"No one writes an instruction manual for how to organize," said Jessica Jin, subject of documentary short "Come & Take It." She added, "And a lot of it is just learning by doing and making mistakes."
Co-directed by Austin filmmakers PJ Raval and Ellen Spiro, "Come & Take It" follows Jin, the UT graduate behind the Cocks Not Glocks protests, aka "Campus (Dildo) Carry." Targeting the idiocy of Texas' "campus carry" law (which allows loaded handguns in public university classrooms), the protest called for demonstrators to brandish sex toys galore (which is illegal).
Jin didn't start out as an activist. What started as a half-joking Facebook event exploded into a full-blown movement, garnering thousands of supporters and media frenzy. "She didn't have a larger background in activism – she didn't have a whole group of people to help her at first," said Raval. "You had someone who came up with this, at first, just really funny idea and it spiraled outwards into this movement."
While campus carry and open carry laws still exist in Texas, Jin's efforts sparked a vital conversation on gun violence prevention across America. In today's political climate, "Come & Take It" shines a spotlight on the collective power of young people and their ability to engage and enact political change.
Taking a stand, however, doesn't come without its price. "Come & Take It" addresses the deluge of harassment Jin's faced for her efforts, from internet trolls leaking her personal info to Cocks Not Glocks followers attacking her decision to reach out to CJ Grisham, the president of Open Carry Texas. It's the heartbreak of political organizing that often goes unnoticed.
"What the media covered was very superficial," explained Spiro, who believes Cocks Not Glocks' earnest activist ethos was lost amidst the sensationalism. "[We wanted] to show the story that the mainstream media missed – that each of the young women that were the center of Cocks Not Glocks all evolved into serious political organizers."
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