AUSTIN, TX - The University of Texas is the home of college football, sayings like hook 'em horns and an iconic clock tower in the center of campus. It's also the birthplace of America's introduction to mass shootings.
Forty-nine years ago, 25-year-old Charles Whitman barricaded himself on the observation deck of the tower and randomly shot 45 strangers, 1-by-1, killing 14. His reign of terror lasted 96 minutes before two Austin cops took him out. Now, a group in support of campus carry laws is staging a mock mass shooting in that same spot.
Murdoch Pizgatti, the president and founder of "Come And Take It Texas" says, "It's going to be an over dramatized non-realistic performance."
Despite the idea to use props, fake victims, and gunfire sound effects, UT officials shut down the group's plan saying, with the frequency of the real mass shooting tragedies this year alone, why invite wide spread panic? (Not to mention, de ja vu.)
"If I saw it in public I might of thought it was a real campus situation going on," says student Alyssa Parker.
One Austin gun shop owner supports campus carry, but not the campus theatrics. Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works believes "It's irresponsible, bad timing, and childish."
Not to be deterred, demonstrators will now stage their mock mass shooting off campus on Saturday, with UT as the backdrop. The concern is, just because the props are fake....the terror could still be real.