KENT STATE UNIVERSITY, Ohio — A picture of a Kent State University graduate carrying a rifle and graduation cap with the words “Come and take it” has gone viral.
Kaitlin Bennett wrote in her post, “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”
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 Bennett (@KaitMarieox) May 13, 2018
The post was retweeted more than 1800 times and had more than 2700 comments. There was a mix of support and opposition to Bennett’s post.
According to its website, the university has rules against students, faculty, and staff carrying any “deadly weapons.”
Eric Mansfield, university spokesperson, told Fox 8 News that once Bennett graduated she was “no longer restricted under the policy as a student.”
He also said that all guns are banned at Dix Stadium and that Bennett notified the university of her intent to have the photos taken. Mansfield said they were taken Sunday, the day after graduation.
In a statement to Fox 8 News, Mansfield said:
“Kent State University 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.”
On Tuesday, Bennett posted another picture and wrote, “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.”
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 Bennett (@KaitMarieox) May 15, 2018
In another tweet, she made it clear that her gun is an AR-10 and not an “assault rifle.”
“Don’t talk about gun control when you can’t even get your facts straight,” she wrote.
Wouldn't it be awkward if the people calling my AR-10 in my grad photos an "assault rifle" found out assault rifles are banned & the AR-10 fires at the same rate as any modern pistol?
Don't talk about gun control when you can't even get your facts straight.
— Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) May 16, 2018
Kent State held its graduation ceremony on Saturday with actor Michael Keaton delivering the commencement address.