Last month, Brenna Spencer, a 22-year-old college graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, had her graduation photos go viral after she posed with her shirt partially lifted to reveal her .380 handgun tucked into her jeans. Now, another 2018 college graduate has had her graduation photos go viral because of their pro-gun message.
Kaitlin Bennett is a 22-year-old graduate of Kent State University and is the founder of Liberty Hangout at Kent State. In her now viral photos, Bennett poses with her AR-10 slung over her shoulder and a graduation cap that is decorated with a rifle and the words, “Come And Take It.”
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
In her tweet, Kaitlin advocates for campus carry, a position that is supported by many gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment. Interestingly, Kent State University is all for open carry on its campus. However, that rule does not apply to current university students, faculty, and staff.
Here’s more from Fox News:
The university has a rule against students, faculty, and staff carrying “deadly weapons.” But Kent State University spokesman Eric Mansfield told Fox News that because Bennett is no longer a student, she violated no policies.
“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.”
Mansfield noted that KSU has a full-time, certified police force of more than 30 sworn officers who protect the campus and the university was recently ranked the safest big college campus in Ohio and the 25th safest in the country, according to National Council for Home Safety and Security.
To make her point that students should be allowed to carry on campus just as guests are, Kaitlin said, “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.”
The four students that Kaitlin is referencing died during the Kent State Massacre that occurred on May 4, 1970. At that time, Americans across the country were displeased with the U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam War, and college students at Kent State wanted their voices heard. On Friday, May 1, protests began but tensions “quickly escalated into a violent confrontation between protestors and local police.” The following Monday, members of the Ohio National Guard, who had been called to keep things under control, opened fire on a group of student demonstrators who were protesting former President Richard Nixon’s decision to invade Cambodia and pursue the Viet Cong. Four students died and nine others were injured.
Kent State has an entire page on its school website dedicated to detailing the events of the days leading up to, during, and after the massacre.
Like Spencer, Bennett received harsh criticism for her photos and support for the Second Amendment. Here are just a few of the responses she received:
what kind of psychopath needs that kind of gun, a handgun is understandable but your absolutely ridiculous lmao wth
— Lexi Maurins (@LexiMaurins) May 14, 2018
may I just ask what exactly you need a weapon like that for other than a task that would lead to mass destruction. that’s a weapon of war. was this to merely start controversy or are you just an extremely hostile and dangerous person? you shouldnt be taking so much pride in this
— nikki (@astrlolgy) May 14, 2018
You are an embarrassment to the great Kent legacy
— ? (@LiberalMo) May 16, 2018
But Marie isn’t backing down. She replied to the Twittersphere, saying, “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.” The comment was posted with another photo of Marie on graduation day with her AR-10.
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
You can watch Kaitlin Bennett’s interview on Fox and Friends below.
— Kaitlin Marie (@KaitMarieox) May 17, 2018