One of the most rewarding things that has happened to me since launching the Kimberly Handbags brand is meeting so many interesting people in the 2A space. I never felt like I fit the mold of a typical "gun girl". I always intuitively believed this community was diverse in many ways and the archetype didn't feel nuanced enough or authentic.
My journey started as a young mother of two with a husband whose career kept him away from us for days at a time. I had a strongly held belief that I had the right and responsibility to protect my babies at all cost, and not having a man around much of the time forced me to consider what I would do if our safety were threatened. With little exposure to firearms, I began the process of educating and training in various forms of self defense. I eventually reached the point where I felt confident and proficient enough to carry a gun and get my license.
Most of the people I interacted with had no idea I had this license and held these beliefs and would sometimes make statements referring to "gun people" in a pejorative way. Their bias had been formed and reinforced by the stereotypes they were exposed to in the media or society in general. Sporting my mom jeans and driving a Volvo SUV, I didn't look like someone who had a black belt or carried a gun.
I recently interviewed Antonia Okafor Cover, the director of outreach for Gun Owners of America and podcast host of Ricochet networks, Bulletproof. I believe she knows a thing or two about the misconceptions of "gun people". Antonia is a black, millennial, conservative female. I asked Antonia if she felt there's a tendency to not be taken seriously as a young and stylish woman in this space and how does she see the 2a movement evolving for women?
"I believe we will see more women in leadership positions that will allow us to have a seat at the table and make decisions in the gun world. Instead of always begging for someone on the industry to hear us out. It will also be more inclusive to different types of people. Not all of us have a military or law enforcement background. We are just everyday women, daughters, mothers, students who don’t want to change our lifestyles and style in order to protect ourselves."
Antonia Okafor Cover started a non profit organization in 2017 that educates and equips women through the second amendment. It is now the official women's outreach project for the GOA. She regularly appears on Fox News, and the Black News Channel. She is a certified firearms instructor and teaches free women's only classes throughout her Houston community. You may also find Antonia on Instagram.
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