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Kaitlin Bennett

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Kaitlin Bennett
Woman with dark blonde curly hair
Bennett at the University of Akron in 2020
Born
Kaitlin Marie Bennett

(1995-10-15) October 15, 1995 (age 25)
EducationKent State University (BS)
Known forOpen carrying an AR-10 at Kent State the day after her graduation
Spouse(s)
Justin Moldow
(m. 2020)

Kaitlin Marie Bennett (born October 15, 1995), also known as the Kent State gun girl,[1][2] is an American gun rights activist, and conservative social media personality.[1][3][4][5] Bennett received media attention in 2018 for open-carrying an AR-10 rifle at Kent State University after graduating.[6]

She and her husband run Liberty Hangout,[7] which describes itself as a libertarian media outlet.[8] She has contributed to far-right conspiracy theorist and fake news website InfoWars.[4]

Personal life

In May 2018, Bennett graduated with a degree in biology from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.[9]

Bennett became engaged to Justin Moldow, the founder of Liberty Hangout, in 2019.[10][11][12] They married in a Catholic ceremony in March 2020.[10]

Media attention

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.[13][14][15] 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.[9] 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.[16] She returned to Kent State in November to host a discussion on gun rights.[17]

Following her initial protest of Kent State, Bennett became a correspondent for InfoWars.[18] Due to her affiliation with InfoWars, she was excluded from a campaign event for Bernie Sanders.[19]

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",[20] 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.[5][21] One student seen in the interviews used the online attention to raise money for charity.[22][23]

As social media users mainly associated Bennett with her gun rights activism, many media publications have referenced her "Gun Girl" nickname.[24][25][26]

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.[27] That same month, Bennett's Liberty Hangout outlet received criticism for statements on Twitter supporting antisemitism, Holocaust denial, monarchy, and disfranchisement.[11][28]

References

  1. ^ a b Rodriguez, Adrianna. "Kent State 'gun girl' who walked campus with AR confronted by protesters at Ohio University". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  2. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Kaitlin Bennett, 'Kent State gun girl,' flees protesters at University of Central Florida". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
  3. ^ Knowles, Hannah. "A conservative gun rights activist was tailed off campus by a swarm of mocking protesters". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  4. ^ a b Sandler, Rachel. "Who Is Kaitlin Bennett, The Conservative Gun Rights Activist Sparking Protests On College Campuses?". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  5. ^ a b "This Weird Gun Advocate Keeps Failing At Interviews And Everyone Is Laughing At Her". Junkee. 2020-01-15. Archived from the original on 2020-01-15. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  6. ^ Cummings, William. "Kent State graduate celebrates by strolling campus with her AR-10". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  7. ^ "Liberty Hangout website".
  8. ^ Madani, Doha. "'Gun Girl' Kaitlin Bennett's appearance on Ohio University campus sparks protests". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  9. ^ a b Cummings, William (May 17, 2018). "Kent State graduate celebrates by strolling campus with her AR-10". usatoday.com. Archived from the original on June 4, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2019.(Birth year of 1996 based on age 22 in 2018)
  10. ^ a b "Yes, Kent State Gun Girl Kaitlin Bennett Is a Married Woman". Distractify. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  11. ^ a b "Who Is Kaitlin Bennett, And Why Did Her 'Liberty Hangout' Promote Holocaust Denial?". Snopes. February 24, 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  12. ^ "Gun activist Kaitlin Bennett has a post-engagement message to haters: 'The Left is so sick'". www.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 2020-01-11. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  13. ^ Shugerman, Emily (February 26, 2018). "How a student in a diaper caused an eruption in one of America's biggest conservative youth organisations". The Independent. Archived from the original on February 20, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Barnes, Luke (February 4, 2019). "Turning Point USA launches British chapter to rocky reception". ThinkProgress. Archived from the original on February 8, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  15. ^ Kelley, Brendan Joel (February 16, 2018). "Turning Point USA's blooming romance with the alt-right". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on February 28, 2019. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  16. ^ Kent State University orders grad Kaitlin Bennett to cancel open-carry rally, Cincinnati Enquirer
  17. ^ Kaitlin Bennett returns to campus, hosts gun rights discussion Archived 2019-06-01 at the Wayback Machine, KentWired.com
  18. ^ Wade, Peter (2019-03-30). "Alex Jones Claims 'Psychosis' Made Him Believe Sandy Hook Was a Hoax". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2019-10-22. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  19. ^ Stone, Matt (16 April 2019). "Kaitlin Bennett reacts to being kicked out of Bernie Sanders rally". wfmj. Archived from the original on 1 July 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  20. ^ College Students Have No Morals, archived from the original on 2020-01-19, retrieved 2020-01-15
  21. ^ Tiwari, Vishal. "Watch: Student gives perfect answers to far-right interviewer's 'transphobic' questions". Republic World. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  22. ^ Tobin, Ben. "'That's not my business': UK student shuts down 'gun girl' on gender neutral bathrooms". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  23. ^ Musgrave, Beth (January 13, 2020). "UK student turns viral interview with 'gun girl' into fundraising push". Lexington Herald Leader. Archived from the original on February 19, 2020.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Madani, Doha (February 18, 2020). "'Gun Girl' Kaitlin Bennett's appearance on Ohio University campus sparks protests". NBC News. Archived from the original on February 19, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  26. ^ Miller, Ryan W. (February 19, 2020). "Kent State 'gun girl' vows return to Ohio University with 'army of gun owners' after protest". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 19, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  27. ^ "'Gun Girl' Kaitlin Bennett's appearance on Ohio University campus sparks protests". NBC News. February 18, 2020. Archived from the original on February 20, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  28. ^ Zoellner, Danielle (April 17, 2020). "'Gun Girl' Kaitlin Bennett accused of making anti-Semitic statements in leaked messages". The Independent. Retrieved September 16, 2020.