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A Rape Survivor Says Thank You for Protecting Self-Defense

March 11, 2018

From my friend, Shayna Lopez-Rivas, and reposted with permission. Shayna lives, works, and went to school in Florida.

To the Senators and Representatives that voted no on that atrocious bill our Governor Rick Scott signed in to law, this is for you. Thank you!

I am writing you to sincerely thank you for standing up for our Second Amendment rights and voting against the most recent gun control legislation that is now in effect today (3/9/18). Though I do not live in your district (my Rep and Senator are anti-gun shills), I wish I could have you in my district, as my representatives do not seem to know what it means to take an oath that swears “to support, protect, and defend the Constitution.”

In 2014, when I was 20 years old I was raped on my university’s campus by a deranged sociopath wielding a knife. A good friend of mine quickly brought me to the range soon thereafter and that was when I realized three things: 1) firearms could be used in self-defense, 2) I could have used that firearm to defend myself, and 3) I could now use firearms to defend myself and ensure I never become a victim again. I devoted myself to training and soon enough I had a firearm, when I was 20 years old, NOT 21.

It’s why I feel particularly hurt by this legislation with Governor Scott rubbing salt in old wounds by signing it.

In the weeks/months following my attack, there were days where I not only didn’t feel safe outside my home, but I didn’t even feel safe IN my own home. Those were days when I was still training, prior to possessing a firearm. When I finally had a firearm, even if I couldn’t carry at the time and thus still didn’t feel safe outside of my home, at least I had the peace of mind that I was SAFE in my home because I had the ability and the means to fight back should someone break and enter and try to attack me.

That is what my firearm granted me—peace of mind.

Had this bill passed in 2014, I would have NOT had that peace of mind for nearly a year after my attack (about 10 months) until I turned 21. And though this bill does not affect me now, I am disheartened and extremely saddened for other victims of violent attacks both now, and in the future, who are not yet 21 and who will not be able to have the choice to empower themselves and obtain the peace of mind that I was able to have.

I am extremely concerned that this bill is only the first of many. Why stop at 21? Why not raise the age of concealed carry and the ability to purchase firearms to 25? 30? What if we put a prohibition on POSSESSING firearms?

Thank you to those of you who stood in support of the Second Amendment. I’m sorry you must deal with your cowardly colleagues who do not agree. I’m sorry that they simply do not understand what they are doing and how it severely impacts individuals much like myself. And I’m equally sorry for the anti-gun crowd and its nonsense you are likely putting up with right now.

I just want you to know that by not backing this poisonous legislation that is a direct attack on our Constitutional rights, there’s at least one person that supported/supports you. You did the right thing.

Thank you for supporting individuals like me when you voted no.

Shayna Lopez-Rivas

You can follow Shayna here.

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