Yes- you read that title correctly. This past June, the Texas legislature passed and Governor Abbott signed a law allowing students and faculty to carry concealed weapons on campus and in classrooms. Even in Texas, this was previously disallowed. The legislature’s action was in response to recent shootings on college campuses.
But, why- you ask- are students protesting with a sex toy? The reason is that under university guidelines, any obscene message is prohibited and the public display of dildos could be construed as “obscene” under Texas law. Thus, the students are attempting to illustrate the hypocrisy of the obscenity law alongside protesting the concealed carry law. In theory, but unlikely, campus police could cite students for publicly displaying a sex toy while allowing a student carrying a concealed weapon to roam free on campus. This stems from the belief that concealed guns are more dangerous to student safety than carrying a dildo in public. Of course, a gun has a greater potential of seriously wounding or killing a person than does a dildo. One would have to strike an assailant with precise accuracy with your sex toy in order to prevent a harm to you. As a form of protection, one would have to seriously practice dildo throwing or whacking at a dildo firing range.
Granted, the Texas obscenity law is in need of some updating. As recently as 2008, it was illegal in 2008 to possess more than six dildos. Thankfully, they updated that aspect of the law and, one supposes, anyone is now permitted to possess an infinite number of dildos without fear of the police knocking down a door with a warrant in search of that seventh dildo.
This protest- scheduled to take place on August 26th of 2016, the first day of classes next year- simultaneously illustrates two absurdities and thankfully the students in charge of the protest are the best illustrators. The first is the free speech aspect. Clearly, this is a protest, albeit, a silly one, but a protest nevertheless. Having an obscenity law against the public display of dildos, quite frankly, makes little sense to this writer. Whether such a law exists or not- although Texas dildo sale statistics are impossible to come by- one supposes that Texans are aware that they can be purchased and used in their state. They can even possess more than six now if they so desire.
The protest organizer is hoping that police will enforce the obscenity law and that the press will cover uniformed police in Austin chasing after students displaying the sex toys on their back packs as they head off for some higher education. The best response would be no response and Jenny Jin (the organizer) and her cohorts would get their 5 minutes of fame on the news and little else. Carrying a dildo on a backpack will not suddenly lead the Texas legislature to veto their concealed carry law on college campuses. At the end of the day, there will be two happy actors- those students inevitably interviewed on television, and the purveyors of sex toys in and around college campuses. In effect, the protest will strengthen the sales of sex toys in Texas and little else. This is clearly an impotent effort to prove a point.
The second is the efficacy of the concealed carry law in the first place. Some college professors have expressed the most absurd arguments against the law. They have suggested the suppression of free speech in the classroom out of fear that someone will pull a gun and shoot a speaker with which they disagree. Whether the law exists or not, that could theoretically happen, but never has. Instead, most of the mass shooters on college campuses went to the school that day with the intention of killing, not in response to some comment in class. These arguments are silly.
They cite statistics that 95% of college administrators oppose such laws, that 90% of campus police oppose them and that 79% of students oppose them. That is all well and good- the 79% of students who oppose the law can opt not to carry a gun on campus. It is a free country. The head of the University of Texas claims that the best way to decrease the chances of a gun tragedy on campus is to disallow weapons altogether. That would work if every student was searched every day before they entered a campus or building. One can imagine the lateness to class because you had to go through the metal detector, X-ray machine and pat-down every day.
Contrary to popular belief, school shootings are hardly a new phenomena. A simple check of Wikipedia shows that the first school shooting occurred in 1840. What is new is the politicization of the phenomena. Every instance is used as an excuse for more stringent gun laws. One wonders whether there would be as many deaths if anyone had a gun to take down the sick murderer in Oregon, or Connecticut, or California (who used a knife and car, by the way), or anywhere else these incidents have occurred.
Short of a strip search of every student, professor, teacher or visitor to any school, a person hell-bent on pursuing a violent act will do so. Knowing that an armed student or teacher or professor or security guard will take them out before they have a chance to turn the gun on their own head may make them think twice, but this writer doubts it. But, having someone else armed could seriously mitigate the carnage and make the next shooter think long and hard.
To the students at the University of Texas-Austin, dildo away. But should there be an armed shooter on your campus wreaking carnage and havoc, let’s see how well that dildo protects you and your classmates. Make sure you strike them at close range in their temple. Of course, you’ll probably be lying on the floor fighting for your life, dildo in hand. Wouldn’t that picture make your parent proud?