During her senior year at Kent State University, Kaitlin Bennett was very passionate about her gun rights activism. With the help of her friends in Liberty Hangout, she organized multiple events to protest the university’s policy restricting students from carrying firearms on campus. Among the events she organized was a “change-my-mind” table and an open carry march.
But Kaitlin realized that, although students cannot carry weapons on campus, non-students and guests can. This is because the campus of Kent State University is public property. Kaitlin decided she wanted to bring attention to the hypocrisy of the university’s policy.
Immediately after her graduation, she openly carried her AR-10 on campus for her senior pictures. Her photos exploded on social media, with her original tweet almost reaching 40,000 likes and 9,000 retweets. Shortly afterward, she was interviewed by Fox News and Info Wars, gained 100,000 followers on Twitter, and was attacked by multiple celebrities over the Internet, including Piers Morgan and Jim Carrey.
“There was a lot of hatred and threats thrown at me from leftists and gun control advocates who claim to be peaceful, loving, and tolerant,” Kaitlin said in an interview with The Kent Conservative. “But while I was getting hate, I was also getting a lot of praise. So I kept posting, and I kept growing.”
Kaitlin was bombarded with negativity from Twitter mobs as a result of her popularity. “At one point, they just stopped trying to come after me because of my beliefs about gun rights,” she recounted, “and they started attacking the way I looked, the fact that I was white, and they kept saying I was dating my cousin because I’m white.”
Over the summer, Kaitlin was invited to a pro-gun rally in Tallahassee, Florida, where she spoke about the importance of gun rights, and later encountered David Hogg. She approached David Hogg to publicly debate gun control, but he turned around, ignored her, and walked away.
Kaitlin Bennett is now returning to Kent State University to host a gun rally on September 29th, with her group members at Liberty Hangout.
During our interview, we asked Kaitlin to respond to some of the common criticism she’s received from her opponents. These were her responses.
What do you say to people who think carrying guns at Kent State is disrespectful because of the students who were shot on May 4th, 1970?
It is absolutely disrespectful to the students who lost their lives to say that we shouldn’t be allowed to open carry on Kent State campus. It is disrespectful to say that this instance of the government shooting unarmed students is a great example of why the government should be the only ones with guns on campus.
Nothing is more disrespectful than using what happened there – how the government murdered these students – to support them being the only ones who are armed.
If those students had been armed, the National Guard would have certainly thought twice about shooting into that crowd. If the Guard knew they were armed, or that they could have possibly been armed, maybe they would have reconsidered and wouldn’t have opened fire at all.
If we enacted full gun control, wouldn’t there be less criminals with guns, and therefore less need for good people with guns?
Gun laws do not work like this. The only people who will be disarmed are law-abiding citizens. A policy like this prevents regular people from defending themselves from being assaulted or killed. Gun restrictions also turn people in sitting ducks. For example, the vast majority of mass shootings occur within gun-free zones.
But let’s pretend that there a magic wand that could get rid of every single gun in the United States. Guess what? Knives kill more people than rifles. Car crashes kill more people than any type of handgun or rifle. People have committed mass killings with knives, machetes, trucks or cars. Banning a category of weapon won’t stop people from being violent.
Why do you claim to be a victim of racism when black citizens, such as Tamir Rice, are shot by police when they open carry?
Firstly, the Tamir Rice situation was more complicated than that. He was a child whose parents left him unattended with a toy gun that looked exactly like a real gun. He was pointing it at people, the cops were called because he was pointing it at people, and then he pointed it at the police.
Did the police overreact? We don’t know. Should he have lost his life for having a toy gun? No. The toy gun looked real, but the situation had little to do with his skin color.
Secondly, people are absolutely being racist towards me when I get messages in my inbox telling me I’m the reason they hate white people, or that they want to kill me and my white family. That’s racism, when people attack me because of my skin color.
Kaitlin Bennett was affiliated with The Kent Conservative and still works closely with its writers and team members.