Bullet casings found on campus with anti-campus carry sign defaced

Van Nguyen

Three bullet casings have been found around campus, according to Patricia Roberts-Miller, a professor in the rhetoric and writing department.

Roberts-Miller said a staff member found a bullet casing in Parlin Hall on Friday, and she found a second one in Parlin on Sunday. She was told there was another casing found earlier last week in Batts Hall.

“The main thing is it is not at all clear what this is, what the person means [or] what they’re communicating,” Roberts-Miller said.

Casey Boyle, a rhetoric and writing professor, posted pictures of one of the bullets found by a staff member on Twitter on Friday. A note in the bullet said “Triggered?”

The pictures Boyle posted also showed a Gun Free UT sign near the bullet defaced with the words “In the land of the pigs, the butcher is king. Oink… Oink… Oink.”

Boyle said the bullet and sign were not near a faculty member’s office.

The bullet found last Friday was the only one known to have a note in it. UTPD was not able to comment on whether or not the others had one at this time.

Campus carry has been a controversial topic for some since it was implemented. The law went into effect Aug. 1 at all Texas public colleges. 

Gun Free UT is an anti-campus carry organization that has protested campus carry legislation since it was introduced during the last legislative session. The organization consists of faculty, students, staff and others in the UT community. 

“We have said all along that campus carry will lead to accidental gun discharges and the use of lethal weapons to try to intimidate people,” said Stephen Wechsler, a linguistics professor and Gun Free UT member, in an email. “Now a gun owner is making the second point by leaving a gun shell casing and a threatening note outside the offices of our members. This illustrates the primary function of lethal weapons in America: to settle arguments through violence or the threat of violence.  Unfortunately, those who tried to reassure everyone that campus carry will make no difference are being proven wrong.“

Students for Concealed Carry said they do not endorse these actions or any other actions that are in poor taste or which may be detrimental to the larger movement for increased gun rights on college campuses. 

“There is not much of a point for acting in this manner,” government sophomore Brian Bensimon, director for SCC in Texas, said in an email. “When engaging those on the other side, we should always keep our actions civil and in good spirit.”

According to Cindy Posey, associate director of communications for University operations, UTPD has been made aware of the situation and is currently looking into it. 

“It’s an open and ongoing investigation,” Posey said.  “We can’t reveal information from an open investigation.”