Low Fat Leviticus

"What Do We Want?"

To many of us, the National Rifle Association is the epitome of institutional evil, the grinning, stone-hearted protector of your right to die in a flash of blue flame and gunpowder.

On the other hand, they have a nice building, which dozens of us visit every Thursday when we join a Washington coalition against handgun violence and stand around during lunch hour holding signs, waving at cars, and generally making a nuisance of ourselves. That's what demonstrators do. But unlike protests of the past, we feel supported by passersby, since everyone is against the NRA (except for the couple million people who support them, none of whom I know personally, even though I defend their right to continue to make a REALLY BIG MISTAKE!). In fact, almost every car that passes in front of us honks in solidarity, except for the one guy who yelled an obscenity. Of course, he didn't factor in his speed or the Doppler effect, so all we heard was "YOU PEOPLE MAKE MEEEEEeeeeeeeaaaaauuuuuuuuuu...."

These protests are always edifying, but on a hot afternoon it can get a little tedious. This day a well-meaning woman was shouting through a megaphone, "WHAT DO WE WANT?!" [gun control] "WHEN DO WE WANT IT?!" [correct answer: "Now."]

After a while, some of us started quietly suggesting other answers, just to break the monotony:

"WHAT DO WE WANT?!" [low-cholesterol eggs] "WHEN DO WE WANT IT?!" [As soon as science allows.]

"WHAT DO WE WANT?!" [a warm, caring relationship characterized by mutual respect] "WHEN DO WE WANT IT?!" [Well, I've waited this long. What's another 10 years?]

"WHAT DO WE WANT?!" [One of those umbrella-hat thingies and a bottle of #70 sunscreen] "WHEN DO WE WANT IT?!" [Now...and whose idea was it to protest at high noon anyway?!]

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine July 1993
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