A Kent State University graduate is under fire after she proudly carried her AR-10 rifle onto the Ohio campus – and the young lady is refusing to apologize for posting photos of herself with the weapon.
In a Twitter post that went viral, Kaitlin Bennett, 22, said she can “arm herself” since she has graduated from the university. One photo shows Bennett also carrying her mortar board, which says, “Come and take it.” Bennett’s post has nearly 20,000 “likes” and has been retweeted about 5,000 times.
Now that I graduated from @KentState, I can finally arm myself on campus. I should have been able to do so as a student- especially since 4 unarmed students were shot and killed by the government on this campus. #CampusCarryNow pic.twitter.com/a91fQH44cq
— Kaitlin Marie (@KaitMarieox) May 13, 2018
Kent State University has a policy on “deadly weapons” that states: “Pursuant to the statutory authority of the board of trustees to regulate the use of university property and the conduct of the students, staff, faculty, and visitors to the campus so that law and order are maintained, it is the policy of the university to prohibit the possession, storage, or use of a deadly weapon in certain circumstances on university property, unless otherwise permitted by state law.”
Bennett, who founded Liberty Hangout at Kent State, argues that she should have been allowed to carry a weapon on campus, even as a student, “especially since 4 unarmed students were shot and killed by the government.” She was referencing a 1970 Vietnam War protest during which members of the Ohio National Guard killed four university students and wounded nine other people.
Since posting her photos, Bennett has received death threats, according to Fox News. Still, Bennett said she tweeted the images to protest the university’s “insulting” gun policy.
“I wanted to draw attention to the gun policies on campus that allow guests to open carry, but not students,” she said. “I find it insulting that the school values the lives of their guests more than those attending the university for four years.”
Kent State University spokesman Eric Mansfield told Fox News that Bennett didn’t violate the “deadly weapons” rule because she’s no longer a student there.
“After graduation, she joined the ranks of our proud graduates,” Mansfield said. “So at the time of this photo, she and other graduates would be permitted to open carry on our campus.”
Bennett’s social-media posts have triggered a flood of comments, many supporting her and many others criticizing her decision to pose with her rifle.
In one post, Bennett wrote: “I have no apologies for my graduation photos. As a woman, I refuse to be a victim & the second amendment ensures that I don’t have to be.”
I have no apologies for my graduation photos. As a woman, I refuse to be a victim & the second amendment ensures that I don’t have to be. pic.twitter.com/5CKmQobrMb
— Kaitlin Marie (@KaitMarieox) May 15, 2018
On Thursday, Bennett told Fox News she’s been offered a job by Blue Target Firearms. While several critics claim her AR-10 is an “assault rifle,” Bennett responded, “Don’t talk about gun control when you can’t even get your facts straight.”
As WND recently reported, other college graduates have been packing heat to make statements about their support for the Second Amendment.
Brenna Spencer, a 22-year-old senior who graduates this month from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, triggered rage on Twitter after she posted photos of herself flaunting her pro-Trump views along with a handgun tucked into her waistband.
While most soon-to-be graduates pose for traditional photos wearing a cap and gown, Spencer flaunted her Trump support with T-shirts that read “Women for Trump” and “Proud Member of the Basket of Deplorables,” a reference to the infamous nickname former Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton gave to Trump voters.
In one photo, Spencer posed with a handgun tucked into the waistband of her jeans.
I don’t take normal college graduation photos… pic.twitter.com/eI1NvLFYHs
— Brenna Spencer (@BrennaSpencer) April 7, 2018
Not everyone was happy about Spencer’s posts. Several Twitter users ridiculed her.
“I’m 100% pro gun but brandishing a firearm for a photo shoot or showing it off to try and look cool is just stupid,” said a user named Reed. “They are tools. Why brag about carrying a gun?”
Spencer replied: “Because I’m proud of my second amendment right, and I want to empower other women! Absolutely they are tools, but I will always brag about being able to carry a gun to protect myself, my friends and my family!”
Others accuser Spencer of breaking the law and even ridiculed her looks.
Spencer told ABC News she was stunned by how much attention her posts received.
“I did think that it would get a little attention, but not to this degree,” she said. “It was really, really surprising to see the amount of hate that I got.”
Twitter users and even ABC News apparently alerted police to Spencer’s post. Some people noted that Spencer appeared to be on the grounds of the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, an establishment that prohibits concealed carry. But Spencer said she took the photo outside the museum.