The Common Good
April 2011

Interview with the Prince of Darkness

by Ed Spivey Jr. | April 2011

As the United States prepares for its inevitable takeover by special interests, Sojourners recently sat down with the godfather of them all, the National Rifle Association.

(Editor’s Note: As the United States prepares for its inevitable takeover by special interests, Sojourners recently sat down with the godfather of them all, the National Rifle Association.)

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Sojourners: Thank you for coming. Umm, is that a costume you’re wearing? I mean, those horns make you look like ...

NRA: What costume?

Sojourners: Never mind. Sir, a terrible tragedy recently took place in Tucson, one laid squarely at the feet of a handgun.

NRA: Handguns do not have feet.

Sojourners:  You know what I mean. Your insistence on almost no control of guns is one of the most outrageous abuses of our democratic system.

NRA: Guns don’t kill people, people do.

Sojourners: You never get tired of saying that, do you?

NRA: Not at all. Would you like me to say it again?

Sojourners: Each year, more than 30,000 Americans are killed by guns.

NRA: It’s the price we pay for free-dom.

Sojourners: Eight children a day die from gun violence.

NRA: It’s the price we pay for ...

Sojourners:  Stop with the empty words! Don’t you think you have some responsibility here?

NRA: Actually, no. I believe the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of inflammatory political rhetoric.

Sojourners:  Inflammatory political rhetoric does not have feet.

NRA: As I was saying, there has been a regrettable coarsening of our public discourse, and we need to keep talking about it.

Sojourners:  That way we don’t talk about guns, right?

NRA: Precisely. Because guns don’t kill people, freedom does. No, wait. Sorry, we only have two talking points, and sometimes I get them mixed up.

Sojourners: So, how much does freedom cost these days?

NRA: Well, $200 gets you a decent starter handgun. And then there are higher-priced models with more firepower. The more freedom you want, the more gun you’re going to need.

Sojourners: But why do Americans need so much firepower? Who are we protecting ourselves from?

NRA: The North Korean army, of course. I dare them to march up a driveway in Texas.

Sojourners:  Sir, our Constitution does not provide for unlimited freedom. The freedom to swing your fist stops at my face.

NRA: Good point. I’ll have my people look into changing that.

Sojourners:  And when the Founders gave us a right to bear arms, they weren’t talking about automatic weapons and 30-shot clips.

NRA: I don’t think we should hold their lack of foresight against them.

Sojourners: They were talking about the right to bear muzzle loaders, notoriously inaccurate weapons that you’d fire once, accidentally break somebody’s window, and before you’d get off a second shot it’s already next Tuesday.

NRA: Yes, early Americans were at a marked disadvantage when fighting for their First Amendment right to bear arms.

Sojourners:  Actually, it’s the Second Amendment.

NRA: A clerical error. Should have been first. The point is, you liberals always see the glass as half empty. We see it as half full ...

Sojourners:  [groan]

NRA: ... half full of freedom.

Sojourners:  You really are Satan, aren’t you?

NRA: You’re making me blush.

Ed Spivey Jr. is art director of Sojourners.

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