Monday, 28 May, 2018

Photo of college graduate wearing AR-10 rifle goes viral

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Kenny Thornton | 17 May, 2018, 05:46

Kaitlin Bennett, 22, wanted to make a statement after graduating so she shared pictures of herself on campus with an AR-10 slung over her shoulder and holding a graduation cap emblazoned with the words "come and take it".

Kent State College graduate, Kaitlin Bennett, went viral for taking a parting shot at her faculty's anti-gun coverage Sunday.

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". To Bennett, the photo was the culmination of her years as a conservative student activist, during which she advocated for students to be able to carry concealed weapons on the same campus where, nearly 50 years ago, the Ohio National Guard opened fire into a crowd of unarmed students protesting the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine.

The picture included a message harkening back to the killings in 1970 of four university students at Kent State by the Ohio National Guard. The officers are visible, well-trained and on duty 24/7 to protect students, staff and faculty.

"I have no apologies for my graduation photos", she tweeted Tuesday. She plans on exercising her Second Amendment right and stand her ground.

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The university confirms Bennett didn't break any rules with her photo shoot. "Kent became an open-carry campus in the previous year and there were many protests from that, the incident of May 4 not forgotten".

In another tweet, she railed against critics who referred to her AR-10 as an "assault rifle".

Bennett says her main motivation for the photo was in response to pushback she received for organizing an on-campus open carry walk to promote gun control.

However, for all the backlash Bennett received, she claims to have received dozens of messages of support from "people who feel they can't express their support for me publicly because they will be harassed next".

"Just seeing that someone is out there and young who loves the second amendment and loves gun rights, that gives someone else hope", said Bennett.

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