Antonia Okafor wanted a gun.
During her first year of graduate school at the University of Texas, Dallas, she wrote in a New York Times op-ed that she worked during the day and took all her classes at night.
"Every evening, after class got out around 10, I had to walk through the sprawling parking lots to get to my car," Okafor explained. "I dreaded that time of day. I would pray that no one was lurking in dimly lit areas or behind cars, and I’d try not to think about the campus police alerts I’d seen about sexual assaults in the area."
What's more, she said she was assaulted as a child — which left her "acutely aware of the realities of being preyed upon just because you are physically smaller and less likely to protect yourself. I know what it means to feel defenseless."
"Now my only means of protection was a rape whistle," Okafor said. "I would hold it in one hand and my phone in the other, the numbers 9-1-1 pre-dialed and my finger on the call button. As I neared my car, I would start to jog. It scared me to think that even if I dialed the number and blew the whistle, by the time anyone got to the scene it might be too late. When I got to my car, I’d get in, lock the doors and look behind me to make sure no one was in the back seat."
And around the time the Texas Legislature was debating the campus-carry bill in 2015 — which it eventually passed — Okafor said she began advocating for the right of students to carry concealed and soon became the Southwest director of Students for Concealed Carry. All despite coming from a Democratic household and never having been a "gun enthusiast."
"But from the minute I put my hands around a Ruger LC9 pistol, the gun I regularly carry with me now, I felt more in control," she continued. "I felt empowered to be holding a tool that could protect me physically, and I was determined to learn how to use it responsibly. It was a relief to know that I could shoot if I had to, even though I would never use my gun unless it was a last means of self-defense. I got my concealed carry license a year ago."
Okafor added that she regularly comes across "liberals who fear irresponsible gun use and think that college kids (even if they are 21) can’t be trusted with firearms."
Worse yet, Okafor wrote that "many liberals ... don’t support a woman’s 'right to choose' when it comes to her own self-defense," adding that "I fiercely resent being told that I can’t protect myself according to my rights as an American."
"Contrary to popular belief, there is a place for young, pro-Second Amendment women in modern feminism," she concluded. "And there is a place for them on college campuses."
And wouldn't you know Times readers took issue with Okafor's stance?
"Yet another argument for guns that relies on emotions, not facts," one reader commented. "You are not, statistically, safer with a gun ... Guns pose an embarrassing public safety risk, exacerbated by concealed carry. Your argument lacks rigor. The Texas law in question is a travesty, and should be overturned as soon as possible."
Another asked, "Why carry a gun instead of pepper spray, which will incapacitate an attacker but is not lethal and not a danger to innocent bystanders?"
"As a black person the author should be careful what she wishes for," another commenter declared. "Just as with drugs, if things go wrong with a gun (and every day you can read articles that show very clearly that they do and will), blacks will be the first to be severely punished. Blacks continue to be stereotyped as violent, and she's not helping."
Yet another dissenting commenter added, "This young woman most likely has the best of intentions, but it sounds like extensive psychotherapy and trauma therapy is what is needed, not the false sense of security that comes with carrying a firearm."
But not every reader was bothered by Okafor's piece.
"With gun control, would be rapists and other non-law-abiding citizens would still be able to gain access to firearms while law-abiding citizens would be left defenseless," one observed. "Gun control only takes firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens."
The best reply may have been from a "a middle-aged, liberal, and gun-hating white male. As far as I'm concerned, there's no demographic that deserves wide rights to bear firearms more than black women. I totally support you, Ms. Okafor."
Here's Okafor speaking about the issue on a video for TheBlaze:
(H/T: Truth Revolt)