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Citing ‘risk,’ college cancels Second Amendment activist’s speech hours before it begins

Campus officials had previously approved event; the school subsequently deemed it too ‘controversial’

Hampshire College, a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts, cancelled the speaking engagement of a gun rights activist on its campus mere hours before it began, claiming that the speech merited “extra considerations and precautions.”

Antonia Okafor, a Second Amendment activist who recently founded a women’s campus carry advocacy group, was slated to speak on Hampshire’s campus last night, with the college having approved of the event earlier this month. Okafor had been invited to the campus by Hampshire student Rahim Hirani.

“They approved my event on Monday and canceled it two hours before the event,” Hirani told The College Fix via email.

In a livestream broadcast from Okafor’s Twitter feed, Hirani said he approached “campus leadership” about allowing Okafor to come speak on campus, for which he received permission. “I filled out the form,” Hirani said, “I completed all the requirements, I filled out a contract.”

Hirani said he titled the event “Women Empowerment and Second Amendment” and provided a photograph with the application materials featuring Okafor holding two handguns. A Facebook listing of the event features the same photograph.”You can assume,” Hirani said, given the title and the photograph, “that it’s going to be a politically controversial event.”

Hirani said the university approved the speaking engagement. An email obtained by The College Fix shows that the event was approved three days ago, on December 4.

“Just two hours ahead of the event,” Hirani said in the livestream, “I received an email saying, ‘We have to cancel this event because we deem it too controversial and we are receiving calls from students and staff and professors and they are upset about it.”

That email, sent by Campus Leadership and Activities director Carolyn Koske Strycharz and obtained by The Fix, states that “an event where someone is coming to campus to speak about the second amendment, which is a very controversial subject, would need to have extra considerations and precautions put into place which cannot be done on such short notice.”

“Hampshire cannot assume the risk of this person coming to campus without additional measures put into place,” Strycharz wrote.

It is unclear why the university approved of the event in the first place. The College Fix reached out via phone to Hampshire spokesman John Courtmanche and Joshua Murray on Wednesday night. Both numbers went to voicemail; messages left with both spokesmen were not immediately returned.

On her Twitter feed shortly after the event was cancelled by Hampshire College, Okafor wrote: “The Dean of @hampshirecolg…has just now cancelled my speech scheduled in 2 hours. They deemed my topic: the second amendment… ‘very controversial’.” Okafor did not immediately return a request for comment via email and Twitter direct message.

Okafor is scheduled to speak at Mount Holyoke College on Thursday night. Students at that college created an “alternative space” ahead of her speech in order to foster “productive action…without fueling the messaging of the Right.”

Hampshire College made headlines last year after the school banned the American flag on campus in order to combat “hate-based violence.” The president of the college later claimed that, in removing the flag, the school “acted solely to facilitate much-needed dialogue on our campus about how to dismantle the bigotry that is prevalent in our society.”

MORE: A new women’s gun advocacy group highlights the popularity of Texas campus carry

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  • Michael C. Guinn

    Debating and explaining a constitutional right is now apparently a clear and present danger😡

    • Chip Goodman

      To them it is . They fear the truth.


    Our future liberty is endangered when our Constitution is considered “a very controversial subject”. The America of my youth, where boys were scouts, and perversion was perversion, is long gone. The future, however, is going to be bleak as we become a third world country.

  • FastEddie

    Poor children were triggered!

  • Chip Goodman

    Note the cowardly application of the words “controversial”, “risk” and “safety” as the now standard step towards pulling the plug on any right-of-center voices. It is a transparent effort for administrators to exercise control of their chosen message, which is consistently left wing. Just like the hackneyed labeling of conservatives as “extremists”, it is an effort to effectively criminalize and undercut positions which do not toe the progressive line. Socialism and the destruction of American values (known as progressivism) are genuinely controversial and pose great risks to the safety of our nation. This is a clear example of the active Culture War.

  • ramrodd

    Marxists and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.

    The Second Amendment foes lying about gun control – Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government.

    Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media hookers tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

    These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

    Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved.

    Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

    American Thinker

  • SoylentGreenTea

    Never allow dissenting voices to have a platform in snowflake education camps…. they might actually start to think for themselves.

  • Gene C Clark

    Lame. Sue the school.

  • another_engineer

    Does this surprise anyone? Hampshire college is located in Amherst, Massachusetts

  • PavePusher

    Hampshire College went Full SJW Fascist.

  • PavePusher

    “an event where someone is coming to campus to speak about the second amendment, which is a very controversial subject, would need to have extra considerations and precautions put into place which cannot be done on such short notice.”

    So, anti-gun people really ARE violent, fascist thugs? THAT is why we need our guns.