‘No apologies’: College grad makes her point, stands her ground after firestorm over campus gun photo


A Kent State University graduate has “no apologies” for her now-viral graduation photos which featured her carrying a rifle on campus.

Kaitlin Bennett became the target of liberal backlash as she celebrated her college graduation with a challenge and a nod to the past, posting a photo of herself  walking on school grounds with an AR-10 rifle strapped to her back.

The words “come and take it” were displayed on her graduation cap and her caption referred back to 1970 when four students at Kent State University were killed and nine others wounded when the Ohio National Guard opened fire during a mass protest at the school against the U.S. bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

In another photo, Bennett declared, “I have no apologies for my graduation photos,” citing her Second Amendment rights.

The 22-year-old conservative student activist was making the point that she had less rights to carry a weapon as a student on campus than she now has as a graduate. But the vocal Second Amendment advocate became an instant target for violent threats, insults and shaming by those who disagreed with her views.

“On campus I would never carry an AR-10 for self-defense,” she told The Washington Post. “There’s so many people who aren’t getting it — it’s just a photo shoot.”

Her Twitter feed was immediately filled with rebuttals and screenshots as the critics viciously attacked her.

Bennett, who graduated last week with a bachelor’s degree in biology, responded to many, clarifying and exposing truth as she tweeted. She even called out David Hogg, a student from the Parkland mass shooting, for “retweeting racist posts” about her and inviting him to “have a real conversation about guns with me like the adult you want to be.”

Kent State’s policy on weapons states “Students, staff, faculty, and third parties doing business with the university are further prohibited from possessing, storing, or using a deadly weapon while outside on university grounds, that is owned, operated or leased by the university,” CBS News reported.

But Kent State University spokesman Eric Mansfield told Fox News that Bennett violated no policies because she is now no longer a student.

“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, the founder of the libertarian media outlet Liberty Hangout at Kent State and formerly president of the Kent State chapter of Turning Point USA, wanted to call out the school’s “insulting” policies.

“I wanted to draw attention to the gun policies on campus that allow guests to open carry, but not students,” she told Fox News. “I find it insulting that the school values the lives of their guests more than those attending the university for four years.”

Bennett did get plenty of support as well as the backlash over her photos, and admitted she had even gotten a few marriage proposals – which she had to decline because she already has a boyfriend.


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