A Kent State University graduate has been fighting with survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting after she posed with an AR-10 for her graduation photos.
Kaitlin Bennett posted photos with the firearm on campus, the site of the infamous 1970 Ohio National Guard shooting, and the pictures quickly went viral.
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 Marie (@KaitMarieox) May 15, 2018
She has been met with criticism from gun control activists, including the students who survived the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Activist David Hogg retweeted Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, saying, “White privilege is a helluva drug."
White privilege is a helluva drug. https://t.co/HhNf4tS5lN— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 16, 2018
"You did this in Ohio, where Tamir Rice and John Crawford were fatally shot for holding fake guns. You’re still alive ... not even arrested — after bringing a semiautomatic rifle to school. That’s white privilege," Watts added.
Bennett went after Hogg early Thursday, challenging him to a “real conversation” about guns.
.@davidhogg111 I don't know if your tiny arms with Hitler-esque bands around them can't reach your @ button, but maybe instead of retweeting racist posts about me, you can have a real conversation about guns with me like the adult you want to be. #CampusCarryNow— Kaitlin Marie (@KaitMarieox) May 17, 2018
Other Parkland high school students and gun-control activists chastised Bennett for the pictures.
Sweetie, the second amendment does not ensure that you will not be a victim at ALL. Where are y’all getting this false information from???? https://t.co/VNPJNNXeKq— john barnitt (@John_Barnitt) May 17, 2018
Especially in the context of the Kent State Massacre, this is a slap in the face to all affected by gun violence. It's not about being a woman or a man, it's about wanting to be safe. https://t.co/hgMEmwr0UL— Pennridge 225 (@NeverAgainPenn) May 17, 2018
Bennett appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday to say she wanted to take the photo to “take a jab” at the firearms policies Kent State has.
The university has rules against students, faculty and staff carrying deadly weapons on campus, but no policies for guests.
“My problem is that it’s kind of insinuating that they care more about the lives of their guests than the lives of their students that spend four or more years on that campus,” Bennett said.
She said she’s been the victim of “blatant racism” and death threats following the photos.
“They’re saying that I have white privilege for going out on campus with my AR-10 and they’re saying this all has to do with me being white that I was able to do this,” Bennett said. “I think that is very insulting to minorities.”
“Four people died at this school from a shooting in 1970. Classy, Kaitlin,” South Florida high school studen Emilie Smith tweeted.
four people died at this school from a shooting in 1970. classy, kaitlin. https://t.co/7VioqWmaZ9— emilie smith (@evilemilie) May 16, 2018
I want to know how a college student, not to name names but Kaitlin, can have a photoshoot with an assault rifle at a school but black people are arrested for walking into starbucks— emilie smith (@evilemilie) May 17, 2018