of rape. He wrote the letter in response to a story about sexual assault.
He urged IndyStar reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski to do a follow-up story about "the thousands of Hoosier women that are taking steps & learning how not to be a victim."
“That's always been a concern and an issue of mine is women being able to defend themselves," Lucas told IndyStar. "I personally have paid out of my pocket for dozens of women to take firearms classes.”
The photo of the handwritten letter on State of Indiana House of Representatives stationery was posted on the representative’s Facebook page.
The letter reads:
Dear Ms. Kwiatkowski,
After reading your front page article in the Sunday Star about the tragedy of rape, it would be nice to see a follow up article about the thousands of Hoosier women that are taking steps & learning how not to be a victim.
Sincerely, Jim Lucas
Lucas also posted a snapshot of the story Kwiatkowski wrote, about a sexual assault survivor who now advocates for survivor rights. Lucas wrote on Facebook that he'd met with members of the Women Armed and Ready group to talk about how guns can "empower women to be able to protect themselves."
Studies from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center have shown guns are not any more effective than other preventative measures when used in self-defense.
After a backlash to his Facebook posts, and comments accusing Lucas of victim-blaming, the representative claims he’d been “publicly excoriated” for sharing his view.
On Saturday, Lucas said he’d had an opportunity to speak with the woman profiled in the original story realized why people were offended, according to NBC News.
“I learned how common, everyday words can be so extremely sensitive to survivors of such horrible acts,” Lucas wrote. He also stated that people have twisted his words.
[Indiana House of Reps Republican Caucus]