Mock mass shooting set for University of Texas

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Gun Rights Groups To Use University Of Texas Campus As Backdrop For Mock Mass Shooting.

AUSTIN (AP) — Concealed handguns would be mostly barred from University of Texas dormitories but not from classrooms under recommendations presented to the school president. Two gun rights groups in Texas have planned a mock mass shooting event on Saturday in order to raise awareness about their view of the relationship between gun rights and mass shooting casualties. Faced with the macabre spectacle of young people — or, in the case of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn., children — lying dead in classrooms, groups such as the NRA can only suggest that more guns would lead to less violence, a conclusion met with skepticism by many Americans.

The groups Come and Take It Texas and announced plans for the Saturday event that would include cardboard guns and fake blood, as well as gunshot audio played on a megaphone, reports CBS Austin affiliate KEYE-TV. Gun control advocates have been vocal about their desire to enact new restrictions on ownership of certain kinds of guns in the wake of two mass shootings in Colorado Springs, Colo., and San Bernardino, Calif., in less than a week. The groups hosting the mock shooting event say that it will demonstrate how the intervention of responsible gun owners can reduce the number of lives lost in a mass shooting scenario. The event raises a few questions, including whether or not passersby, unaware of the pretend proceeding, might be duped into thinking an actual shooting was taking place.

The university said violators could face criminal trespassing charges. “More than likely we’re just going to be moving it 20 to 30 feet over to the public land that’s adjacent to the property… still using UT as the backdrop for the event,” Murdoch Pizgatti, president of, told KEYE. The event would come less than two weeks after shooters killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California. “When outside individuals come on campus and violate our rules regarding use of our grounds and facilities, they are asked to leave.

In addition, a 15th victim would die years later as a result of wounds suffered that day, and Whitman’s wife and mother, who he had killed hours before his shooting spree, would bring the total number of those killed to 17. The planned demonstration, “Life And Liberty Event To End Gun Free Zones,” coincides with final exams, and several students wrote on the event’s Facebook page also requesting that the event be moved off-campus. Bird said in a statement, pointing out that the Westboro Baptist Church has also been denied the right to stage events at the school. “If they do not, it becomes a criminal trespass matter.

Bird said. “People are already scared with everything that’s going on in the world and it’s kind of nice to have a safe place which I feel like UT is. Bird told the Statesman that while the campus prides itself on being “a place for the vigorous exchange of diverse viewpoints,” campus grounds are not “open to outside groups for assembly, speech, or other activities, including theatrical performances.” Because of this, organizers have shifted the event, originally planned to be held on campus, to just off campus property.

State lawmakers voted to allow concealed handgun license holders to bring their weapons on campus, including classrooms and dorms, with some limitations. Although the bill states that public universities would have some authority to regulate the carrying and storage of handguns, it has been met with considerable resistance by both students and faculty. In 1966, it was there that Charles Whitman, a 25-year-old architectural engineering major and ex-Marine, gunned down 14 people from the campus’s tower in what may be the first mass shooting in modern memory. “The crime scene spanned the length of five city blocks … and covered the nerve center of what was then a relatively small, quiet college town,” Pamela Colloff wrote in an oral history on the 40th anniversary of the tragedy. “Hundreds of students, professors, tourists, and store clerks witnessed the 96-minute killing spree as they crouched behind trees, hid under desks, took cover in stairwells, or, if they had been hit, played dead.”

Some teachers have threated to quit or sue if they are not allowed to ban guns from their classrooms. (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. Several academic departments and schools on the Austin campus have banded together to form “Gun Free UT,” a university-wide movement hoping to ensure that the campus carry bill is repealed. “[We are] opposed to allowing guns in classrooms and faculty offices.

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