Satirical ad campaign highlights potential violence of campus carry laws

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of FBC New York

The students behind the “Cocks Not Glocks” protest on campus last fall released a satirical ad campaign Tuesday to coincide with potential changes to the state’s existing campus carry law. 

“Student Body Armor” was created by the protest-turned-student group Cocks Not Glocks after they were approached by an advertising agency last December. The agency has since heavily contributed to developing the concept and online campaign material, said UT alumna Jessica Jin, founder of Cocks Not Glocks. The satirical online “shop” includes bulletproof burnt orange hoodies, T-shirts and full-body “Hurt Locker” armor suits, “offering a unique balance between school pride and blunt trauma protection from high-velocity rounds,” according to the campaign website.  

“The ad is meant to give people a very tangible sense of the implications of this culture,” Jin said. “There’s a very romanticized, self-defense and heroism sort of attitude when it comes to promoting campus carry, but I think the reality of it is that there’s a lot of other factors of safety that people haven’t thought about.”

The “campus carry” law went into effect Aug. 1, 2016 and allows individuals to carry a concealed handgun on public college campuses and in certain buildings as long as they have the proper licensing. To voice their disapproval of the law, anti-campus carry groups passed out dildos in a campus-wide protest on the first day of classes last fall in order to “fight absurdity with absurdity.” 

The campaign was released the same day a Texas House committee passed legislation allowing people over the age of 21 to carry a handgun without a license, a decision that makes the ad especially timely, Jin said. A separate bill, which would lower this age to 18, extends to public college campuses and is still pending approval. 

“Cocks Not Glocks and Student Body Armor provide a platform that highlights issues that are often overlooked,” said Ana Lopez, president of Students Against Campus Carry who helped coordinate filming efforts for the campaign video. “Campus carry passed because no one was properly informed of what was to come, and Cocks Not Glocks has put absurd gun laws on the map.” 

The website’s disclaimer “Student Body Armor is a joke. Campus carry is not,” makes it clear the items “for sale” — which range from $700 to $30,000 per item — cannot actually be purchased. However, the website does encourage individuals to contact their local representatives to express concerns about the campus carry law and includes instructions and tips on how to do so. 

“I respect the work (Cocks Not Glocks) is doing and it’s good they’re standing up for it, since the law in a sense is ridiculous,” said Snovia Moiz, an international relations and global studies sophomore. “But if someone were really going to (shoot others on campus), they would do it anyway, a law wouldn’t change that. We live in Texas, and people are really attached to their guns here.” 

Texas is currently one of nine states with a campus carry law in place, with at least 13 other states currently considering campus carry laws. 

“We need to address these fears and talk about why our community is so unsafe that people feel like they might not survive class,” Lopez said. “Vigilance is a very important thing in fighting this culture of violence.”