Open-carry activists plan to stage a mock mass shooting Saturday at the University of Texas at Austin to protest gun-free zones on campus.
The Open Carry Walk and Crisis Performance Event will have actors “shot” by fake shooters with cardboard weapons and the sounds of gunshots via a bullhorn, according to the Austin American-Statesman. A walk down a street that borders the campus, in which participants are encouraged to bring their “rifles and legal pistols,” will precede the performance.
“It’s a fake mass shooting and we’ll use fake blood,” Matthew Short, spokesman for gun rights groups Come and Take It Texas and DontComply.com, told the newspaper.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed Texas Senate Bill 11, which allows for people to carry concealed handguns into buildings on the state’s public campuses, into law in June. It also gives universities the ability to establish gun-free zones, which has upset gun rights activists.
Loaded firearms are not currently permitted on the UT-Austin campus, as the new gun law doesn’t take effect until Aug. 1, 2016 (that’s exactly 50 years after an armed student shot 43 people from the campus watchtower in 1966). A university spokesperson did not immediately respond to TPM’s requests for comment about the planned protest.
Here’s the groups’ flier:
“In the wake of yet another mass shooting one thing is clear, Gun Free Zones are killing us,” a press release from the groups read. “These target rich environments are letting our children be murdered by evil people. Now is the time to stand up, take a walk, and put pressure on politicians to ban Gun Free Zones.”
When the American-Statesman asked the group if it was too soon after the massacre in San Bernardino, California for such a demonstration, Short replied with a firm no.
“Not at all. People were able to be murdered people [sic] because no one was armed,” he told the newspaper.