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Posted: December 09, 2015

Gun rights groups to stage mock mass shooting at UT

American-Statesman file photo: Matthew Short of Victoria, public relations director with Come and Take It Texas and DontComply.com, and president of both groups, Murdoch Pizgatti of Plano, pose with weapons outside the Bastrop Police Department last summer.
American-Statesman file photo: Matthew Short of Victoria, public relations director with Come and Take It Texas and DontComply.com, and president of both groups, Murdoch Pizgatti of Plano, pose with weapons outside the Bastrop Police Department last summer.

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            Gun rights groups to stage mock mass shooting at UT
Gun rights activists voice their opinion in a rally held by anti-carry gun protestors as they gathered on the West Mall of the University of Texas campus to oppose a new state law that expands the rights of concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons on public college campuses. Starting August 1, 2016, permitted gun holders can carry in campus buildings although schools can however designate limited gun-free zones.

By Asher Price

American-Statesman Staff

Gun rights groups say they will conduct a mock mass shooting this weekend at the University of Texas campus as they try to end gun-free zones.

The Open Carry Walk and Crisis Performance Event will involve actors “shot” by perpetrators armed with cardboard weapons, said Matthew Short, a spokesman for the gun rights groups Come and Take It Texas and DontComply.com.

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“It’s a fake mass shooting, and we’ll use fake blood,” he said. He said gun noises will be blared from bullhorns. Other people will then play the role of rescuers, also armed with cardboard weapons.

He said the group was not seeking any sort of permit for the event from Austin or UT. University officials were not immediately available for comment.

“Criminals that want to do evil things and commit murder go places where people are not going to be able to stop them,’ he said. “When seconds count, the cops are minutes away.”

Asked if he was worried the demonstration, which will be preceded by a walk through Austin with loaded weapons might appear in bad taste following the mass shootings in San Bernardino and Paris, Short said: “Not at all. People were able to be murdered people because no one was armed.”

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Loaded weapons are currently not allowed on UT campus, but that will change next August when the new campus carry law goes into effect. The law will allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry their handguns into dorms, classrooms and other public university buildings, though universities may draft some campus-specific rules that may include limited gun-free zones.

Critics of the law have urged UT to take a highly restrictive approach, prompting the pushback from gun rights groups.

“We want criminals to fear the public being armed,” Short said. “An armed society is a polite society.”

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“We love freedom and we’re trying to make more freedom,” he said.

The organizers of Gun Free UT, an organization supported by thousands of UT students and faculty that aims to keep guns out of the UT campus, were not immediately available for comment.


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