May 082013

The Leek: a satirical take

By Horace Heller Hedley, IV

Image by Christopher Epling.

Image by Christopher Epling.

A confidential source has provided The Leek with a surreptitious tape of a strategy session held by senior officials of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The recording was made on April 18, 2013, the day after measures banning assault weapons and extending gun buyer background checks were defeated in the Senate.

The confidential source told The Leek that he entered the meeting with a recording device concealed in an oversized ammunition clip attached to an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The weapon did not arouse suspicion and was not searched.

The Leek took no direct part in making the recording. Therefore, whatever the legality of the recording, The Leek is exercising its First Amendment right to publish the manuscript, and is held harmless from legal liability under Supreme Court precedent set in the case of Bartnicki v. Vopper.

The participants in the NRA meeting appear to have been senior policymakers and legal specialists within the organization, but could not be identified.  ______________

[Sounds of general merriment and celebration]

Voice 1: OK, everybody. So we’re all pretty amped up after yesterday’s legislative massacre. [woops and applause] But this is no time to kick back and rest on our laurels. So I called together you all in the Public Issues Branch—Legal, Media Outreach, and Lawmaker Monetary Influence—to run some ideas by you about how we might press our advantage. We don’t know how long this window of opportunity will stay open before the next unfortunate public shooting incident makes us play defense again.

Voice 2: Right, so, it wasn’t cheap, but we cleaned up in the Senate. [more woops and applause] But man, it was worth our whole $3 million lobbying budget just to see Manchin and Toomey sweatin’ right through their silk shirts. They’ll need new wardrobes for their final years of public life—and not on our dime. [laughter] Of course teachers will be handing out some big, shiny F’s on our legislator ratings next time. That will spell sayonara for Manchin and Toomey. We might even pick off Reid and some of the purple state Dems.  Then we’ll really own the place.

Voice 3: At that point we go big. We all know that the Second Amendment establishes a fundamental constitutional right to bear arms [woops and applause]. But the Constitution does not establish a right to not bear arms. [excited whispers] You all with me?

Voice 1: So we’ve been thinking—with a veto-proof majority in the Senate, we could begin to push a whole new kind of gun legislation, challenging the right to be unarmed. We could push it as a public safety issue. We are each our brother’s keeper, am I correct? So what right do I have to shirk my responsibility to contribute to public safety by walking around unarmed?

Voice 4: Oh, sweet. So we shoot for the whole tamale—federal mandatory-carry legislation.

Voice 1: Absolutely, national mandatory-carry for every citizen 18 and older is the Promised Land. But we don’t want to get greedy. So I would propose a preliminary step just to get people used to the idea—mandatory background checks for all citizens not owning firearms. [more excited whispers]

Voice 3: Right. We think this will make sense to people. If you are determined to shirk your fundamental responsibility as a citizen and dump it onto your neighbor, the public deserves an explanation. So we check backgrounds and post them on a public database.

Voice 1: But we wouldn’t want the requirement to be too rigid. There could be exemptions for the elderly, people with bad finger tremors, blind people, that sort of thing. The background check could turn up those sort of problems.

Voice 5: Hey, you think Jeff Flake will sponsor the mandatory background check bill? Or maybe Mitch?

Voice 6: Flake will have his hands full—he’ll take some lumps next election for standing against Gabby Giffords. Not Mitch either. His buddy Rand Paul will give him fits on the civil liberties angle.

Voice 3: It’s no sweat guys, someone will sponsor it. Senators be lining up at the confessional to do their penance.

Voice 1: Mandatory-carry may be within reach, gentlemen. Buy your Smith & Wesson stock early!

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