From The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/opinion/why-i-bring-my-gun-to-school.html
July 24, 2017
It was my first year as a public policy graduate student at the University of Texas, Dallas, and I was taking all my classes at night so I could work during the day. Every evening, after class got out around 10, I had to walk through the sprawling parking lots to get to my car. I dreaded that time of day. I would pray that no one was lurking in dimly lit areas or behind cars, and I’d try not to think about the campus police alerts I’d seen about sexual assaults in the area.
I had survived such an assault myself when I was a child. The incident left me acutely aware of the realities of being preyed upon just because you are physically smaller and less likely to protect yourself. I know what it means to feel defenseless.
Now my only means of protection was a rape whistle. I would hold it in one hand and my phone in the other, the numbers 9-1-1 pre-dialed and my finger on the call button. As I neared my car, I would start to jog. It scared me to think that even if I dialed the number and blew the whistle, by the time anyone got to the scene it might be too late. When I got to my car, I’d get in, lock the doors and look behind me to make sure no one was in the back seat.
This was in 2015, around the time the Texas Legislature began debating, and ultimately passing, a so-called campus carry bill. I grew up in a Democratic, immigrant household in a suburb outside of Dallas, where guns and gun policy were never discussed, so I hadn’t paid much attention when similar bills failed in 2011 and 2013. But that year something changed. I was 25 years old, commuting alone, and as a minority woman, I felt particularly vulnerable.
I started fighting for students’ rights to carry concealed weapons for selfish reasons: I wanted to be able to protect myself. But I quickly found a network of women who felt the same way I did, and we began to advocate for our safety together. I eventually became the Southwest director of Students for Concealed Carry, and am now the founder of the self-defense nonprofit Empowered, which will open its first chapter this fall, at the University of North Texas. (I have also appeared in ads for the National Rifle Association, but I am not employed by the organization.)
When I started advocating for concealed carry on campus, I was not a “gun enthusiast” or a member of any Second Amendment organizations. I had only recently been taught to shoot by a concerned local firearms instructor who had heard about a scare I had with a cyberstalker.
Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/opinion/why-i-bring-my-gun-to-school.html