A new law that allows people to carry concealed handguns into most buildings on public college campuses takes effect today in Texas, and students are planning to protest by bringing some equally inappropriate — but much less lethal — objects into their classrooms: dildos.
Supporters of the so-called "campus carry" law claim it gives students and faculty the ability to protect themselves against mass shootings. Texas has allowed registered gun owners to carry concealed firearms on college campuses since 1995, but this is the first time that weapons will be allowed inside school buildings.
Ryan Short, a spokesperson for he pro-gun organization Come and Take It Texas, said in a statement that "gun-free zones have been proven dangerous and an invitation for criminals to find defenseless victims."
Jessica Jin, the founder of "Cocks Not Glocks," a student group at the University of Texas at Austin, doesn't see it that way.
"The purported benefits of this law are not worth the potential for accidents, suicides, escalating ordinary conflicts to deadly levels, or the brain drain of teachers who are either resigning or withdrawing their applications to the university," she said.
Jin's group is organizing a demonstration called "Campus Dildo Carry" on August 24, the first day of fall semester classes at the state's flagship public university, that she says will involve students carrying "a few thousand non-phallic sex toys to accurately reflect the 'concealed carry' aspect of this law, [and] about 500 very dick-like toys too."
Jin says the protesters will strap dildos to the outside of their backpacks and stroll into class "like nothing is different."
"It's to help people visualize how ridiculous it would look if everybody in our community were 'carrying' [a gun]," Jin said. "Hopefully the dildos will churn up the sense of shock and discomfort that people should feel about guns being everywhere."
Under the new Texas law, university presidents are able to designate certain gun-free buildings, but a university governing board can veto those rules with a two-thirds majority vote. The law also restricts guns in on-campus residence halls, but according to a report by the Austin American-Statesman, visiting family members of students and university staff members are permitted to carry handguns into dormitories while they are passing through. Guns are also allowed in dining halls, lounges, and study areas, where students spend much of their time. Private schools are exempt from the campus carry law.
The campus carry law takes effect 50 years to the day after a mass shooting by Charles Whitman, a former Marine and engineering student at UT Austin. Whitman massacred 13 students and wounded 30 more with sniper fire after climbing a tower on the school's campus in 1966. Whitman was eventually shot and killed by an Austin police officer.
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