After news broke that a mock shooting was to be held at the University of Texas at Austin this weekend, school officials quickly showed who was boss and shut down the planning.
Gun rights groups Come and Take It Texas and DontComply.com were planning a staged shooting complete with crisis actors, fake blood, and cardboard weapons to oppose gun free zones. We’re still confused by how this event would get their message across, but whatever.
Once news spread about the tacky event, the university released a lengthy statement:
Many groups seek to use the university’s facilities each year and they are all treated equally and are turned away. For example, we have not allowed the Westboro Baptist Church to protest on campus and have not allowed labor groups to protest on campus. We have told outside sporting groups that they may not use our sporting facilities.
When outside individuals come on campus and violate our rules regarding use of our grounds and facilities, they are asked to leave. If they do not, it becomes a criminal trespass matter. We suggest that any outside organizations planning such events on campus relocate them to other space where they would be allowed.
Our Dean of Students Office is attempting to contact the leaders of this group to make sure they are aware of our Board of Regents’ rules and procedures.
Despite the strongly worded statement, Come and Take It Texas wrote on their Facebook page that they plan to meet with the dean today.
According to founder Murdoch Pizgatti, they may relocate to a spot near the campus as opposed to being on school grounds, but numerous students and faculty still oppose the event.
“I think it’s a real insult to everybody who’s been killed in these attacks,” says history professor Joan Neuberger. “I understand the desire of some people to protect themselves. This just seems like the wrong way to go about it.”
Wrong way about it? That’s one way to put it. It’s not only entirely inappropriate, but also an act of despicable sensationalism. People have lost their lives because of these tragedies; regardless of whether or not you think that could have been solved by being armed isn’t the point. It’s dramatizing a national epidemic and turning it into a game. This isn’t a joke – it’s real life. And this is the wrong way to go about proving a point.
Better luck next time, guys.