In June of this year, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed into law S.B. 11 – a.k.a. the “campus carry” law — which allows licensed gun owners carry concealed handguns on university campuses, effective August 1, 2016.
Gun-rights advocates are of course thrilled with the decision, especially the super-specific Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, which argues that “high-profile shootings and armed abductions on college campuses clearly demonstrate that ‘gun free zones’ serve to disarm only those law-abiding citizens who might otherwise be able to protect themselves.”
On the other side of the issue, many students, faculty and staff insist that making campuses gun free zones is the only way to go. While the campus battle between both sides generates the familiar talking points, one recent University of Texas alumnus has come up with an amusingly creative response to the issue.
Jessica Jin has a violin performance degree from the UT music school, a certificate from the UT business school, and a first-degree sense of humor. As an example of the latter, she founded an organization called Sad Violin Music — a network of violinists who, for a fee, will play sad music for “breakups, funerals, mass layoffs, whining children, lover’s quarrels, betrayal, food poisoning, championship losses, bankruptcy, raising $ for sad causes, pity parties, sinking ships” and any other occasion for which the violin is uniquely suited.
Regarding the S.B. 11 law, Jessica thinks it’s ironic that students will be able to carry guns on campus, while the university’s obscenity rules forbid the carrying of dildos. If you’re packing both a gun and a dildo, you could get your dildo confiscated. And Jin isn’t going to stand for having her constitutional rights violated like that.
So she came up with a protest idea in the 1960s tradition of the Yippies, who incorporated elements of street theatre and burlesque into their dissident antics, adopting slogans like “sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger,” and “free speech means the right to shout ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire.”
In a similar spirit, Jin is organizing an event called Campus Dildo Carry, accompanied by the best Twitter tag ever: #CocksNotGlocks. “Starting on the first day of Long Session classes on August 24, 2016,” she explains, “we are strapping gigantic swinging dildos to our backpacks in protest of campus carry.” Everyone is free to participate. “Come one dildo, come all dildos” is her battle cry.
Like all satirical social commentary, Jin’s intentions are backed by some serious thinking. “The narratives surrounding sexuality (or just dildos, in this case) and guns are more intertwined than one would expect, and more similarities seem to unfold every minute. They each have the power to masculate or emasculate at a moment’s notice. Some shootings in this past year can even be traced straight back to sexual repression. Dildos and guns are in it together for the long haul.”
As for the planned protest, Jin is quick to remind potential protesters that carrying a dildo on campus truly is forbidden. “Participate at your own risk,” she warns. “But can you imagine the gongshow that would be UTPD/APD trying to chase down thousands of students wielding harmless dildos around campus?”
Unfortunately for pro-gun advocates, Jin cannot be simply dismissed as a violin-playing liberal elitist. In addition to playing chamber music, she was also on the UT women’s rowing team that won the Big 12 championship in 2011, and currently plays on the Austin Valkyries rugby team. Notes the petite 5-foot 4-inch 115-pounder, “My rowing coach once pointed at me and told an incoming group of novice rowers, ‘That little girl you see over there? She looks small, but do not underestimate her. She’ll kick your ass.’”
Within two days after posting the Campus Dildo Carry event on Facebook, over 3,000 people had already accepted Jin’s invitation to attend, proving that the humorous approach to serious dissidence is alive and well. In the war to win the hearts and minds of college students, perhaps the pro-gun crowd — which is not known for joking around — could benefit by borrowing a page from Jin’s playbook.
 Jessica Jin, email to author, 11 October 2015