A photo of a Kent State University graduate open carrying an AR-15 on campus went viral in April and the school explained why the graduate was not punished, in a Tuesday article.
Kent State did not punish graduate Kaitlin Bennett for open carrying the rifle because she waited until after she graduated to pose for the photo on campus, according to The Blast. Only individuals associated with Kent State are prohibited from open carrying on campus.
“After graduation, [Bennett] joined the ranks of our proud graduates,” a spokesman told The Blast. “So at the time of this photo, she and other graduates would be permitted to open carry on our campus.”
This is America pic.twitter.com/TGWQUPqsVo
— ⚡️ Barstool Kent ⚡️ (@BarstoolKSU) May 14, 2018
Bennett took the photo after receiving backlash for organizing a walk to support gun rights. She may have received some of the criticism due to the Ohio National Guard’s repression with force of a Kent State protest of the Vietnam War in 1970, an action that caused nine injuries and four deaths. Bennett also claimed to have received dozens of supporting messages from “people who feel they can’t express their support for me publicly because they will be harassed next.” (RELATED: Student Detained After Police THOUGHT She Had A Gun. Turns Out She Was Just Talking About Them)
“Kent State University was recently ranked the safest big college campus in Ohio and 25th safest in the country, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security,” university spokeswoman Emily Vincent told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The university has a full-time, certified police force of more than 30 sworn officers who protect the campus. These officers are visible, well-trained and on duty 24/7 in support of students, staff and faculty.”
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