Kaitlin Marie Bennett
October 15, 1995
Zanesville, Ohio, U.S.
|Education||Kent State University (BS)|
|Known for||Open carrying an AR-10 at Kent State the day after her graduation|
Kaitlin Marie Bennett (born October 15, 1995), also known as the Kent State gun girl, is an American gun rights activist, and conservative social media personality. Bennett received media attention in 2018 for open-carrying an AR-10 rifle at Kent State University after graduating.
Bennett was the president of the Kent State chapter of Turning Point USA; however, after a protest against campus safe spaces backfired in October 2017, she resigned. In 2018, Bennett posed for her graduation photo holding an AR-10 long gun in front of the university sign. She stated that as a student at Kent, she should have been able to open-carry for self-defense, citing the 1970 Kent State shootings where Ohio National Guardsmen fired on unarmed students protesting the U.S. bombing of Cambodia. Later that year, Bennett organized an open-carry rally at Kent State. The university released a statement that a cease and desist had been issued against advertising the event, as Bennett had not attempted to register the event with the university. She returned to Kent State in November to host a discussion on gun rights.
In January 2020, clips surfaced online of her 2019 interviews with University of Kentucky students. Originally posted by Liberty Hangout with the title "College Students Have No Morals", the videos show Bennett questioning the students on the issue of resources for transgender people in bathrooms. The clips quickly became popular on social media, with users entertained by the dichotomy between Bennett and the interviewees' reactions to the topic. One student seen in the interviews used the online attention to raise money for charity.
In February 2020, Kaitlin Bennett went to Ohio University to ask President's Day trivia questions, but was confronted by an extremely large crowd of college students opposing her, with some throwing toilet paper, drinks and other objects at her. That same month, Bennett's Liberty Hangout outlet received criticism for statements on Twitter supporting antisemitism, Holocaust denial, monarchy, and disfranchisement.
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- Tiwari, Vishal. "Watch: Student gives perfect answers to far-right interviewer's 'transphobic' questions". Republic World. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
- Tobin, Ben. "'That's not my business': UK student shuts down 'gun girl' on gender neutral bathrooms". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
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- Knowles, Hannah (February 18, 2020). "A conservative gun rights activist was tailed off campus by a swarm of mocking protesters". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 19, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
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