Kent State Alum Defends Commencement Photoshoot With Rifle


When a brand new alumnae of Kent State College tried to problem the varsity’s gun guidelines by means of a commencement picture of herself touting a AR-10 on campus, it was laborious for a lot of to not see it as an indication of disrespect in opposition to the four scholar protesters that had been gunned down within the notorious Kent State shootings that occurred 48 years earlier than.

Kaitlin Bennett shared a staged picture of herself on Monday with a rifle slung over her again and a commencement cap embellished with the phrases, “come and take it.” The commencement photoshoot is a reference to the varsity’s deadly weapons policy, which prohibits college students, workers, and “third parties doing business with the university” from “possessing, storing, or using a deadly weapon” on campus. Guests are additionally explicitly prohibited from possessing, storing, or utilizing lethal weapons inside college buildings, autos, and services, however should not prohibited from doing so whereas outdoors on college grounds. Ohio is an open-carry state.

The picture that went viral on Twitter consists of the caption, “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”

Since her motion, she says she has acquired demise threats for championing her pro-gun beliefs, however, the 22-year-old instructed Teen Vogue she hopes folks will contemplate having a “respectful conversation” along with her for holding what many see as an unpopular viewpoint.

“I wasn’t expecting the outrage, straight-out death threats,” Kaitlin instructed Teen Vogue. “They told me they would kill me. They told me they’re going to find me; they’ve told me to commit suicide. I assumed people would say, oh, this girl needs to be punched, but not messaging me saying I want to kill you or I will kill you, and that’s crazy.”

The Kent State shooting referenced in Kaitlin’s tweet occurred on Might four, 1970, when 4 college students had been killed by the Ohio Nationwide Guard throughout a protest over President Richard Nixon’s announcement that the U.S. would invade Cambodia as a part of the Vietnam Conflict. The scholars had been operating away because the Nationwide Guard shot into the gang, killing 4 and injuring others.

On Twitter, some known as the reference “tasteless” and “very disrespectful.” Kaitlin instructed Teen Vogue that she referenced the capturing as a result of she believes the Second Modification can be utilized defensively to stop a tyrannical authorities.

“I’m anti-war, so I may have been on that side with them,” Kaitlin instructed Teen Vogue. “The fact that the government got called in because they were protesting and shot them—it’s actually absurd. If that [does] not scream tyrannical government, I don’t know what does. I think the government knowing that citizens are armed makes them less likely to go in and infringe on our rights.”

Whereas some college students like Kaitlin really feel safer with campus carry legal guidelines, inserting the burden on college students to cease a menace raises questions over the argument “good guy with a gun” may forestall violence. Analysis has proven that weapons usually tend to create — deliberately or unintentionally — “bad guys” out of the great guys who’ve them, in line with ABC News.

In a press release supplied to Teen Vogue, Kent State College stated its gun coverage was determined by the Board of Trustees and added that the varsity was “recently ranked the safest big college campus in Ohio and 25th safest in the country, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security. The university has a full-time, certified police force of more than 30 sworn officers who protect the campus. These officers are visible, well-trained and on duty 24/7 in support of students, staff and faculty.”

Whereas at Kent College, Kaitlin based a scholar group department of Liberty Hangout, a self-described libertarian media outlet that usually posts provocative right-wing memes. She discovered herself within the nationwide media highlight after resigning because the campus president for Turning Level USA in 2017 after main a controversial protest in opposition to safe spaces the place members of the chapter dressed up sporting diapers, in line with Talking Points Memo.

Kaitlin stated she has “no apologies” for her commencement images, and she or he stated her household was absolutely supportive of the choice. Sooner or later, Kaitlin instructed Teen Vogue she plans to make use of her biology diploma to do analysis at native zoos or aquariums. Irrespective of the place she goes, she stated she plans to stay politically lively.

“Nobody’s going to remember an activist with a clipboard; they’re going to remember activists who go out there, do something crazy and make a point from it,” Kaitlin instructed Teen Vogue. “That’s kind of like what I did with my picture. No one’s going to remember if I just had a cap on that said ‘come and take it,’ but they’re going to remember my rifle.”

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