In a series of Twitter direct messages, Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw allegedly criticized “gun girl” and Infowars contributor Kaitlin Bennett for having career goals he claimed are centered on “attention, not advocacy.”
Bennett has been a subject of mockery throughout her rise as right-wing social media influencer, which began when she shared photos of herself posing on her university campus with an AR-10 rifle. Prior to her viral photoshoot, Bennett had made headlines after she disbanded her university’s Turning Point USA chapter over what she believed was Turning Point USA’s insufficient response to public ridicule her chapter faced when photos of young conservatives wearing diapers at one of the organization’s events went viral online.
In a YouTube video and appearance on Alex Jones’ Infowars, Bennett said that Crenshaw had messaged her on Twitter after she had tweeted that President Donald Trump and Crenshaw had betrayed their voters by vocally supporting “red flag” gun laws, which enable law enforcement to confiscate weapons from individuals it determines they pose a violent threat to themselves or others. Bennett claimed that an image she posted of herself standing with a statue of a rhino with a caption that mentioned Crenshaw had “triggered” him.
In a series of screenshots from her direct messages, Bennett’s conversation with Crenshaw on Twitter began with a message she sent earlier this year, asking the congressman to share a video she made. In a follow-up message sent from Crenshaw, he wrote:
I came across this old message from you as I was going through my inbox, then noticed you’ve been talking about me a lot, and I have to wonder:
Do you still believe there’s a problem with “hypocrisy towards dissenting views?” Have you not also fallen into that category? isn’t that video you made at the [Bernie] Sanders rally an example of the same victimhood politics we accuse the left of?
And what good do you think will come of purposefully distorting my views and making an enemy out of me? Really, what good? How does it help the bigger argument in favor of the 2nd Amendment?
And really ask yourself: Does your in-your-face activism actually persuade anyone to be on our side? Do you even care?
Bennett responded to Crenshaw with a lengthy appeal for his approval. Crenshaw responded:
Your private comments are very different from your public ones, which gives me a sense of what your real goals are (attention, not advocacy). Your concerns about those laws are valid (and I’ve addressed those concerns in detail, and reference the CATO testimony for a true understanding of the subject), but your public rhetoric is going to hurt our cause far more than help it. As you said, you don’t care about that. Again, engaging in victimhood politics is what the left does, not what conservatives do. You pretending publicly that I am against you is exactly that: victimhood politics. I hope one day you’ll realize that. Good luck.
On Infowars, Bennett insisted that she was shocked at the messages that Crenshaw sent her and argued that she was more polite to him than she is to others.
“I wanted to go my usual aggressive self and just tell him that he’s ridiculous, he’s a soy boy, he’s acting like a child, but I kept it cool and I was hoping to change his mind and I didn’t,” Bennett told Jones.