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
A Kent State graduate who went viral for appearing in graduation photos on campus with an assault rifle is trying to stay relevant by challenging a student who survived a school shooting to an arm wrestling match.
Kaitlin Bennett made waves on the internet after she posed with her assault rifle in graduation pictures on May 13. Bennett tweeted the images taken on the campus in an effort to criticize the university’s ban on guns while on campus.
In a more recent post, Bennett attacked the physical prowess of a mass shooting survivor, making a bizarre challenge to David Hogg earlier this week.
Hogg, 18, is one of the students who survived a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February. He’s become an outspoken proponent of gun reform, and with his fellow students, he helped organize a nationwide march by students and like-minded adults to promote more sane gun legislation.
Because of Hogg’s stature in the gun reform movement, Bennett issued out a challenge to him on June 3, stating that if he could beat her in an arm wrestling match-up she and other so-called gun rights activists would happily give up their guns.
I have a challenge for you @davidhogg111. Let's arm wrestle. If I win, we get to keep the 2nd amendment. If you win, we turn in our guns. Deal?— Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) June 3, 2018
Hogg didn’t respond to her challenge — which prompted Bennett to continue harassing him online, at several points calling him “twig arms” while doing so.
Bennett’s attacks on Hogg are, of course, childish and immature. They’re also fruitless: Constitutional interpretations of the Second Amendment are not determined by feats of strength, but rather by courts and legislation that is implemented by governments.
Hogg himself has said in the past that he supports the Second Amendment.
Many people have “made it seem like I’m trying to take away people’s guns — that I’m against the Second Amendment,” Hogg said in March. “My father is a retired FBI agent. I have guns in my house. I’m not against the Second Amendment.”
What Hogg promotes, however, is a common sense approach to the issue.
“I’m trying to push for common sense gun reform and mental illness reform so we can make sure that these individuals that have a criminal background that are mentally unstable and have a history of domestic violence are no longer able to get a gun,” Hogg added at that time.
Bennett, and others with views like hers, can’t seem to comprehend that while a right to defense does exist, it’s not an absolute right. There are limits to what weapons individuals can hold onto — the argument by those seeking reforms to gun laws is simply to extend those limits to require stricter background checks and stronger restrictions on weapons that can result in dozens of casualties (or more) within a few seconds’ time.
Those wishing to keep gun laws the way they are currently have a right to make their arguments heard. However, engaging in childish behavior, challenging others to contests of strength, and name-calling rather than dignified rhetorical debate, is not the way to go about defending their positions.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters