In response to a Democratic presidential debate question on Oct. 13, 2015, Hillary Clinton put the 5 million members of the NRA at the top of the list of enemies she is most proud of.
This is unprecedented: On national television, a candidate for president of the United States named peaceable, law-abiding gun owners, who are simply trying to protect the Second Amendment, as her biggest enemies. She even listed NRA members ahead of Iran—the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Drug cartels, Vladimir Putin, North Korea and ISIS terrorists didn’t even get a mention.
Clinton’s declaration made us wonder how NRA members feel about being recklessly declared her enemy. So we decided to ask them: How does it feel to be named Public Enemy Number 1 by Hillary Clinton?
Today we hear from Antonia Okafor, Second Amendment advocate and the southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry.
It’s funny to think that just a few years ago, I would probably have been all in for Hillary Clinton. I voted for President Barack Obama—not just once, but both times. I grew up a staunch Democrat, and my family remains that way today. My transformation from a liberal Democrat, who didn’t really care much about our God-given rights, to a young Republican woman who not only loves liberty but fights for it via the campus-carry movement, might seem to be a strange one. To me though, it really was just a natural progression. You can’t help but change when you finally realize that if the government sees one right of yours as outdated or useless, then it could soon see all of them that way.
As a graduate student on a college campus, my First Amendment right to free speech was a right that I had taken away from me firsthand. During the 2015 Texas Legislative session, when colleges across Texas began the discussion of whether students could exercise their Second Amendment right on campus, I noticed that my side—the pro-campus carry side—did not have much of a voice. I became that voice. I spoke with students on campus and rallied supporters in an effort to show my peers, our professors and the media around me that my generation had had enough of gun control. We had seen that it simply does not work.It starts with the First Amendment, then it goes to the Second. Before you know it, your rights are completely stripped from you.
One day, after petitioning for two hours on my campus, an administrator stopped me and fellow members of the organization I belonged to. He didn’t like it that I was discussing such a “dangerous topic” on a public university campus. He asked to see our permit, and then questioned if we even knew the facts about the topic that we were so passionately discussing with other students.
We ended our petitioning that day. That incident is just a symptom of a phenomenon that we have seen lately with institutions of higher learning. It starts with the First Amendment, then it goes to the Second. Before you know it, your rights are completely stripped from you.
That’s what I know will happen with a Clinton presidency. First, she will name law-abiding citizens like you and me as Public Enemy Number One. Then, she will expand and enforce restrictive gun-control laws that only affect law-abiding citizens. Next, we will be looking at our children and grandchildren—those on college campuses—and wondering, “Why are we even having the discussion of whether or not they can protect themselves?” As if that right is such a radical concept in the first place!
Thankfully, my transformation is one that took me from being ignorant of my rights as a Democrat to now fighting for them as a Republican. As a young black woman, Hillary and company will try to drown out my voice. And they will try to drown out the voices of those who not only look like me, but who think like me. We refuse to let them do so.
Enough is enough. And no, that’s not a rallying cry for more gun control. The 5 million NRA members are diverse, yet we stand for one unifying principle: Our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.