Pro-Trump college grad's assault rifle photo shoot goes viral: 'Come and take it'

A senior at Kent State University whose graduation photos show her wearing an AR-10 rifle and a cap that reads “COME AND TAKE IT” is reportedly receiving death threats. 

This week, Kaitlin Bennett tweeted the images, writing, “Now that I graduated from @KentState, I can finally arm myself on campus. 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,” with the hashtag #CampusCarryNow

Bennett referred to the 1970 campus shooting by the Ohio National Guard that killed four students and injured nine others during a protest against the Vietnam War. As a result, a mass student strike forced many colleges and universities to shut down, and may have helped topple the Nixon administration.

In a second photo posted by Bennett, in which she’s looking over her shoulder and smiling, the caption reads, “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.”

The tweets combined have received more than 24,000 likes and 7,000 comments; while many people were outraged by the images, others encouraged Bennett to “hang in there” and continue to express her beliefs.

Bennett, who studied zoology at the university and is a digital content producer for the libertarian website Liberty Hangout, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “I decided to come back to campus and take graduation photos with an AR-10 because I wanted to start a conversation about gun rights on college campuses. It’s insulting that at Kent State University, guests may protect themselves with firearms on campus, but students and staff may not. Why does the school value the lives of guests more than those paying thousands of dollars to attend the university?”

She also released a flurry of tweets in response to the thousands of comments from the public.

At one point, Bennett tweeted to a woman named Rachel that she would “See you around next semester,” which many called out as being a threat of violence.

According to the school’s policy on deadly weapons, “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.”

However, a representative from Kent State University tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the above language does not apply to Bennett because she graduated Saturday and returned to campus Sunday to take the photos. Therefore, she doesn’t qualify as a student or a third party “doing business with the university.”

In April, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student named Brenna Spencer shocked many by posing for a graduation photo wearing a “Women for Trump” T-shirt and a handgun sticking out of the waistband of her white jeans. 

She captioned the image, liked by 116,000 people and prompting more than 33,800 comments, “I don’t take normal college graduation photos…”

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