During a discussion about increased gun ownership among black women in America on Tuesday, ABC's "The View" guest co-host Sherri Shepherd revealed that she recently became a gun owner and that the decision has left her feeling "empowered."
"I bought a 9MM gun," Shepherd proudly announced on the show as some in the audience gasped and even chuckled.
"I don't know why you're laughing," she shot back jokingly.
Shepherd, a single mother, went on to explain that she purchased the firearm to better protect her children after feeling "helpless" during last year's riots.
"During the quarantine, I felt really helpless," she told co-host Joy Behar.
"I felt like Jeffrey would look at me like he was so scared. I get these little alerts in my neighborhood app about ... a march through the neighborhood, and I started feeling like how am I going to protect my son if something happens?"
The actress said that she and a few friends purchased firearms from a black-owned gun shop in California. The group of friends proceeded to take the proper lessons and continue to practice proper handling of the weapon.
"I felt very empowered when I bought this gun. I took lessons. I took the test. I go to the range with my girlfriends like every other week, and it just makes me feel like at least if something happens, I can protect my child," she said.
More Black Women Purchasing Guns? | The Viewwww.youtube.com
While Shepherd's story likely resonated with countless Americans who own guns as a way to defend themselves and their families, her liberal fellow co-hosts felt much different and made sure to let her know.
Co-host Sunny Hostin acknowledged that many of her black female friends have also purchased guns during the COVID-19 pandemic, but she noted that she personally doesn't think buying a gun is a good decision.
"I know the statistics, and that when you do have a gun in your home, you are more likely to kill a loved one or a relative and the suicide rate goes up in your own home when you have a gun," Hostin argued.
She went on to add that many black Americans have likely armed up because of the persistent threat of white supremacism in the country.
"But I still believe that in this country, our readiness to sort of allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at will has led to violence and hatred becoming a really popular pastime," she added.
During the discussion, Joy Behar jumped in to tout her support for gun control and warned that increased black gun ownership would only lead to more gun control reforms in response.
Shepherd, who formerly co-hosted "The View" from 2007 to 2014, has temporarily rejoined the show in the place of Meghan McCain. She is known for her roles in TV shows and movies such as "30 Rock," "Precious," and "Madagascar 2."