If you’re a fan of “Cam & Co.” on NRA News, you’ve probably noticed Antonia Okafor, who provides frequent updates on the state of campus-carry laws. Antonia was recently featured as part of the NRA’s “Freedom’s Safest Place” campaign, which highlights the authenticity and diversity of the organization’s members. The ad, titled “I Didn’t Listen,” is an instant classic. “I’ve been told that black women aren’t supposed to support the Second Amendment,” she begins, before fiercely asserting her independence and commitment to freedom.
Antonia was kind enough to talk to us about her perspective and her activities in support of the Second Amendment:
A1F Daily: What is life like being a young, black, female gun-rights proponent?
Antonia Okafor: You get a lot of stares! Ha! But really, being a young, black, female gun-rights activist is fun to me. I know it upsets some narrow-minded people to believe that someone who looks like me could have values like mine. The media has done a good job of putting people like me in a box. Well, I don't like boxes. I love freedom and I want others to enjoy those same freedoms.
A1FD: What inspired you to do the “Freedom’s Safest Place” spot?
AO: I have always been someone who wanted to stand up for people who don't have a strong voice. I want to be that voice. I want people to know that people who look like me love their Second Amendment rights just as much as anyone else. And we want to preserve that right just like anyone else (on the pro-Second Amendment side) would, as well. The commercial was my chance to let others know that gun-rights supporters come in every hue and gender. And those who look like me can find solace and encouragement in the fact that they should be proud Second Amendment people, too.The media has done a good job of putting people like me in a box.
A1FD: What has the reaction been?
AO: The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive! I have a lot of fathers telling me that I could be a role model for their daughters. And they aren't even black. That is what I love about hardcore Second Amendment people. They look past what you look like. They care if you’re a fellow freedom-lover first. I do the same.
A1FD: How do you respond to negative reactions?
AO: I have had a few people who like to name-call. They particularly like to call attention to the fact that I'm a black AND a woman (Gee, thanks! I didn't know!) and say I'm a traitor to both. My hope is to change that perspective. There need to be more people like me out there, visible and outspoken, to show America, the world, that there are plenty of us out there. Us, unicorns and all.
A1FD: What’s next in Antonia Okafor’s fight for the Second Amendment?
AO: I continue to fight for our Second Amendment rights via the campus-carry movement. I am the southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry. Campus carry passed in Texas last year and will go into effect Aug. 1. But Texas is only the eighth state to obtain this. There are still students all over America who don't have the right to self-defense on campus. I hope to change that.
I also hope to continue to break barriers and show the world through my activism, my writing for BearingArms.com, and my appearances with the NRA and NRA News that we "unicorns" are out there, and we are loud, proud and armed!
Antonia’s powerful “Freedom’s Safest Place” spot can be seen, complete with transcript, here.