Multiple gun rights groups will be joining together this weekend for a mock mass shooting on the University of Texas campus, an event complete with cardboard guns, crisis actors, and fake blood. Now, what could this possibly accomplish?, a reasonable person might be wondering. But as one of the protestors told Statesman.com: “We love freedom, and we’re trying to make more freedom.”
“It’s a fake mass shooting, and we’ll use fake blood,” he said. He said gun noises will be blared from bullhorns. Other people will then play the role of rescuers, also armed with cardboard weapons.
... Asked if he was worried the demonstration, which will be preceded by a walk through Austin with loaded weapons might appear in bad taste following the mass shootings in San Bernardino and Paris, Short said: “Not at all. People were able to be murdered people because no one was armed.”
Fortunately, weapons are currently banned from UT’s campus, or else someone probably would get shot this weekend. That might not be the case for long, however. On August 1, Texas’ new “campus carry” law goes into effect, which will allow concealed handguns in classrooms, dorms, and “other buildings” at both public and private colleges.
This law still allows for universities to draft up their own rules for specified gun-free zones, which is what Come and Take It Texas and DontComply.com are hoping to change this weekend, by trying to terrify everyone around them into packing heat of their own.
The much more likely outcome? A bunch of assholes run around UT making light of tragedy and reminding everyone why we need gun-free zones in the first place: to protect us from all those “good guys with guns.”
Update 6:14 p.m.:
The university is aware of media reports about an outside group’s intention to stage a group performance of a mass shooting on the UT Austin campus this weekend. Our Board of Regents’ rules designate our campus as a space reserved for the business, research and educational purposes of UT Austin. Within the university community, the campus is a place for the vigorous exchange of diverse viewpoints, which is an essential part of the educational experience. The property or buildings owned or controlled by UT Austin are not, however, open to outside groups for assembly, speech, or other activities, including theatrical performances, as are the public streets, sidewalks, and parks. Only the university itself, faculty, staff and student groups may engage in such activities on campus. This applies equally to an outside protest group, an outside theater troupe, or any outside group wishing to use the facilities or grounds of the university.
Many groups seek to use the university’s facilities each year and they are all treated equally and are turned away. For example, we have not allowed the Westboro Baptist Church to protest on campus and have not allowed labor groups to protest on campus. We have told outside sporting groups that they may not use our sporting facilities.
When outside individuals come on campus and violate our rules regarding use of our grounds and facilities, they are asked to leave. If they do not, it becomes a criminal trespass matter. We suggest that any outside organizations planning such events on campus relocate them to other space where they would be allowed.
Our Dean of Students Office is attempting to contact the leaders of this group to make sure they are aware of our Board of Regents’ rules and procedures.