Hampshire College cancels speech by advocate for guns on campuse - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Hampshire College cancels speech by advocate for guns on campuses

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Hampshire College apologizing after canceling a speech by a woman who advocates for allowing guns on college campuses.

Antonia Okafor was scheduled to speak on campus last night, but the speech was canceled.  

The college said that the "student application was not sufficiently complete" but Okafor believes it had to do with her conservative viewpoints.

Okafor was invited by a campus group for South Asian and international students to speak last night.  It’s all part of a nationwide campus tour she’s doing.
 
Hampshire College canceled her speech two hours before saying that the "student application was not sufficiently complete" and it was not because of Okafor.

However, Okafor claims the school canceled because her talk was too controversial for college students to hear.
 
"I really think this is their way of trying to restrict conservative speakers and those who have viewpoints that are vastly different than their own or their students.  I want to empower women  That's what I'm really here for.  It's in a way that's different than what most people have heard of when they think about feminism, but for me, I believe the second amendment enables every citizen to protect themselves," Okafor said. 

Hampshire College released a statement that said

"We sincerely apologize to Antonia Okafor for canceling her speech tonight that was to have been held on the Hampshire College campus.

We did not cancel the speech because of the speaker, the subject of the speech, or the content. Hampshire College values academic freedom and the careful examination of ideas, including when those ideas may be controversial.

The College did not follow its own procedures in sufficiently reviewing the application before we approved it. We take responsibility for that mistake.

We canceled the event when we realized that the student application was not sufficiently complete. It lacked the necessary details we require in advance of any event, particularly one that might draw large audiences and intense debate, so we can allot the appropriate resources to staff and support the event. We will reach out to Antonia Okafor and to the student organizers with an offer to discuss this process and consider options for rescheduling her visit to campus."

This comes just a week after a conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich spoke at the University of Connecticut.

Wintrich was charged with second degree breach of peace after the way he reacted when a woman in the audience took the hard copy of his speech from the podium.

Video from the event shows Wintrich grabbing her to retrieve the piece of paper and police said that it was in a violent manner.
 
Hampshire College says they have spoken with Okafor and would like to reschedule.  Okafor said that she would absolutely consider coming back.

Okafor is scheduled to speak tonight at Mount Holyoke College and Western Mass News will be there and have more coming up tonight on Western Mass News Eleven@11 on ABC40.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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