News Roundup Special Edition: Campus Carry

Lawsuits and LARPers join the mix

What a difference a day makes: Yesterday, we were blissfully unaware of the prospect of a "mock mass shooting" timed to take place on the UT campus during finals, and we had yet to confront the reality that guns will probably be allowed in UT classrooms within the year.

Open carry activists at the Capitol in January (Photo by John Anderson)

But in a little over 24 hours, we've seen:

Come and Take It Texas and announce they'll be holding an open carry walk on the Drag followed by a "mock mass shooting" demonstration at UT to raise awareness that "gun-free zones are killing us." The event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12, a day when UT students will be taking finals and perhaps extra uninterested in being disturbed by the sound of fake gunshots and people screaming while pretending to be shot by cardboard guns. UT, getting wind of the group's plans, issues a statement saying they would be asked to leave; the group moves the location to near the campus. The group was scheduled to meet with UT officials, but it's not yet clear whether that meeting has taken place or what may have come of it.

Clearly inspired by Jessica Jin's planned Campus (Dildo) Carry protest, scheduled to take place the day open carry takes effect, Tim Sookram and Andrew Dobbs announce they will be holding a "mass farting demonstration" to counter the mass shooting demo. We recommend visiting the event's Facebook page if you're in the mood for debating what works best for making fart noises.

Feeling aggrieved by the criticism, one participant writes a post on Facebook defending the mass shooting event, and gives us what just might be our favorite defense of all time: "I AM NOT stupid nor do I even have a small penis and I will NOT be bullied into cancelling this event because of your fears. We will stand UNITED and FIGHT to #EndGunFreeZones."

On a more somber note, this morning UT's Campus Carry Working Group released its recommendations for UT's implementation of campus carry, the most important one being: "Every member of the Working Group – including those who are gun owners and license holders – thinks it would be best if guns were not allowed in classrooms. Nevertheless, the Working Group does not recommend that classrooms should be designated a gun-exclusion zone. The primary on-campus activity for most of our more than 50,000 students is going to class. Excluding handguns from classrooms would have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying their handguns and so would violate SB 11."

Later today, Gun Free UT announced that they are contemplating filing suit in response to the recommendations, writing in a statement, "Allowing guns in the classroom undermines that purpose by chilling free speech and infringing on academic freedom. The report has utterly failed to recommend policies that will protect these treasured traditions. We will defend our First Amendment rights by every legal means possible.”

Seeing the mock mass shooting demo for what it is, a group of LARPers posted on Craigslist that they will be engaging in a "Flash Battle on the Drag," writing. "Don't be a stupid idiot and miss out on this: The group staging a mock mass shooting with cardboard guns and fake blood....the works. Their event will be covered by the news so this is an amazing opportunity to show up and engage in battle with our foam swords, pool noodles, nerf guns, glitter & confetti bombs, etc..."

No doubt there's more to come. Check back for updates, and follow @ACnewsdesk for full coverage of Saturday's events.

Additional reporting by Mac McCann.

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