Hundreds of students at Ohio University protested 'gun girl' Kaitlin Bennett's visit and ran her off campus
Gun-rights activist Kaitlin Bennett visited Ohio University on Monday, where hundreds of students confronted her and eventually ran her off campus. Bennett has previously been mired in controversy for her activism. She went viral in 2018 after posting a photo posing with a semi-automatic rifle slung across her back. She promised to return to Ohio University with "an army of gun owners for an open carry walk through campus."
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Kaitlin Bennett, a champion of gun-rights who has frequently attracted controversy for her activism, was thronged by hundreds of students on Monday while visiting Ohio University. Bennett became a viral sensation after posting a photo on social media posing with an AR-10 semi-automatic rifle to celebrate her graduation from Kent State University in 2018. Since then many have referred to her as the "gun girl." Her Ohio University visit drew ire from many students, who reproached her and threw water at her vehicle as she drove through campus. "This is what happens when a Trump supporter goes to a college campus," she tweeted. "I think @realDonaldTrump should strip funding from universities like this that harbor terrorists," she said, adding that the protesters "started a riot." The Ohio University police department denied that the protesters were either terrorists or rioters. "She drew a large crowd of people, many with opposing viewpoints, who also chose to exercise their First Amendment rights," the department said in a statement. "Contrary to allegations circulating on social media, the incident did not rise to the level of a riot."
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. #CampusCarryNow pic.twitter.com/a91fQH44cq — Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) May 13, 2018 This is what happens when a Trump supporter goes to a college campus. Leftists at @ohiou started a riot when @Joelpatrick1776 and I showed up, and the @oupolice let it happen. I think @realDonaldTrump should strip funding from universities like this that harbor terrorists. pic.twitter.com/5TMlfdto9O — Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) February 17, 2020
Some students found creative ways to disrupt Bennett's visit. A viral video shows one person playing the drums in front of Bennett as she tried to ask him questions with a microphone.
this guy playing the drums to drone kaitlin bennett out is my hero pic.twitter.com/p8jc9MlBwn — arianna ◡̈ (@styIesradiance) February 12, 2020
Bennett, the founder of Liberty Hangout, was on campus producing a video about students' knowledge of President's Day. She characterized the disruption, which prevented her from making the intended video, as evidence of students' incivility. "It seems like the most liberal college in Ohio is also the most intolerant, the most disgusting, and the most horrific when it comes to diversity of opinion, and that's what we're showing here today," Bennett told The Athens News, a local newspaper. One student, sophomore Liam McSteen, said he was skeptical of the purpose of Bennett's visit. "I kind of feel like she just came here to get this reaction," McSteen told The Athens News. In addition to her gun-rights activism, Bennett is an anti-abortion advocate and contributor to Infowars, which The Poynter Institute's PolitiFact describes as a "conspiracy oriented website run by Alex Jones." Shortly after students ran Bennett off campus, she promised she'd be back with "an army of gun owners." "Next time I'll bring an army of gun owners for an open carry walk through campus," she tweeted. "You can't keep us away and you can't keep us silent. Just Like Donald Trump, we will always win."
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Some students are worried the #NotAgainSU movement protesting racism at Syracuse University has gone too far
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