During Barack Obama’s presidency, liberal aversion to firearms was at its peak. After a mass shooting or terrorist attack, President Obama used his platform to call for comprehensive gun control, and his supporters followed suit.
Now that President Trump is in office, however, liberals are slowly coming around to the idea of embracing the Second Amendment and owning a firearm.
Niecee X, founder of the Black Women’s Defense League in Dallas, Texas, had a sheltered Catholic upbringing. In a video published by Vice, Niecee said she used to hate guns and “drank the Kool-Aid” when it came to the rhetoric about gun control.
“I’ve never been a big fan of guns to tell you the truth,” Niecee said. “I think they’re probably one of the worst inventions on Earth.”
Due to her grandmother’s love for politics, Niecee started going to protests and became politically engaged. Soon, she was on the receiving end of domestic violence from a romantic partner while she was pregnant, and lost her child as a result.
“It was a really, really horrible feeling,” Niecee said describing her experience. “It wasn’t horrible I think for the reasons most people think it was. It wasn’t like the pain of anything immediate happening. It was just feeling powerless.”
In addition to being strong advocates for the Second Amendment, the Black Women’s Defense League looks to empower young black women to not only stand up to systemic racism and misogyny, especially against abusive partners and family members.
The BWDL also administers social programs in their community by providing free breakfast and lunch for children as well as clothing and hygiene products to low-income families. It’s leadership that some in their community feel is sorely needed.
Niecee views guns as “a tool of self defense.”
“If I had it my way, guns wouldn’t exist,” she said. “However, if you’re providing education and knowledge of self, then it becomes useful for what it is, which is self defense. Because in the event that you or a family member needs to use it, it’s really important that it’s not something that’s scary to you.”
Of course, the main obstacle that black gun owners face is how they’re viewed by white people and the police. As much as critics like to dismiss the notion that white privilege exists, it’s the most obvious when African-Americans carry guns.
“When you’re an armed group and have a gun involved and you start talking about privileges. White privilege, say for example, John Crawford was shot in an open-carry state,” one man with the BWDL said. “If it’s an open-carry state and I’m in a Wal-Mart, carrying a gun, why would you shoot me on sight even if the gun is real?”
John Crawford III was shot and killed by police at an Ohio Wal-Mart when an employee called police after Crawford picked up an air rifle off the store shelf.
He continued, “When Niecee is holding a gun, people see a different thing than just ‘Oh, she must be a Second Amendment advocate.’ They’re not going to initially associate it with some sort of constitutional right. They’re gonna wanna know ‘what is she up to?'”
Watch the entire video from Vice below: