I would think that, in terms of the personal protection argument, that protecting yourself against gang rape would be a compelling reason to carry a gun. But if one looks at the circumstances of the horrific Steubeville rape, it seems obvious that if the victim–the drugged victim–had been carrying a gun that only could have made things worse. It wouldn’t have helped her–she was drugged–and those animals would have beaten her with it (or worse, but no reason to go into that here).
I can’t even think of the tragedy that would have unfolded if a family member armed himself attempting to ‘get justice’ for her. That would only make it harder to prosecute and assign fault–it would have just been chalked up as a ‘distraught’ family member and swept under the rug. It was the work of bloggers, journalists, and, yes, illegal hackers, who publicly shamed state and local authorities into doing the right thing. In terms of prevention, what’s needed are people, including young men, who would stop something this kind of sadistic brutality–this wasn’t hidden behind a bedroom door, there were a lot of bystanders who did and said nothing. But her carrying a gun would have done nothing but make the situation worse.
An unrelated aside: I can’t help but think that possible ties between Steubenville law enforcement and a gambling ring that bet on Steubenville High games has something to do with the foot dragging in this whole mess. Somebody very well might have had the goods on local law enforcement and threatened to squeal if action was taken. It should be noted that local law enforcement denies such links.