A Confidential Memo
From Wayne LaPierre
Leaked Document Reveals NRA’s Makeover Of The Gun Control Debate Will Include Referring To Guns As ‘Thingies’
Wayne LaPierre. Image by Donkey Hotey and used under the terms of a Creative Commons license..
By Marsh McCall
Special for Modern Times Magazine
Feb. 13, 2013 — The overall favorability rating of the NRA has plunged in the last month, putting its image in a negative light for the first time.
In separate polls conducted by Public Policy Polling and the Washington Post/ABC News, the association's favorability ratings sit underwater with the majority of Americans.
– Businessinsider.com, 1/16/13
TO: NRA BOARD MEMBERS
FROM: YOUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Hi there, fellow freedom lovers! Wayne LaPierre here. You’ve no doubt been keeping tabs on all the fuss and bother in our nation’s capital these past weeks. Seems an increasingly large percentage of the country is starting to view us as out of touch. Now, don’t panic –- by and large these people are big-city, over-educated, NPR-listening transvestites. Many of them probably speak French. (Don’t be fooled by my name — I don’t speak a word, unless you count the names of cheeses.) Nonetheless, there promises to be a lot of noise in Washington this year about how we need more gun control. Tut tut! It’s going to be alright. Papa LaPierre won’t let that happen. But I need your help.
Now, normally we can throw money at this problem, add a touch of fear mongering, and it all goes away. This time feels different, though. I think an extra touch is needed. I think we need to play nice. Notice I added the italics for emphasis. (Italics is not a French word.) By play nice I mean reassure our critics that, under our different politics, skin colors and orientations, we’re all basically the same. Don’t worry, I know we’re not. Stick with me here.
First of all, swaying public opinion always begins at a grassroots level. Now, let’s say you’re in a forum where you believe liberals might be lurking — a PTA meeting, a rotary club lunch, a Green Day concert — and the issue of banning semi-automatic weapons comes up. Don’t leap in with guns blazing, so to speak. Adopt a more “laissez-faire” approach. (Again, not French.) Emphasize your commonality. You can help make our enemy think he’s cementing a non-partisan path to mutually acceptable solutions on guns in this country, while in fact nothing of the kind is occurring. Here are some ice-breaking topics that, according to our research, virtually all Americans agree on:
1. Freshly cut grass reminds us of our childhoods.
2. The Lance Armstrong situation is “sad.”
3. Global warming is fake.
4. China’s getting a little “big for its britches.”
5. Documentaries are boring.
6. Ringo is the cutest living Beatle.
7. Flu shots are either unnecessary and a product of mass manipulation by greedy pharmaceutical companies, or you should totally get them.
Okay. Say you’ve warmed up your audience and you’re ready to gently remind people that we have something in this great country called the Second Amendment. Hang on! We’ve learned that, for some, even hearing the word “gun” conjures up negative images. My suggestion: refer to them as “thingies.” If further clarification is needed, say “shooting thingies.” Or don’t say anything, but simply mime shooting a gun. (NOTE: if you choose the mime approach, I advise continuing with “blowing in the gun barrel” and “re-holstering,” which calls to mind beloved cowboys of the Old West.)
If someone throws out a ridiculous anti-gun argument, such as pointing out the lower murder rates in Japan and Great Britain, where gun control is much more rigid, don’t lose your temper. Try to steer the conversation back toward a related, but safer, arena. For example: “You know what the Japanese do well? Tiny trees.” If someone insists our Founding Fathers couldn’t have foreseen that weapons technology would advance to levels way beyond simple colonial-era muskets, don’t get defensive. Pull out a crisp dollar bill, gesture to Washington and say: “I don’t know… he looks pretty smart to me.” Follow this with a knowing chuckle, if you feel you can pull it off.
You get the gist. In this divisive political climate, let’s not be the bad guys. Let’s be the friendly uncle at the wedding, the one who, after you’ve had a few drinks, turns out to make a surprising amount of sense. Then, once we’ve swayed popular opinion back into our corner, we can go back to buying the high-powered weapons we all need to protect ourselves from intruders and deer.
Editor's note: Marsh McCall was, among other things, a former executive producer for Last Man Standing on ABC, and has had his work appear on www.newyorker.com and other prestigious publications. He sent us this unsolicited and although we aren't exactly sure why (or if) a big timer like him sent this to us, it sure does make us feel good.