Starting Aug. 1, 2016, University of Texas students will be allowed to carry handguns on campus, according to a new state law.
The statute reads: "An institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education in this state may not adopt any rule, regulation, or other provision prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns on the campus of the institution."
Under certain conditions, universities and the like are allowed some freedom to restrict where people can carry on campus, but they are not allowed to generally prohibit handguns.
And yet, the Texas state university system still has rules on the books prohibiting "obscenity..."
According to the official UT rulebook, openly distributing or displaying "obscene" material could get you cited by the university.
...which means — as of next year — you could probably get in more trouble for going outside on campus and waving a dildo around than you would for strolling through the library with a loaded and deadly handgun.
But one woman is hoping to change that.
Her name is Jessica Jin, and she started Campus (DILDO) Carry to call attention to the absurdity of the state's new gun law.
"Starting on the first day of Long Session classes on August 24, 2016, we are strapping gigantic swinging dildos to our backpacks in protest of campus carry," Jin wrote on Facebook.
As of Oct. 12, 2015, the event had more than 4,700 students, alumni, and community members signed up to participate on Facebook.
That's 4,700 people who plan to walk around a college campus carrying dildos into classrooms, on campus buses, even into dining halls.
While the protest is obviously tongue-in-cheek, its message is 100% no-fooling seriousness.
The group feels strongly that concealed weapons have no place on a college campus and that carrying one is no more ridiculous and unnecessary than toting around a giant sex toy.
The protest is designed to send a clear message to Texas officials about the absurdity of the gun law they just passed.
Seeing someone wield a giant dildo around campus, while strange, is entirely non-threatening. Seeing someone walk by with a handgun strapped to their waist — and not knowing why they have it — can be absolutely terrifying.
Study after study shows that more privately-owned guns leads to more homicide, not the other way around. When you factor in suicide, the correlation between more guns and more needless death becomes even stronger. One recent analysis found that owning a gun increases the likelihood you will be the victim of a murder by a factor of two and of suicide by a factor of three. And the notion that having a gun in the home is an effective or necessary means of self-defense has been debunked time and time again.
And yet, despite the overwhelming evidence, lawmakers continue to pass laws loosening restrictions on firearms.
Since facts and conventional protests seem to fall on deaf ears, perhaps the only way to get through is outright mockery.
As Jin writes on Facebook: "You're carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I'm carrying a HUGE DILDO."
Way to go, Jessica, for stepping up and fighting fire with awesome, ridiculous fire.