Kent State graduate's gun-toting photo goes viral - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Kent State graduate's gun-toting photo goes viral

The Kent State graduate says she's protecting her rights to defend herself. (Source: Kaitlin Bennett) The Kent State graduate says she's protecting her rights to defend herself. (Source: Kaitlin Bennett)
She has received mixed reactions on social media. (Source: Kaitlin Bennett) She has received mixed reactions on social media. (Source: Kaitlin Bennett)
KENT, OH (WOIO) -

Kent State graduate Kaitlin Bennett went viral over the weekend with a gun-toting photo. 

The student posed with an AR-10 rifle following graduation and had a very blunt message for any naysayers on her graduation cap, "Come and Take it."

Bennett is the founder of a gun advocacy organization, Liberty Hangout on Kent State's campus. The website says the group has been promoting peace, prosperity and property rights since 2015. 

Bennett said she had been planning the photo shoot with the "family" firearm for weeks leading up to graduation. 

Initially, she was inspired to use her voice after the Parkland shooting, when many spoke out on gun control. 

"What is going on, where is the other side," said Bennett, it was in that moment she decided to make a stand. 

Bennett said she waited until after graduation to post the picture due to school regulations.

Kent State has a policy barring students, staff and faculty from carrying guns on campus.

Her post was met with mixed reactions, as some thought they'd seen enough of firearms on campuses with all the recent school shootings in the U.S.

"A lot of the feedback has been pretty harsh," said Bennett, "I've received death threats, people have told me to kill myself, and there have been racially charged comments."  

The entire ordeal has been pretty traumatic for the graduate, "I don't get it," said Bennett, "They say they're against violence, but then they say they want to kill me."

Not everything has been negative though, Bennett said she's received dozens of messages in support. 

The past few days have been trying, but Bennett plans on standing her ground and exercising her 2nd amendment right. 

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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