In the wake of the student-driven Parkland hysteria, some young people have taken to social media to voice a differing opinion on the right to keep and bear arms.
Brenna Spencer, 22, posed during her college graduation shoot with a Smith and Wesson .380, which she displayed in her waistband while lifting a “Women for Trump” shirt.
“I don’t take normal graduation photos…” she wrote in the caption.
I don’t take normal college graduation photos… pic.twitter.com/eI1NvLFYHs
— Brenna Spencer (@BrennaSpencer) April 7, 2018
As per usual, Twitter exploded. In the four days since she posted the original photo, the post has received over 12,000 comments, 12,478 retweets, and 85,636 likes.
“I did think that it would get a little attention but not to this degree,” Spencer told ABC News. “It was really, really surprising to see the amount of hate that I got.”
One Twitter user, Victoria Silva, even tried to have Spencer arrested by contacting the local Chattanooga, Tennessee, police. Fox News highlighted the tweet, which has since been locked:
@ChattanoogaPD would you like to give us your two cents? Per the thread, this young female is taking a photo w/ a firearm, in an area w/ a posted “no-weapons” policy. This showboating behavior is irresponsible, reckless, & potentially dangerous.
A concerned citizen 🧐
— Victoria Silva (@Victoria__Silva) April 9, 2018
Others followed suit:
You hope your sons find a criminal to spend forever with? And a dumb criminal at that? This is a picture of her blatantly breaking the law. Concealed carry is illegal on those museum grounds. You’re providing photo evidence against yourself….this is so dumb it hurts.
— Kit. (@KitMaxwell_) April 8, 2018
The photo was reportedly taken outside the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, which bans firearms inside. Some Twitter users claim that Spencer would have had to walk through the museum to reach the photo location, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
“I know the Tennessee state gun codes,” Spencer, who is set to graduate in May with a major in communications and a minor in political science, told ABC News.
“I carry everywhere that I’m allowed to carry,” she said, which excludes her college campus.
Other Twitter users claimed to support Second Amendment rights but weren’t thrilled about Spencer’s decision to display her firearm.
Because I’m proud of my second amendment right and I want to empower other women! Absolutely they are tools but I will always brag about being able to carry a gun to protect myself, my friends and my family!
— Brenna Spencer (@BrennaSpencer) April 8, 2018
Gun ownership among women is on the rise, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The number of women who hunt has increased 85 percent since 2001 and target shooting has seen a 60 percent increase.
Like Spencer, women are most likely to purchase a semi-automatic pistol or a revolver, and they cite self-defense as the number one reason they purchase a firearm.