In the wake of another mass shooting, a small group of gun rights advocates thought they should express their views on gun free zones. Equipped with cardboard guns and actors, they demonstrated a mass shooting near the University of Texas campus. They said they wanted to make it as real as possible.
“The mass body counts, the slow response times for first responders to get there,” Jason Orsek, with Come and Take it Texas and DontComply.com, said describing the demonstration.
It didn't take long for counter-protesters to catch wind of the plans.
“They said on their Facebook a theatrical performance and I found that really distasteful,” Rebeca Baptista, counter-protester, said.
Earlier this year, Texas passed the campus carry law. It will go into effect August 1, 2016. However, there will be various gun-free zones at U.T. and that's what these gun rights advocates don't agree with.
“On the national narrative they tend to try to convey that gun free zones are safer places to be but in reality they are not safer,” Orsek said.
Counter protesters reflect on the 1966 massacre on the U.T. campus.
“Considering U.T.’s sensitive history with a massive shooting and the (19]66 victims we feel that a mock shooting does mock the victims of that historic awful event,” Baptista said.
Once media, counter protesters and advocates gathered at the appointed location, the event already happened, a few blocks down. Only a few saw it happen.
The group says shootings can be unpredictable so they chose a different location.
“I'm not sure if that was sincere I think they may have been more worried about the protests behind me,” Grace Gilker, student, said.
Although there are opposing views on the mock shooting, one thing is clear, Americans do feel they've had enough.
“It belittles the importance and severity of this serious issue facing Americans right now,” Gilker said.