The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Protesters removed from Kyle Rittenhouse event hosted by Clemson TPUSA

Protestors were escorted out of the auditorium at Clemson TPUSA’s “Rittenhouse Recap” on Thursday.

An earlier version of this article stated that the City of Clemson Police were present at the event when it was the Clemson University Police Department. The Tiger regrets this error and has since corrected it.

Kyle Rittenhouse was met by a room of supporters and protesters during his “Rittenhouse Recap” event hosted by Clemson’s chapter of Turning Point USA at the Strom Thurmond Institute on Thursday.

Leading up to the highly contentious event, students organized a protest lining the sidewalk facing the auditorium building.

Protesters held signs with messages including “No killers at Clemson,” “Say no to Rittenhouse” and “Protect people, not guns.”

“Kyle Rittenhouse shot and fatally shot two people. That can never be rectified, those lives will never be brought back … you have to ask yourself, is this someone we want to stand by,” Pan Tankersley, one protester present at the event, told The Tiger.

Several protesters also entered the auditorium and began to chant before Rittenhouse’s speech began, interrupting opening remarks made by Sophia Pagliuca, the president of Clemson TPUSA.

Clemson University Police Department officers eventually escorted out protesters who chanted “save lives, not bullets” as Rittenhouse entered on stage.

“Kyle Rittenhouse is a shining example for constitutional rights,” Pagliucia said. “His experience is a firsthand example of the current climate of America.”

Rittenhouse spent much of his speech recounting the events of the Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooting that began his career in the sphere of politics and gun rights activism.

“I’m on the ground, I’m scared, I just had my head bashed multiple times, I’ve been kicked in the face … he grabs my gun and drives his skateboard into my skull, and that’s when I had to defend myself,” Rittenhouse said. “He would have killed me if I did not defend myself. They all would have killed me.”

Rittenhouse also addressed South Carolina’s current gun regulations.

“We have constitutional carry, but we can’t carry it on public campuses,” Rittenhouse said. “These universities and lawmakers do not care about any of you guys; all they care about is lining their pockets.”

Rittenhouse argued for constitutional carry laws to include rights for students to carry guns at public universities.

“Campus carry is so important to me. It’s incredibly important to this country. We see what’s happened in this country with Hamas and Palestinian protesters and rioters coming to these campuses … they are wreaking havoc and hurting people.”

As of March 7, individuals “who are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm” may “legally possess a firearm openly or concealed without training and without a concealed weapons permit,” according to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division guidelines.

Current Clemson guidelines are that “it is unlawful for any person to possess a firearm of any kind on any premises or property owned, operated or controlled by a college or university, including Clemson University,” according to Clemson News.

The Q&A portion of the event included comments both in support of Rittenhouse and questioning his past actions.

“You’re a Christian, right? I want to know how you come to terms with the fact you’re sitting all the time with pride for killing someone. ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ whether the court proved you innocent or not,” one person asked.

Protesters continued to rally outside the event as people were leaving the auditorium for the night.

“He is advocating against Black Lives Matter; he is advocating for gun violence and everything we stand against, and we’re not gonna let that happen,” Gayatri Misra, the protester coordinator, told The Tiger.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Josiah Sullivan
Josiah Sullivan, Senior Reporter
William Stehn
William Stehn, Asst. Photo Editor
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *