Kaitlin Bennett/Twitter

Kent State Graduate Posts Photos Of Herself With AR-10 Rifle

May 17, 2018 - 8:00 am
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KENT, Ohio (AP) - A Kent State University graduate is not apologizing for posting graduation photos of herself carrying a rifle on campus.

Kaitlin Bennett tweeted that she could "arm herself" now that she was a graduate. Along with the AR-10 rifle, the photo shows a mortar board with the words: "Come and take it." The school prohibits students, faculty, and staff from carrying "deadly weapons."

Bennett said she should have been able to carry the weapon as a student "especially since 4 unarmed students were shot and killed by the government." That was a reference to Ohio National Guardsmen killing four students and wounding nine others at the school during a Vietnam War protest in 1970.

The tweet has since gone viral, being retweeted more than 4,500 times and had more than 2700 comments. There was a mix of support and opposition to Bennett's post.

University spokesman Eric Mansfield tells WJW-TV 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."

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