We all know the story of the hardliners who took over the NRA in 1977, converting what had previously been a bipartisan hunting, conservation, and sport shooting organization into one of the bloodthirstiest lobbying shops in the world. But there’s a hidden part to that story: the NRA once had moderate members, the responsible gun owners of yore. Is it really fair to demonize the entire organization simply because Dana Loesch keeps releasing terrorist videos like the Joker? Isn’t it possible that a heartfelt plea for understanding from a media figure like Samantha Bee would reach some of the sensible NRA members and get them to right their ship?
Absolutely fucking not. 1977 was a long time ago! Anyone who’s stayed in the organization—after Parkland, after Las Vegas, after Sandy Hook—isn’t going to listen to reason at this point. The best we can hope for, as Bee persuasively argues, is turning NRA members’ obsessive, tribal lust for guns into an obsessive, tribal lust for something a little less deadly. She’s got a suggestion, too: the collected works of L. Ron Hubbard. Here’s her pitch to members of the NRA:
Is Scientology safe? Of course not! It’s bonkers. But it’s like, safer for the rest of us. So if it keeps you from feeling like you need to load up on AR-15s, then Hail Xenu or whatever-the-fuck.
Getting NRA members to trade in their guns for e-meters may seem like a longshot, but there’s no denying it makes a lot more sense than giving teachers guns. There are no doubt hundreds of reasonable, responsible NRA members getting ready for a polite and civil discussion about the nuances of the AR-15 platform and their second amendment rights in the comments section. To those people, I say this: if any of you would like to tell me your thoughts about gun rights, let’s discuss it in person over a nice, leisurely brunch. I know a place.