(CBS) A recent college graduate from Kent State University in Ohio is gaining attention online for graduation photos she posted on Twitter.

Kaitlin Bennett shared photos of herself wearing an AR-10 rifle strapped to her back and her graduation cap in hand. A picture of a gun and the words “come and take it” decorated the graduation cap.

“Now that I graduated from Kent State, I can finally arm myself on campus,” Bennett wrote in the post. “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.”

Bennett is referring to the killing of four people on Kent State’s campus in 1970. After days of unrest over America’s invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War, student protesters clashed with Ohio National Guardsmen. The guardsmen opened fire, killing four students and wounding nine others.

Bennett tweeted several images from a photo shoot that she took to mark graduation. In the photos, she poses around Kent State University’s campus wearing a white dress and and a gun holster around her body. She explained in one tweet that the gun is an AR-10 and it “fires at the same rate as any modern pistol,” not an assault rifle.

It is a tradition at many colleges for students to decorate their graduation caps with clever sayings and personal messages. The message Bennett chose: “Come and take it,” referring to her gun.

Some Twitter users replied to Bennett’s photos with disapproval or worse. She posted screenshots of her exchange with an aggravated Twitter user who appeared to threatened her physically. Bennett says Twitter suspended that person’s account.

“This rifle is legally owned. Assault rifles have been banned for decades. Do you not see the problem here? You say you don’t want to take away legally owned guns, but had NO IDEA that the rifle pictured is legally owned,” she replied to other commenters.

When someone questioned if the police would support Bennett’s public display of the firearm if she were black, Bennett replied. “The black officer that was with us during this photoshoot loved it, actually. Give him a call,” she wrote.

Bennett also got support on Twitter, with one person writing, “The gun offsets your dress beautifully!” “Stand your ground. You go girl a lot of us have your back,” another commenter wrote.

The new graduate is one of the founders of the “Liberty Hangout” group, her Twitter bio reads. The group has been
“promoting peace, prosperity and property rights since 2015,” according to its website. The college student-run organization is a right-wing group that vows to protect the Second Amendment.

Bennett said in a tweet that now that she has graduated, she is allowed to carry a gun on campus. However, Kent State’s policy regarding deadly weapons states “Students, staff, faculty, and third parties doing business with the university are further prohibited from possessing, storing, or using a deadly weapon while outside on university grounds, that is owned, operated or leased by the university.”

Comments (10)
  1. A “graduation cap” is called a mortar board. Doing my part to prevent the dumbing down of America.

    1. Ted Mooney says:

      Yes some people started using the slang term “mortar board” for graduation caps because they felt that their shape somewhat resembles the wooden boards long used by masons when mortaring.

  2. “I refuse to be a victim & the second amendment ensures that I don’t have to be.”
    What an ironic statement.
    I don’t know any gun-carrying person who doesn’t claim they’d shoot first if someone pointed a gun at them. There can be only one “shoot first”, and is doubly true for criminals, who are far more desperate and have far less to lose.
    Attempting to play superhero is a great way to wind up the victim.

    As my grandfather was fond of saying “You can be right… you can even be dead right.”

  3. This little twit is probably completely ignorant of what the words “Kent State” mean to millions of us.

    1. I was a boy of 13 when the shootings at Kent State happened and it had a profound effect on me. I can’t believe this moron is walking around touting she won’t be a victim and doing this at Kent State. Can you imagine hiring this twit or worse, marrying her? God help America.

  4. Liz Fixsen says:

    There is only one way to respond to this girl’s idiotic display. I hope she never finds herself in a situation where she feels that she should use her firearm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T41M7cCqsU

  5. If she needs a pnis of her own that badly, they have operations for that now. No need for the phallus/rifle.

  6. Victim? Perhaps not. Target? Definitely.

  7. I too hope she never finds herself in a situation where she feels she needs to use her firearm. However if she does find herself in a situation where she needs to use a firearm then it’s a damn good thing that the 2nd Amendment protects her right to own that firearm.

  8. The last paragraph of this article seems to intentionally mislead one to believe the graduate, Kaitlin Bennett, is breaking Kent State’s policy. Kaitlin likely only belongs to grouping #1 found in the university’s policy since she would now be considered a “visitor” after graduation:

    (C) Prohibition:

    “(1) The possession, storage, or use of a deadly weapon by students, staff, faculty, third parties doing business with the university, and visitors is prohibited inside any university building, facility, or vehicle, that is owned, operated or leased by the university.

    (2) Students, staff, faculty, and third parties doing business with the university are further prohibited from possessing, storing, or using a deadly weapon while outside on university grounds, that is owned, operated or leased by the university.”


    The wording found in #1 is “prohibited inside” a building. One can plainly see Kaitlin was outside on campus. Therefore there was no violation of policy. The second bullet (#2) under section C does not apply since Kaitlin is no longer a student at the university but instead a graduate. In addition, Kaitlin is likely neither staff, faculty, or a third party doing business with the university which are the other qualifications making one pertain to #2 under section C. There is no evidence to indicate Kaitlin works for or with the university. However, if she does then she would indeed be in violation of the university’s policy.

    This does not change what appears to be a quick jab at Kaitlin in the article’s concluding paragraph. The conclusion infers Kaitlin was breaking policy when in all likelihood she was not. This style of writing by the journalist is all to common today. Report the truth and stay impartial.