Texans will soon be able to carry concealed firearms into public universities. But some will come out swinging with other weapons: dildos.
On the first day of next fall’s semester, University of Texas at Austin students and supporters are planning to strap on sex toys in protest of the state’s new campus carry law, which goes into effect August 1, 2016.
The movement’s rallying cry, Cocks Not Glocks, went viral Sunday, and gun nuts are already getting heated on social media. The protest organizer, Jessica Jin, said she’s received death threats over the event and has alerted Austin police.
But Jin and her plastic willy-wielding allies see the spectacle of shaft as an effective way to show that more guns do not necessarily make for a safer campus.
“I need this proliferation of dildos to offer people a visual representation of what it would be like if we all carried guns,” Jin told the Houston Chronicle. “It should look ridiculous to you. That is the point. This is America. If guns and bloodshed don’t wake people up, a public celebration of sexuality may just do the trick.”
Jin said she came up with the strap-on idea while listening to a public radio discussion on America’s terrifying wave of school shootings. “I felt a lot of frustration at those who were still trying to explain away or make excuses for this repeated pattern of violence and said to myself, ‘Man, these people are such dildos,’” she said.
One joke led to another, and later to Jin’s discovery that rubber penises are indeed banned from classrooms. That’s when she took matters into her own hands, launching the Facebook event, Campus (DILDO) Carry, which as of Sunday night had more than 2,800 supporters.
“The State of Texas has decided that it is not at all obnoxious to allow deadly concealed weapons in classrooms, however it DOES have strict rules about free sexual expression, to protect your innocence,” Jin wrote on the page. “You would receive a citation for taking a DILDO to class before you would get in trouble for taking a gun to class. Heaven forbid the penis.”
The 24-year-old UT alumna added, “You’re carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I’m carrying a HUGE DILDO… Just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play.”
The campus-wide dildo carry was created Friday after one student was fatally shot and another wounded at a Texas Southern University student housing complex.
The protest announcement also comes just days after a student gunman killed nine people at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, and a freshman at Northern Arizona University shot and killed one student and wounded three others.
On Sunday, police arrested a University of South Florida football player they believe was firing shots at a residence hall building around 4 a.m. Cops found his parked car with an open gun case and box of ammo in plain sight, according to WFLA.
It’s incidents like these that have some Texas students and faculty on edge about the future weapons policy.
Last week, a UT professor emeritus of economics resigned as a result of the impending campus carry law. In a letter to UT’s president, Daniel Hamermesh wrote, “The risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed carry law.”
He added: “The issue is not people like me, I’m small potatoes, the real issue is that for Texas, for people who are thinking about coming here, they have lots of alternatives. The ones we want to hire here do have alternatives.”
The campus carry law, passed in June, made Texas one of eight states to allow concealed weapons at public universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Under the statute, only faculty, students, and visitors who are concealed handgun license holders—who must be over age 21—can carry weapons.
Claudia Garate, 27, a graduate student at UT Austin, told The Daily Beast she remembers when her campus was locked down in 2010 after a 19-year-old math major fired shots from an AK-47 before killing himself.
The arguments of gun-rights advocates, who have been trolling the Campus (DILDO) Carry Facebook page, do little to quell Garate’s fears about the law.
“The arguments that are pro-gun carrying... so many are centered around hate, misogyny, and racism,” she said. “It’s a lot of hate from these people trying to defend this law, and that’s the scariest part.”
“Because on one hand, they say they want to defend people and are obsessed with this idea of being a vigilante,” she added. “[On the other], the young woman who organized this is receiving death threats.”
Indeed, the sex-toy brigade’s social media has been inundated with abuse. “I’m guessing that the organizer of this event is a huge slut. Should be funny to watch!” wrote Ron Cox, a Facebook commenter from Mississippi.
“I’m going to post all of your pictures on Facebook so your fathers can see how their daughters act at a liberal college,” a Texan named C.W. Cooper wrote.
“Skanks all of them,” a commenter named A.J. Hands wrote. “I think the guys should all walk around with rubber boobs on and crying everywhere, no problems with that huh ladies?”
Garate, for her part, was one of many people who chimed in from Texas and abroad to embrace the event. She told The Daily Beast her pals are already talking about buying burnt orange dildos in support of the campus’s colors.
“It’s really telling about our society and the way we glorify violence but then vilify sex and sexuality,” Garate said. “How can you be outraged about the idea of people carrying dildos, but not all the people getting gunned down and the violence we see day in and day out? I thought [the protest] was a pretty brilliant move.”