Keeping up with Kaitlin Bennett


According to Kaitlin Bennett, also known as ‘gun girl’, nothing quite screams freedom like bringing an “army of gun owners for an open-carry walk” through Ohio University in Athens. This statement came after she was greeted by a riot of angry protesters while visiting the campus to ask questions. Now I know what you are thinking, is that even legal? OU Police Lieutenant Tim Ryan said in a statement on Tuesday that “Open carry of firearms is generally lawful in the state of Ohio, however carrying concealed weapons on Ohio University’s campuses is generally unlawful.” This isn’t the first time someone has brought a gun onto the OU campus. In April of 2017, armed open-carry activists walked through parts of South Court Street and several OU parking lots without being stopped or arrested.

Kaitlin Bennett is a 24 year old from Zanesville, Ohio. She graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She says she plans to pursue a job in that field, but for now she is going to stick to protesting. At Kent State, she was president of the Kent State Chapter of Turning Point USA, which is a conservative organization. She became widely known after she posed with an AR-10 rifle during her graduation. Her cap read, “come and take it” for her graduation picture.  When she posted the photo, she added the caption, “Now that I have 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.” This photo sparked a controversy among people, some rooting her on, while others argued that it was white privilege and if a person of color had done that, they would have had police intervene with likely violent actions. Other people said that it was not a good idea considering students of Kent State may be a bit terrified of guns taking into account the shooting that occurred there in 1970 when four unarmed students were shot on the campus by the Ohio National Guard during a protest.
Ben Peters
Kaitlin Bennett at the Ohio University in Athens.

Since then, she has earned 341.4 thousand followers on her Twitter account (@KaitMarieox), 172 thousand follower on her Instagram (kait.meow), and 425 thousand subscribers on her YouTube channel, which she has named “Liberty Hangout”. In addition to this, she has made a few appearances on news channels like WKYC channel 3, ABC news, and Fox New’s morning show – Fox and Friends. Since her graduation, she has received death threats, to which she replies, “I’m not nervous because everyone knows I’m armed” and “I don’t know why they would threaten an armed person.”

This brings us to her Ohio University of Athens visit. She claims to have visited the campus on Presidents Day to film a video asking students trivia questions. However, some people believe that her visit was made to intentionally provoke students at a liberal campus by asking controversial questions consisting of race, guns, abortion, and LGBTQ+ people, in order to start arguments amongst them. When she arrived to the campus she was met with big groups of college students who yelled, threw drinks at her, and occasionally tossed rolls of toilet paper. Finally, she was escorted out by her bodyguard, who she took to twitter to point out that he is “7’3, taller than Shaquille O’Neal”.
Ohio University
Ohio University’s letter.

In response to this incident, the Ohio University of Athens said that they do not classify the encounter as a “riot” but rather as a big group of people using strong language and splashing water. In addition to this, they added that there were no reported injuries or violence, and no one was arrested. The police agency added a statement that had she let them know ahead of time about her visit, they could have planned for her arrival and taken more security measures. After she left, Bennett took to Twitter to say that she thinks the university should be stripped of federal funding, saying that the school is “harboring terrorists” and the campus police just “let it happen”.

Who was really in the wrong here? It seems like Kaitlin should have seen this coming with the hate she has already been receiving on her social media. She chose to visit a well known liberal campus with college students who disagree with her and then began to claim she had no idea they would not like her questions. She acted shocked that the students were rude  and attempted to get her to leave the campus as soon as possible, when in reality, this type of reactions is exactly what she wanted.

In addition to this, it probably was not the best idea to visit and take pictures with a gun at Kent State, a campus that has a well know history with gun violence. One has to ask, is she just visiting campuses where she knows it will create a controversy or is she really advocating for gun rights? Along with this, is taking guns onto a college campus morally and ethically right considering the amount of gun violence that schools are experiencing?

This protesting is all new to Kaitlin, but she plans to continue her adventures in advocating for gun rights at college campuses. She plans on revisiting OU soon with other gun rights advocates to keep stressing her idea that college campus students should be able to carry guns to protect themselves. No one really knows why she has only been visiting college campuses, but if you had to guess, you could probably assume that because she first found fame at a college campus, she is continuing to visit them. Who knows, if she keeps gaining popularity she might just gain her own reality show. Instead of hearing about the next episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashian’s”, you will be hearing “Keeping up with gun girl, now airing Fridays at 8”.

Palmetto State Armory