Recently we published an article detailing the grassroots movement of University of Texas student Jessica Jin. In her “Cocks Not Glocks” movement, she is protesting the Texas legislature’s decision to impose a new policy on campus that would allow students to carry concealed firearms onto campus, including inside class room settings, which Jessica and her followers feel is never appropriate. In her words, she said, “The college experience is one of sleep-deprivation, struggles with mental health in students’ most rigorous phases of self-development, drugs and alcohol, and high stress. Adding guns into the mix is undeniably dangerous, and the risks they create completely offset the minuscule chance that they’ll need to be used for self-protection in a school building.”
But, in a state like Texas where so much of the recent history has hinged upon the legal ownership of guns, there will always be people who feel that it’s their right to carry their guns wherever they please. To this, Jessica says, “People own guns because they feel like their lives are at stake without them. I grew up in Texas and completely respect that. It’s easy to respect the desire for safety and survival.” She adds, “What can we do about the root causes of the pervasive fear that have made it so that even students now think they may not survive a normal school day unless they pack a loaded gun in their lunchbox?”
It’s a novel question, and Jessica bravely seeks to approach the situation from a standpoint of understanding – something her opposition isn’t looking as deeply at. Many who oppose her views on the standpoint have taken to lashing out at her in ways that don’t even pertain to the subject at hand. “Women have been told since the beginning of time their silence is what society values, and that they are too opinionated, too demanding, too emotional. To me, that positively translates into: too thoughtful, too self-respecting, and too in touch with reality. These are virtues, not weaknesses.”
She continued with the commentary, “The vitriol directed at me is like playing hide-and-seek and picking a fight with the seeker for finding you in your terribly-chosen hiding spot. Nobody is going to sympathize with that. #CocksNotGlocks caught on because of how easy it was for people to immediately see what’s wrong with our lax gun laws today. It was out in the open. It doesn’t take a genius to simply point it out.”
When she was asked what her overall impression of the opposition was, she admitted it was a bit amusing. “There is no excuse to get as upset as some of these people have gotten over a horde of rubber toys. A lot of them are the same people who claim they can be the calm, level-headed, even-handed protector of society in a violent and chaotic situation. They clearly can’t even stay calm in the presence of a dildo.”
Indeed, her approach is a bit unusual, as using an object widely viewed as obscene can clash with some. But as she so eloquently stated to me, “[V]iolence is obscene. Why aren’t instruments of violence classified as such?” It’s a very valid point that many people refuse to connect. “The fact that we live in a culture which glorifies violence and vilifies sex shows that our priorities are completely sideways.”
Jessica is not alone in her fight, and she is gaining more followers as time goes on. Hundreds of professors have stood up in opposition to the new bill, covering entire departments. These professors all have the same mindset: Putting guns into class rooms is a horrible idea.
Even William McRaven, a retired Navy Admiral who organized and led the raid in pursuit of Osama bin Laden (and now works as the system chancellor) is against the bill. Among others who agree that the bill is ridiculous is Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, who stated that guns would only add to the chaos and confusion. After all, students spend their time studying and learning the material from their courses – not practicing how to safely handle a firearm. Although Acevedo does not directly endorse this movement, it is comforting to know that he shares her values.
Jessica explains, “They’ve placed the burden on us. We’ve been told that we won’t be safe unless we take matters into our own hands and carry a loaded murder weapon at all times, since that allowance is the only protection that lawmakers are willing to afford us. That’s garbage.” Indeed, having the system tell you that you won’t be protected unless you protect yourself can have an overall damaging effect on the safety of the school as a whole.
When added to the previously mentioned stressors, these students are not likely to be an effective deterrent for violent crime, and are in fact more likely to injure their fellow students than to actually hit their target. Of course there are exceptions, but in general, most gun owners are not highly-trained emergency response personnel, and the use of guns in a classroom should be limited to those with extensive training.
Jessica is optimistic that her movement will reach its goals, although she states that she doesn’t expect to win over the opposition. “Naturally, the subjects of ridicule, mockery, and satire are unlikely to want to be your friend. […] I do, however, hope that by approaching the issue from a lighthearted standpoint, that I’ll shake people out of indifference and avoidance.”
“This is not a problem isolated to Texas,” she explains. “Campus Carry is being hotly debated at schools around the nation.” She encourages people to do their research and find out what it is that will be effective in their own movement. “[T]his controversy has stemmed from much bigger problems outside of universities which need to be addressed, so the work will likely not end. This is just the beginning.”
To anyone who is interested in joining her in this mission to challenge the gun laws, Jessica invites people to e-mail her at email@example.com.