While filming a video for her YouTube channel, “Liberty Hangout,” at Ohio University on Feb. 17, Kaitlin Bennett was met with a scathing crowd of students who were all too unhappy about her presence. Videos posted by the students on apps such as Twitter and TikTok captured what appeared to be hundreds of protestors, who inevitably drove Bennett and her crew off the premises of the university. Multiple things were being thrown at Bennett, including toilet paper — a nod to another viral photo of Bennett showing her passed out on the ground of a Kent State fraternity party with feces being excreted from her body. As if things could not get any worse, chants like “where’s your diaper” echoed across the school grounds.
Since then, Bennett has been making national headlines, even being interviewed on “Fox & Friends First.” However, instead of acknowledging the controversy that seems to follow her, Bennett has instead played the victim card, claiming she was terrorized by the left.
Despite having a name as plain as saltine crackers, Bennett has miraculously gained traction over the past few years. In 2018, Bennett went viral for her graduation photos, which saw her openly carrying an AR-10 rifle at Kent State University. More recently, the 24-year-old can be seen on various school campuses and rallies, asking the public about their thoughts on politically charged issues. While her career primarily started out as gun rights advocacy, which granted her the nickname “gun girl,” Bennett has since taken on a larger role of conservative activism, making every effort to depict leftists as uneducated and ignorant.
There’s a saying that goes “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen,” and in this scenario, I think it applies perfectly to what we are witnessing. If you had the unfortunate opportunity of watching other interviews conducted by Bennett like I did, you’ll notice that they are nothing but one-sided arguments. Bennett will present a question, have the individual respond and when the response runs contrary to her beliefs, she will fire back with follow-up questions that invalidate the opinions of the opposing side. Through manipulative video editing, viewers are left with the notion that Bennett came peacefully to discuss issues but instead was met with anger and threats from her interviewees.
While “gun girl” may just be innocently asking questions, the way in which she does so is completely disrespectful and biased. Bennett purposely approaches people she knows will have opposing views, with the sole agenda of making them look ignorant in order to uplift the beliefs of the right. Some viewers who witnessed what happened at Ohio University claimed it was unjustified bullying and harassment, but when you take a step back, this is the result of accumulated frustration that Bennett has caused.
Topics such as gun violence, LGBTQ+ rights and abortion are all very controversial issues, and all of these subjects are what Bennett targets. While we all have every right to have our own opinion, it becomes a problem when we start ignoring the contradicting position, which is something Bennett seems to struggle with. Anyone can ask to hear the opposing side, but if they are not absorbing and actively listening to what is being presented, it renders useless. To be fair, this happens to so many people, but what makes Bennett’s issue even more concerning is that she is using her ignorance to fuel the tarnishing of what it means to be a Democrat.
Both Democrats and Republicans have their fair share of wrongs, but this practice of antagonizing each other needs to stop even if our President won’t agree to set an example. Bennett knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she set foot onto Ohio University, a relatively liberal college, so for her to be surprised at the backlash is something I find hard to believe. Her oblivion is comparable to a vegetarian entering a steakhouse — it is blatantly clear you are the outlier. Sure, maybe no one could predict exactly how many people would be upset, but the fact she stayed around for as long as she did was no one’s fault but hers.
Bennett has since vowed to return back to Ohio University, this time armed, for reasons unknown other than maybe saving what little respect she has left. If she is expecting a different outcome, I really would advise on not getting her hopes up. It seems the public has had just about enough of her nonsense.
Toan Truong is an Opinion Intern for the 2020 winter quarter. He can be reached at email@example.com.