UF Young Americans for Freedom’s pro-gun banner vandalized

UF’s Young Americans for Freedom gun rights banner hangs on Plaza of the Americas Saturday morning after being spray painted with the words “Go away” by an unknown vandalist.

It only took 12 days for a UF conservative student organization’s banner reading “Come and take it” to be vandalized.

The banner was put up on the Plaza of Americas on March 25 by UF’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.

Dylan Finucan, a member of the organization, found the banner vandalized with red spray paint. It had the words “Go away” and “Antifa” with the communist hammer and sickle symbol painted.

The local antifa group, Gainesville anti-fascists, said the graffiti on the banner was not organized by the group. The group declined to answer further questions.

“I think it was antifa, or it was just an a--hat, who was just trying to start problems, but there’s a lot more people in antifa than just a--hats with spray paint," Finucan said.

YAF put up the banner to advocate for second amendment right, Finucan said. The banner also had an assault rifle painted on top of the phrase, “Come and take it.”

Several YAF members have filed a police report with University Police, Finucan said.

In February, a similar incident occurred involving a “Build the Wall” banner hung up by YAF on Plaza of the Americas. The banner was cut down three times in two days.

It is unknown whether cameras in the area caught the action, said UF spokesperson Steve Orlando. YAF held the proper permit from the UF Student Activities and Involvement Division of Student Affairs to hang their banner.

Correction: This article was updated to correct a quote from Finucan. The Alligator previously reported differently. 

Mikayla Carroll is a first-year journalism major from West Palm Beach, Florida. She first began at The Alligator in the Fall of 2018 as a copy editor and is now a university news staff writer.