“It can happen anywhere.” The omnipresent threat of terror and violence is the common thread that has drawn three young women together in support of concealed carry on campus. They believe that if it’s fine for them to have their gun tucked away with them Friday at the mall, Saturday at the theater and Sunday at church, then they should also be able to take that same gun onto campus on Monday.
It’s about personal protection, not campus protection, say Lydia Longoria, Antonia Okafor and Joanna Rodriguez. The ladies are members of Students For Concealed Carry, and they’re leading the charge in a fight for their rights.
All three are based out of Texas, which in 2016 became our nation’s eighth state to allow law-abiding gun owners the ability to carry a concealed firearm on campus. The law went into effect Aug. 1.
Not everyone agreed with this new legislation. A group of students at the University of Texas staged a protest against campus carry on the first day of classes. There have also been professors who have filed suit or resigned over the law.
For Longoria, Okafor and Rodriguez, it’s simply a matter of self-defense. As Longoria explained, “I’m not hiding behind my gun. I’m empowered by my gun.”
Ginny Simone sat down with the women who have become the new voice in the campus-carry movement to discuss why it’s so important to them and to talk about the growing movement.