Two pro-gun groups stages a mock mass shooting this past weekend outside the University of Texas. But they weren’t alone.
The mock shooting event started with an open carry march complete with loaded weapons. One of the leaders of the pro-gun march, Murdoch Pizgatti openly carried his handgun, which is technically illegal until 2016. “Whoops!” he said. Others carried legal open-carry weapons such as rifles.
The group then staged a performance complete with cardboard guns and fake blood.
A group of counter protesters (outnumbering the pro-gun activists) organized by University of Texas alumni Andrew Dobbs, were also at the event with sex toys and fart noise machines.
Fart counter-protestors near planned mock mass shooting near Texas campus pic.twitter.com/XGGCrK1PuJ
— Jim Vertuno (@JimVertuno) December 12, 2015
“This isn’t about guns necessarily. This is about scaring our community. This is about a choice between fear and a little bit of good humor.”
“We are in a scary time right now and lots of scary things are happening, and some people want us to be more afraid.”
“I choose to believe that fear is not the solution to the threat of our time. That laughing in the face of fear is a courageous act and toting a gun around everywhere you go, maybe not so much. When you come to my community, to the university that I love, and you threaten the lives of my friends, what I have to say is, I’m going to fart in your face!”
Counter protesters did not arrive until after the mock shooting, but met with the pro-gun groups across from All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Clergy and volunteers for the church cleaned up the chalk and fake blood left by the protesters for the mock shooting.
Some students involved in the counter protests spoke out about their feelings on the mass shooting. One student stated “It’s really disrespectful considering they are doing it at UT, on a campus that has a history of a very disastrous school shooting.” She was referring to the 1966 shootings by Charles Whitman, who climbed to the top of the University of Texas Tower with several weapons and committed the first mass shooting in a public place in the United States.
Texas law currently allows open carry of long arm weapons such as rifles, but starting January 1, 2016 they will also be allowed to open-carry handguns. Students at public college campuses will be allowed to conceal carry starting August 2016.