The NRA's been calling me. I'm not sure how I got on their list. Aside from squirt, I've never owned a gun, and for the most part am vehemently against gun ownership. Mostly because hot headed gun enthusiasts scare the crap out of me. And if I have to hear one more politician pander to the NRA saying how much they enjoy the wholesome, all-American sport of helicopter wolf sniping, I'm going to puke.
But I digress.
I've turned into one of those people who almost always uses his cell phone. My home phone is becoming a dinosaur. (I'll probably be dropping it off at the Tar Pits by the end of the year.) We'll receive no calls on our home phone all day and then dinner time rolls around and ring! One glance at the caller ID showing me an 800 or 866 number confirms my suspicion: people selling shit. I become smug as I spoon mac and cheese onto plastic plates, letting the call go to voice mail, where a message will never be left. I'm not going to be your survey bitch today, asshole!
When I first saw the letters NRA on my caller ID screen, I thought, "Nah, couldn't be them. Perhaps it's some other organization with the same initials; Niagara Rafting Adventure for instance. Or Northern Rodeo Association. Or Nascar Radio Affiliates." After ignoring NRA's ring for three nights, my curiosity got the better of me and I answered the home phone. A woman with a faux chipper voice, ironically named Harmony, informed me she was indeed calling from the National Rifle Association, and not Nascar. I stood shell shocked as I do when witnessing a gruesome traffic accident or botox gone bad.
Harmony asked if I would listen to a prerecorded message from Wayne LaPierre, one of NRAs muckety mucks, and then wait on the line to answer one survey question. I numbly mumbled uh huh thinking I was a phony for agreeing to this. I hung up on the Policeman's Fund but I stayed on the line for the NRA. I felt dirty.
In his message, Wayne equated guns with freedom. He then pulled out every tactic to inform me that our freedom was about to be taken away because leaders in Washington want to illiminate all handguns entirely.
This isn't my understanding of what the Supreme Court Justices are evaluating, but Wayne was testifyin'. Now it's my turn...
According to you, Wayne, it's my God given right to own a gun, no matter how negligent a gun owner I may be. And my freedom will be stripped if my unconcealed 38 Special is made illegal. Well, Wayne, here's my personal take... I believe my freedom is imperilled as long as psychologically disturbed youth are able to waltz into neighborhood Super Ks and purchase semi automatic guns without too much of a background check. My children's freedoms are compromised when they enter their schools through metal detectors. My husband's freedom is impaired as long as hate crimes are not fully prosecuted. And what about the friends and families of the thousands slain each year by gun fire in this country... Certainly their freedoms were not taken into consideration. But the biggest injustice must belong to the innocent person caught in the crossfire and shot dead. Freedom has been revoked for him indefinitely.
After Wayne finished his fear laden argument, a gentleman with an Andy Griffith accent got on the phone. I thought he was going to ask should we get rid of all handguns in the US of A? And to make sure my voice was heard by the NRA, I was ready to loudly and proudly to give a definitive yes. Instead, this Byzantine question was asked, "Do you think leaders of third world countries and Hillary Clinton should have control of whether our handguns are banned?"
This reminded me when I was a whipper snapper, and some smart ass kid with a shit eating grin came up to me and said, "You have to answer the following with a yes or a no. Do you like being an douche bag?"
Answering with a definitive yes was out of the question. Of course, I don't want third world leaders to decide anything for Americans. And Hillary Clinton... (How did she become the NRA's voodoo doll of hate?) No, I wouldn't want it to be solely Hillary's decision either. Or Newt's. Or Oprah's. Or Howie Mandel's. Or Elmer Fudd's, for that matter. But the presumption is ludicrous. Hillary doesn't have that kind of power. Only the president can sign his name and create national legislation. No one else. Although, Oprah may be close.
But to answer no would only feed the NRA with false statistics, and give Rush Limbaugh ammo to bluster his blather over the airways.
I told the gentleman, who honest to God sounded like he should be hawking Ritz Crackers, that his question was badly structured. He responded in a neutral-as-Switzerland voice that he couldn't sway me towards yes or no, but they were my only choices. I had to try again, "But it's unanswerable." We were at a stalemate. We parted ways. My voice was not heard by the NRA. And I'm pissed off.
NRA = No Real Answer