A recent graduate from Ohio's Kent State University posed on campus with her AR-10 in photos that quickly went viral and sparked a heated debate on social media.
According to USA Today, "the university bars students, staff and third parties doing business with Kent State from possessing deadly weapons" on school grounds. However, that rule doesn't apply to visitors as long as they keep their weapons out of campus buildings.
"Now that I graduated from @KentState, I can finally arm myself on campus," 22-year-old Kaitlin Bennett tweeted Sunday along with a photo of her carrying her rifle and a graduation cap that reads, "Come and take it."
"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," she added with the hashtag #CampusCarryNow. In 1970, National Guardsmen shot and killed four student protesters on campus.
The image, which has received more than 18,000 likes and 4,400 retweets, prompted thousands of replies from critics and supporters.
Bennett later tweeted another photo, saying she had "no apologies."
"As a woman, I refuse to be a victim & the second amendment ensures that I don't have to be," she wrote.
She also said she has gotten a job offer and marriage proposals since her post went viral.
But she said she has received threats, as well.
“Gun control advocates are trying to call me violent for my graduation picture that promotes the right to self-defense, meanwhile I'm getting threatening messages like this in my inbox from these very same people,” she tweeted along with a screenshot of a Twitter user’s threat to “beat the [expletive] out of her.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.