On February 8th, the New Prospect Baptist Church in Cincinnati hosted a concealed carry weapon (CCW) class for nearly 200 women.
It is believed to be one of the largest women-only, concealed carry gun certification classes held in the state of Ohio.
WHO ORGANIZED THIS WOMEN-ONLY CLASS?
The class was organized by Councilman Jeff Pastor and Rev. Damon Lynch III. Rev. Damon is the church’s pastor. On the other hand, Jeff Pastor is a Republican. The T-shirt he wore to the class said: “All gun control is racist.”
The announcement of the class was made by Jeff Pastor one month before, on Facebook. According to the poster, the class was organized to help women protect themselves from sex trafficking, rape, domestic violence, and other acts of violence against women.
Nearly 200 women signed up for the class. Out of these 200 women, 179 showed up for the class. Since this church home to one of the largest black congregations, 169 out of 179 attendees were black women.
The class was taught by certified CCW licensing firm Arm The Populace. It offers firearms and personal defence training and is based out of Cincinnati itself. The company also donated its time.
The class went on for 9 hours, and a shooting range was built in an empty storage area above the church’s community centre, just for the class.
Instructor Bill Maltbie explained why it was a women’s class:
“We do them so there are no men sitting there mansplaining because they’ve played a lot of video games. We’re not here for Call of Duty. I just want to make sure I can go home at night and see my family.”
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WHY DID WOMEN ATTEND THE CLASS?
Almost all attendees had the same answer to this question. They had had enough of fear. Fear of guns, of being alone in a home, of walking in some neighbourhoods.
“It’s my right to carry…so I want to be able to. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by many different women from many different walks of life. And we’re all, you know, here to protect ourselves,” said Kai Brown. Brown signed up because she wanted to protect her family. She is a single mother with two kids.