Dear Mrs. Vera,
What do you think of the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) characterization of the brand new gun control legislation in New York State as “draconian?”
Dr. Dudley Damocles, Des Moines
Dear Dr. Doomoines,
Thank you for your etymologically adjectivalicious inquiry. I am assuming that this legislation refers to neither flame-throwers and fire breathing dragons, nor to Ann Coulter and whatever local Moat Builder’s Permits, Regulations and Statutes that may apply.
Despite my prickly history with the obsessives who run the N.R.A., and their massively endowed Manufacturing and Distributing Industry Daddies, I’m willing to play Devil’s Advocate on this issue because I think it is very unseemly, indeed, to insist to your guests — at a gathering YOU are hosting — that they are the only ones who cannot see the elephant-in-the-room’s new clothing. And I am sorry to find that people still need to be reminded, in this day and age, that even a disputed thong remains inappropriate for most daytime meetings, including mandatory workplace fundraising events, which are also inappropriate.
While I disagree that there is really much to discuss about gun control beyond just enacting some control already, there are some who will find all these random, avoidable deaths to be a ho-hum, prosaic subject that has long required some kind of weird reverse panic and spastic, emotionally spun out overreaction to help put into perspective the age-old conflict that has haunted man since, well, the domestication of fire met the concept of the wheel, thus leading to the invention of the flaming wheelbarrow. Since the dawn of time the one thing that has united man in his quest for dominion over the forces of nature (Red in tooth and claw… I smell an Autumn! Please, avoid pastels.) has been our collective fear of what United Nations Black Op Helicopters are getting up to, and how they are going to get us all. The health, wealth and safety of our children has historically just gotten in the way of this very serious, highly unlikely and implausible but, I suppose, technically still possible eventuality.
But since we are a species capable of imagining that such a threat could potentially exist, we should all probably just assume it will, most definitely, occur, and soon. The U.N. HeliCABALpters have lurked patiently, if noisily, for far too long in the dark shifting shadows of nefarious cloaked mystery shrouding the outside of their secret headquarters in midtown Manhattan (easily accessed by just a five minute walk from Grand Central Station, with tours held daily, no reservation required), just waiting for the right moment to unleash their pent-up hysterical fear of all things that make America great directly against us.
Since rampant gun proliferation has not, in itself, prevented a single one of the many, many imagined potential U.N.-led takeover attempts so far, the people who need guns to kill our inevitable invaders, but don’t want anyone to know about it because they aren’t crazy, make the argument forcefully that any kind of legislation that contains either the word “gun” or references to the concept of “control” is the very cherry-of-proof they required on their yummy sundae-of-paranoia that demonstrates that the enemy is everywhere, and is afraid of getting shot at. The persuasiveness of this argument seems to be largely derived from the fact that it’s most often being delivered from behind the sight of a rifle.
Since the N.R.A. maintains that the one and only thing that is not in any way responsible for the planet-leading waves of firearm deaths that America has long been legendary for are, somewhat surprisingly, firearms themselves, it is clear that any legal action against them is prejudicial. Therefore, like corporations, guns are considered family members by N.R.A. standards, and ought to be allowed to vote and participate in politics even if commonplace flesh and blood children are always blocking the path of their political “action.”
From a manners point of view, the laws attempting to “Nanny-gislate” who can shoot whom, are simply boorish. In polite company, only a lunatic would suggest that everybody not just shoot everybody right now and get it over with. Every aspect of civilized life attacks this principle with a savage fury designed to prevent people from enjoying the freedom to live in savage fury, upon the smoky remains of a collapsed society. But it is kind of rude to say that, even if everybody in the room (or bunker) has shot a lot of people on both sides of the debate!
The least draconian laws would be ones requiring responsible (but not regulated in any form!) gun owners to shoot people upon request, or at least at first sight. In particular, they must shoot the tiny, U.N. Black Op child impersonators infiltrating our schools, malls and families in record numbers. Having to pass a mental health check is as unnecessarily burdensome as limits on bullet purchases or bans on gun types, and only gets in the way of bullets fired at people. It is an oddly Communist argument that everyone should, by law, be heavily and equally armed at all times, but I’m pretty sure the second amendment does specifically state that this is what George Washington said to Ben Franklin when they founded that gun manufacturing concern to stop the rise of the Irish From The Future not to mention any democratic Presidents who may suffer from Politenessitis, which is an extremely rare form of agreeability that drives one’s opponents nuts.
Hopefully these “bullet points” have helped you stay within the bounds of proper “targetiquette.” Even the most and least tolerant among us have a semi-automatic response to the irrational beliefs of dumb-dumbs, especially their ideas about assassins and helicopter pilots and kids. Simply substitute “crossbow” with “gun” in any sentence regarding a madman stalking your children if you are still having trouble comprehending what all the fuss is about.
Mrs. Vera Newman is a San Francisco absurdist character, humorist, artist, writer, community organizer, clothes horse and co-founder, with Mister Tina, of The Verasphere. She has been answering the unasked questions she receives from the lonely, empty rooms of America’s heart-shaped circulatory pump room ever since it began beating. Nestled in the politically bent bowels of the Nation since she was a young girl babysitting the very same newborn Nation, her ability to self-reflect about anyone else’s embarrassing shortcomings, inept fumblings or lousy recipes has enabled her invisible rise as a modern day Cassandra, whatever that means. Feel free to dispose of all your worries by leaving them on her doorstep!