Brenna Spencer, 22, who is due to graduate next month from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, posted graduation photos of herself on Twitter in a red Trump t-shirt— Paint King (@Paintking) April 10, 2018
In one photo, she had a gun tucked into her waistband
The photo went viral, with anti-Trump people trolling her pic.twitter.com/o4v084OP4Q
A University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student sparked an online argument after sharing her graduation photo — with a gun prominently tucked in her waistband.
Brenna Spencer shared her picture on Twitter Saturday with the caption, “I don’t take normal college graduation photos.” In her picture, Spencer is also wearing a “Women For Trump” T-shirt.
I don’t take normal college graduation photos... pic.twitter.com/eI1NvLFYHs— Brenna Spencer (@BrennaSpencer) April 7, 2018
Her post went viral and sparked a fierce debate over whether it was appropriate or not, or whether she was conveying the right message for others to share.
Spencer tried to defend her decision to take a grad pic with her gun.
“The Second Amendment has been under attack — especially on college campuses,” she said. “So I think it's really important to empower people to show that you should be allowed to protect yourself. Your rights don't stop at a college campus.”
Some people were not happy with Spencer’s picture. Critics of it disagreed with the message she was trying to send, while others pointed out that her method of carrying the weapon in her photo was not responsible gun ownership.
Oh what a privilege to be a white woman with a gun...I wonder if "Brenna Spencer" was a black man or even woman for that matter would this photo get the same support 🤔🤔— Leisel R (@leisel_r) April 11, 2018
https://t.co/zVWmwvQzra via @usatoday
I’m 100% pro gun but brandishing a firearm for a photo shoot or showing it off to try and look cool is just stupid. They are tools. Why brag about carrying a gun?— Reed (@osellr) April 8, 2018
Same thing right? Sexy right? pic.twitter.com/pYdsBoiXwt— ShamGawd (@TTODDitsISO) April 9, 2018
I don't know anything about Brenna Spencer and don't care if she wears a "Women for Trump" t-shirt while strapped with a gun. What bothers me is the reflexive racism that allows people to see Spencer as a "patriot" but to see an armed black woman or man as a criminal threat. https://t.co/cgw25KhgIO— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 11, 2018
"Responsible" gun owner.— Smartassicus (@Smartassicus) April 8, 2018
Using a gun to make a political point is irresponsible gun ownership.— DadForChange (@DadForChange) April 11, 2018
Gun violence is a serious issue that many Americans feel passionately about. Yet for all the legislation we can possibly pass, a lot of the debate needs to center on gun culture as well — including pictures like Spencer’s, which seem to glamorize gun ownership and aim to antagonize rather than generate real discussions on gun reform.