The gun-rights debate has apparently boiled down to a fake mass shooting and machines that spit out fart noises. It all happened Saturday in Austin, Texas, where pro-gun activists staged a mock gun-massacre at a church and anti-gun protesters countered with what they called a "mass farting," the Houston Chronicle reports. The latter crowd, numbering about 100 and carrying dildos and fart machines, cried "Texas farts!" and "We fart in your general direction." As organizer and University of Texas alumnus Andrew Dobbs put it, "This isn't about guns necessarily. This is about scaring our community. This is about a choice between fear and a little bit of good humor."
For their part, pro-gun demonstrators carried actual assault-style weapons in restaurants and stores near the UT campus—then got away from locals and many reporters to conduct a fake massacre at All Saints' Episcopal Church, the AP reports. The "shooting," done with fake blood and cardboard guns, was complete by the time "farting" protesters arrived. Pro-gun organizer Murdoch Pizgatti says surprise was the point: "You don't get a time and place, you don't get a flier or an invitation for a true mass shooting," he explains. "They happen unannounced." Open carry of long-arm weapons such as rifles is currently legal in Texas; licensed gun owners will be able to do the same with handguns starting Jan. 1, and concealed carry will be allowed in most public-college buildings starting next August. (Read more gun rights stories.)