It's guns vs dildos at US varsity

2015-10-14 05:31
Sex toys. (iStock)

Sex toys. (iStock)

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Austin - "Campus Dildo Carry" day is on track at the University of Texas and students who pack sex toys to protest a new law that expands the right to carry guns on campus will not be punished, university officials said on Tuesday.

The protest planned for the start of classes next year is aimed at showing what organisers said is the folly of penalising people up to $500 under Texas law for violating obscenity rules for having a sex toy on campus while making it legal for a concealed handgun licence holder to bring a pistol into the classroom.

Nearly 8 000 people have signed up to strap sex toys to their backpacks on August 24 2016, at the university's flagship campus in Austin on the first day of the autumn semester.

On August 1 a new, so-called "campus carry" law will go into effect allowing people 21 and older with a concealed handgun licence to carry handguns in classrooms and buildings at the University of Texas system, one of the nation's largest with an enrolment of more than 214 000.

"You're carrying a gun to class? Yeah well, I'm carrying a HUGE DILDO," wrote protest organiser and University of Texas alumna Jessica Jin, 24.

"Just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play," she added on the event page.

The university said it considers the movement political speech and will not interfere, an official said.

"We do not cite students that express free speech," said spokesperson Gary Susswein.

Licenced holders have been allowed to carry concealed handguns on campus, but not in buildings, for 20 years, the university said.

The university has held forums about the new law, with discussions overshadowed by mass shootings on campuses, particularly one in Oregon this month that left 10 people dead, including the suspected gunman.

Alumnus Casey Kelver posted on the event page of the sex toy protest that the nature of the demonstration will hinder meaningful conversation about campus carry.

"Only other kids will think it's great, most people think it's incoherent," Kelver wrote.

In forums, students and staff have said allowing more guns on campus from law-abiding concealed licence holders will increase security.

But those opposed to the law have been more numerous in the discussions, including more than 300 faculty members who have signed a petition saying they will refuse to allow guns in their classrooms.

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