Second Amendment advocate and recent Kent State University graduate Kaitlin Bennett has sparked debate for the way she expressed her opposition to the school's policy against students carrying firearms on campus.
Bennett just accepted her diploma on Saturday. The next day, she posted a photo on Twitter that showed the new alumna walking with an AR-10 on campus while carrying her cap emblazoned with the words "Come and take it."
Kent State's firearms policy allows alums and visitors to carry outdoors on campus, but students, faculty and staff are prohibited from doing so. In Bennett's accompanying message to her photo, she wrote, "Now that I graduated from @KentState, I can finally arm myself on campus."
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. #CampusCarryNowpic.twitter.com/a91fQH44cq
— Kaitlin Marie (@KaitMarieox) May 13, 2018
The post has been retweeted 2,800 times and drew attention from gun-control advocates and Second Amendment supporters alike — with Kaitlin receiving messages ranging from death threats to marriage proposals.
In an interview with Campus Reform, Bennett explained her protest further, saying, "Kent State University is a school in which the government shot four unarmed students 48 years ago. I believe not only that those four students would be alive today had they had the right to carry on campus, but that students today would be much safer."
She argued, "Universities that prohibit students from defending themselves but allow guests to do so are in a sense saying that they don't value the safety of their students. Why are guests more important than the students who are paying thousands of dollars to attend the university?"
Responding to Bennett's photo shoot, Kent State spokesman Eric Mansfield confirmed that the recent alumna did not violate any school policies. He said, "After graduation, she joined the ranks of our proud graduates. So at the time of this photo, she and other graduates would be permitted to open carry on our campus."
During her time as a student at the university, Bennett founded Kent State's Liberty Hangout, a libertarian media outlet that promotes Austrian economics, property rights, and peace.