(Moline, Illinois) – An Illinois woman saved herself from a likely sexual assault, or worse, last week by displaying her handgun to her attacker.
Investigators confirm that the woman was parked in a shopping mall late Sunday evening, when 61-yr-old Floyd May forced his way into her vehicle and ordered her to drive to a secluded area after slashing her arm with a knife multiple times.
According to Fox News, once she stopped the vehicle, the woman was able to reach her handgun which she legally carries. Seeing the pistol, May fled the vehicle on foot, allowing the woman to drive away to a nearby hospital.
Police eventually identified and arrested May, who is facing charges including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and aggravated assault.
May is being held on a bond of over a $500,000. No charges are expected to be filed against the woman, despite the fact that Illinois gun laws are some of the most restrictive in the nation.
According to polling done by Pew Research, women and men are different when it comes to carrying firearms:
Women who own guns tend to become gun owners at a later age than men.On average, women who own a gun or have owned one in the past report that they first got their own gun when they were 27 years old, compared with an average of 19 for men who own or have owned guns.
Women are more likely than men to cite protection – rather than recreation – as the only reason they own a gun. Male and female gun owners are about equally likely to cite protection as a reason why they own guns: About nine-in-ten in each group say this is a reason, and 65% and 71%, respectively, say it is a majorreason. But far larger shares of women than men who own guns say protection is theonly reason they own a gun: About a quarter of women who own guns (27%) are in this category, compared with just 8% of men.
Women who own guns are less likely than their male counterparts to say they go sport shooting or hunting, though substantial shares of women do so. About four-in-ten female gun owners (43%) say they go shooting or to a gun range often or sometimes; 58% of men who own guns say the same. And while 37% of male gun owners say they go hunting at least sometimes, 28% of women who own guns do so.
Female gun owners are less likely than male gun owners to say they watch TV programs or videos about guns and to say they visit websites about guns, hunting or shooting sports. A third of women gun owners (33%) say they often or sometimes watch TV shows or videos about guns, compared with 43% of men who own guns. And 28% of women who own guns say they visit websites about guns, hunting or shooting sports, compared with 39% of male gun owners. Female gun owners are also less likely to be in a social group where gun ownership is the norm. Four-in-ten women who own guns say all or most of their friends also own guns, compared with 54% of male gun owners who say all or most of their friends do.
Male gun owners are more likely than female gun owners to say there is a gun that is both loaded and easily accessible to them all of the time when they’re at home. Some 43% of men who own guns say this is the case, compared with 29% of women gun owners. However, among those who own handguns, equal shares of men and women (26% each) say they carry their gun outside their home all or most of the time.
Men and women who own guns are similar when it comes to how they see gun ownership. Majorities of both groups of gun owners consider the right to own guns to be essential to their personal sense of freedom (70% of women and 77% of men), and somewhat similar shares say being a gun owner is very or somewhat important to their overall identity (46% and 52%, respectively). On each of these questions, the differences between men and women are not statistically significant.