Kaitlin Bennett. Haven’t heard of her? How about the “Kent State Gun Girl?”
Kent State graduate Kaitlin Bennett is not just another conservative social media personality advocating for gun rights and anti-abortion policies. Her career jumpstarted in a far from ordinary way, after she posted this controversial tweet on May 13, 2018:
“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”
As stated in Kent State’s gun policy, at the time of Bennett’s graduation, students, facility and staff are prohibited from carrying “deadly weapons” on campus. Note, these guidelines do not include graduates and visitors; therefore, Kaitlin did not do anything wrong by posing for graduation photos with her cap and an AR-10 rifle.
Not only did her photoshoot highlight the fallacies in Kent State’s gun policy but it launched her political YouTube career. Now, Bennett uploads YouTube videos that feature her conducted interviews which can be found on a channel titled “Liberty Hangout.”
As an advocate of conservative values, she travels from rally to rally, protest to protest to converse and debate with attendees. Since the beginning of her social media career, Bennett is known to document footage from events that fall under the opposite side of the political spectrum – events like pro-choice marches and Democratic conventions – in hopes of learning about the other side or even in hopes of changing the minds of potential voters.
I also consider myself as a pro-gun and pro-life advocate; I have supported her work from the very beginning, but recently, I have noticed a shift in her approach to the interview process.
In the beginning, her interviews were fair – not bipartisan due to her channel’s bias towards conservative viewpoints, but fair. Her interviews were professional and respectful…keyword WERE. Now, it seems as if her only goal in attending these events is to troll attendees in exchange for views and engagement, whether it be positive or negative. Not only does her new interview approach make her channel look bad but those who align with her values, me included.
Take a look at some of her YouTube video titles.
“Kaitlin Bennett Owns Pink Hat Ladies,” “College Students Have No Morals” and “The Clown Show Continues” are just a few examples of titles that come across as antagonizing and disrespectful. Using titles like these takes away credibility, and makes the conservative population look bad. Maybe this is why the word “Republican” has such a negative connotation?
YouTube is not the only platform Bennett utilizes to share her opinions. Twitter plays a significant role in gaining the attention from her target audience. In her case, some tweets have no issues, while others are laughable. This tweet posted on Feb. 11:
“This soy boy that followed me around a campus for 4 hours is trying to say I was bothering him for being gay… meanwhile a gay guy was trying to take a photo with me and telling him to cut it out. Disinformation is great isn’t it?” – @KaitMarieox
There is a difference between showcasing a difference in opinion and being straight out disrespectful. Was it absolutely necessary to use the phrase “soy boy?” No, not at all, but that is the game Bennett likes to play. Just because she chooses to act this way does not mean all conservatives support it.
Personally, I will continue to support her work as an advocate of conservative values, although the way she goes about doing so is concerning. Next time you come across her work, just know that she is an embarrassment to members of both parties.