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Commentary

Remember the Girl with the Armed Graduation Photo? ABC Journalists Called the Cops on Her

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A photo of a young woman wearing a T-shirt supporting President Donald Trump and displaying a concealed weapon is wrong in so many ways to many on the left.

In the minds of liberals, it’s just just wrong — it must also be illegal.

The photo Brenna Spencer posted on her Twitter account Saturday to commemorate her upcoming graduation from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga certainly stirred up plenty of emotions.

The picture shows Spencer posing defiantly with Chattanooga’s Chief John Ross Bridge in the background, according to Newsweek, with the gun’s handle easily visible against her midriff.

Second Amendment supporters admired the photo and applauded Spencer’s courage for posting it, while gun-control advocates slammed the photo for being reckless in the wake of February’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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Plus, critics can’t believe a young woman — or any woman — is vocal in her support of the president.

As of midday Thursday, the tweet had received almost 92,000 likes and had been retweeted nearly 14,000 times.

One critic of the picture alleged that Spencer broke the law by having her weapon visible at Chattanooga’s Hunter Museum of American Art. Spencer was standing outside of the museum when the photo was taken.

Did you find anything objectionable to Brenna Spencer's photo?

That same person even posted a screenshot of an article from ArtNews.com, which lists the Hunter Museum of American Art as being among the museums that does not allow citizens to carry firearms on its grounds.

WTVC, the ABC News affiliate in Chattanooga, contacted the Chattanooga Police Department about the legality of Spencer’s picture, but didn’t receive a reply to their request for a comment.

The station did speak to Mark Haskins, a former member of the department who spent 30 years in law enforcement. But his reaction probably wasn’t what the station was looking for.

“I don’t have any adverse reaction to that,” Haskins told the station upon seeing Spencer’s photo.

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Eventually, the station contacted the museum. Turns out, the museum does prohibit firearms on its grounds.

Just one problem: the museum didn’t have a sign stating that fact.

Tennessee enacted a new code on Jan. 1 that requires a business to have a sign expressly stating if firearms are prohibited on its property in order to enforce the policy.

Many businesses previously had signs stating a “No Weapons” policy, but the new law was designed to eliminate confusion for business owners and gun owners. For instance, someone licensed to carry a gun, even if it’s concealed, can’t be asked to leave a business if the establishment doesn’t have a sign expressly prohibiting firearms on the property.

The Hunter Museum has a “no firearms” policy, but it didn’t have a sign expressly stating that when Spencer posed for her picture.

Bottom line? Spencer did not violate any laws with her picture.

That was almost certainly a disappointment to those who were miffed by Spencer’s photo, and the local ABC affiliate that was probably hoping to break a big story.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Media, Sports, Business Trends




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