Gun rights activists moved the location of their “Crisis Performance Event” near the campus of the University of Texas Saturday and caught a counter-protest off guard.
The event, organized by Come And Take It Texas and DontComply.com was meant to put pressure on politicians and anti-gun groups to help ease and eliminate gun free zones, a subject of fierce debate on UTs campus. Counter-protesters staged a dildo-augmented “Mass Farting” to coincide with the mock mass killing.
However, the gun rights organizers at the last minute gave both the counter-demonstration, police and assembled media the slip, moving the site of the staged gunplay just two blocks over and conducted the staged event on a street corner near student housing.
As video posted by Don’t Comply shows, few spectators, police or protesters were present for the production, which saw seven individuals, many dressed in Gun-Free UT shirts, picked off one by one by two faux masked gunmen armed with cardboard handguns and sprayed with ketchup, one every 30 seconds.
The portrayal occurred within sight of the UT Tower from which in 1966 a gunman, Charles Whitman, killed 14 and wounded 32 in what is frequently referred to as the first modern active shooter incident in the nation.
“This event went perfect. We had plans to demonstrate all aspects of mass shootings and did so flawlessly,” said organizers in a statement. “We illustrated the unpredictability and long response times of real mass shooting events by moving the event two blocks over. We showed how the anti-protestors idea to use dildos and fart noises couldn’t even stop a mock shooting on campus, let alone a real one. While the mass media and police were distracted by anti-protestors talking about their feelings a real mass shooting could have taken place 2 blocks away.”
A correspondent with Independent Journal, who managed to tag along with the pro-gun advocates, wrote that two police officers arrived after 10 minutes of filming, by which time the even had been staged twice and the counter protesters and mainstream media arrived an hour later to find chalk outlines of bodies on a ketchup-strewn street corner.
Rev. Beth Magill of the Episcopal Student Center at UT, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman, mopped away the chalk and condiment calling card soon after.
To those who staged the counter demonstration, the day was a victory for their side.
“I think the real winners are staff, faculty and students who came here to win the day,” said Robert Oxford of Gun Free UT. “If you look at the variety of people here, it’s clear UT students do not want a militarized campus.”
Campus carry, signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott this year, will go into effect in August 2016.