A lot of people have been speculating about the best thing we can do to prevent further school shootings. Some people say, “Vote Democrat.” Others say, “Study the problem scientifically.” But I’ve got the real answer.
Join the NRA.
I remember during the 2016 election some pollster — I think it was Nate Silver — joked that the best thing Democrats could do for Hillary Clinton was not to get out the vote, but simply to get out: move away from the urban, Democratic areas to red states where their votes would matter more. Another 400,000 blue votes means nothing in San Francisco or Park Slope. But in the Rust Belt? That’s an election. Go West, young hipsters! But not too far west. Stop somewhere around Des Moines.
Here’s my point: right now the NRA casts a long shadow. But its membership is only about 5 million. That’s just 6-7% of all gun owners. On the other hand, there are a lot of us. Out of 323 million Americans, I’ve got to believe at least 100 million of us are interested in sensible gun control. Yes, they’ve got the guns, but we’ve definitely got the numbers.
So here’s the plan: We’ll all join the NRA. We’ll show up at board meetings. We’ll pack the house, demand to be heard. We’ll take control. We’ll vote in new officers. Remember when people were joking that if Hillary Clinton got elected, she should nominate Barack Obama as her Supreme Court nominee, just to stick it to Mitch McConnell? We’ll do stuff like that. George Clooney for NRA President. Howard Dean as Treasurer. Maybe Lebron could be Secretary, or maybe Steph Curry, or — I’ve got it! — Draymond Green.
What’s so strange about this? The NRA, like any organization, responds to its members. Plus, it’s happened before. Back in the mid-70s, the NRA was still largely run for sportsmen. But a hard line faction within the membership staged a coup and ousted the old guard, installing a new brand of “from my cold, dead hands”-style Second Amendment fanatics far more recognizable to today’s NRA fans.
So why not stage our own takeover? If you can’t beat ‘em, dilute ‘em. If you and I joined up, yeah, we’d be giving them our money, but we’d damn well be expecting something in return. We’d clog up their meetings with our talk about reasonable restrictions on magazines, bump stocks, and all that other stuff.
We’d say, “We love hunting. We love target practice. We love the responsible gun ownership — like the student of mine in Vermont who a few months back admitted to skipping school to go turkey hunting. We like those gun owners. We like those guns — you know, the non-Rambo kind. And we want that kid off shooting in the woods with his father — not getting shot up in his classroom.”
We’d say, “We’re scared of our government, too — but that doesn’t make us want to stockpile ammo. Besides, we don’t like our chances against the U.S. Army. Let’s say they turn on us. Would it matter if we have AR-15s, or just regular rifles? They’ll have the helicopters, the tanks, the warheads, the cool jackets, and we’ll have . . . our cherished assault rifles? I’ve got news for you: just because these weapons work against a roomful of fourth period trigonometry students doesn’t mean they could’ve beaten back Crooked Hillary’s Calvary, which I know you were worried about. Don’t be those Confederate boys at the start of ‘Gone With the Wind’: ‘One AR-15 could lick six Yankees!’ As Rhett Butler pointed out to you gentlemen, ‘Wake the fuck up.’”
Plus, we like to smack our government around the old fashioned way: at the ballot box. Look at the last election. You won! You didn’t Lock Her Up, but you sure as shit got your man elected, the tangerine Idi Amin. You don’t need to stockpile weapons. You stockpiled votes (with a little help from Vlad and his bots). Democracy works, my NRA brethren. You don’t need to wave an automatic weapon in anyone’s face.
So, fellow Reasonable People, I say: Just stop. Stop having pointless Facebook debates. It’ll only entrench us all further. Some of us are just freedom-loving people, dammit — the kind who’re just fine forcing kids and teachers to walk through metal detectors and do survival drills and basically live under martial law. There’s no need to raise a stink on social media. That’s not where the money’s carved up. Let’s walk back into that cigar-filled room and light up our own stogies like we own the joint. Let’s be part of the solution — from inside. Let’s keep our enemies real nice and close.
There’s only one surefire way to beat back the NRA.
Let’s join it.