(source – posted on October 12, 2015)

AUSTIN – Strap yourselves in, Longhorns, because Jessica Jin’s #CocksnotGlocks protest has officially gone viral.

Less than 36 hours after the UT alumna created the event’s Facebook page, more than 1,700 people have pledged to attend the protest against a recently passed Texas law that will allow more guns on college campuses. The event has also brought Jin some unwanted attention, including threats that prompted her to contact the Austin Police Department.

The Houston Chronicle caught up with Jin, a 24-year-old San Antonio native who lives in Austin, via Facebook and asked what inspired her to set up “Campus (DILDO) Carry“?

(Note: This Q+A was copied from a Facebook message thread between McGaughy and Jin. No answers have been changed or abridged).

Q: How did you think this all up?

A: I was sitting in traffic yesterday listening to a discussion on public radio about the morning’s school shootings. I felt a lot of frustration at those who were still trying to explain-away, or make excuses for this repeated pattern of violence and said to myself, “Man, these people are such dildos.”

I couldn’t believe that people could still sit there and defend their own personal gun ownership while watching families mourn the loss of their children. The dildo concept began as a reaction in jest to this week’s shooting events. One joke led to another, and I did a little research on the rules surrounding dildos in classrooms. When I discovered that it is indeed against UT policy to wave dildos around campus, I just couldn’t help myself.

Q: What feedback have you gotten so far on your proposed protest? Has there been any backlash?

A: You know how internet comments can be.

It has been absolutely fascinating that some folks seemingly feel threatened or angered at the thought of people carrying dildos around with them. They’re incredibly offended! So much outrage! They’re calling for my head.

People want me dead for a dildo.

It’s the type of reaction that we could only hope to see from them when they hear of a child being gunned down in a classroom. It’s a little scary and absurd, but it still sounds like progress to me.

Otherwise, most people are super supportive. I think it has caught on quickly because it resonates with them in a multitude of ways. The gun puns and the humor have been remarkable, but this satirical employment of dildos has also sparked more serious conversations on topics like the perception of safety, the intersection of guns and sexuality, and even campus sexual assault. Others are simply seeing it as quite a literal f*** you to the people and forces that led us into this divisive nationwide deadlock in the first place. There’s a lot of arguing going on, but the consensus is: we’re all just trying to not get killed.

Q: Why dildos of all things?

A: Firstly, it is just plain funny. A campus bobbing with dildos is the stuff of every prankster’s dreams. It’s also self aware. We’re all a bunch of dildos for allowing this debate to go on for so long.

Another thing: it spotlights the masturbatory nature of the power which people derive from gun ownership, and the self aggrandizing “I’m one of the good ones, I’ll protect you” arguments we’re so often expected to simply trust.

Additionally, the dildo has proven itself to be interesting fodder for commentary on what our society does and does not consider “obscene.” 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 instantly 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.

Q: What’s the ideal outcome?

A: I need this proliferation of dildos to offer people a visual representation of what it would be like if we all carried guns. It should look ridiculous to you. That is the point. This is America; if guns and bloodshed don’t wake people up, a public celebration of sexuality may just do the trick. We’re going to need a lot of dildos.

If our country continues in the direction it’s headed, everyone will eventually have to carry in order to protect any semblance of freedom or equality. We clearly already can’t trust each other, and that mistrust is perpetuating a self-defeating escalation of gun ownership in America. Life in a fully armed society resembles something more like a fear-based hellhole than the land of the free, if you ask me.

There are endless reasons to oppose concealed carry, and it doesn’t matter which logical path you follow – everyone who is opposed should be given opportunities to throw their weight behind change and be heard. This is just one of the many opportunities to participate.

Q: More than 1,700 people have signed up. Did you ever think the event would go viral?

A: I thought it would be very hit or miss. It’d either be passed off as a silly joke, or perhaps people would see more in it and latch on.

Q: What’s your general background? Do you consider yourself an activist?

A: I am a UT alumni and I graduated with a violin performance degree last year. I am the typical millennial with too much access to information, too strong of a sense of morality, and too dry of a sense of humor. I’d never before considered myself an activist, more than a concerned citizen. This began as a satirical knee-jerk reaction to current events, but the popularity of these sentiments, and the strength of the reactions it has provoked, has said volumes about what a crisis our country has reached over gun control.