"Welcome committee members and guests. We will begin again where we left off with questions directed at Miz Fargo. Before the first question is posed, do we have any business to address?"
Silent head shaking and denies from the crowd.
"Ok. I will give the first question of the day to confront the proposed legislation on limiting the amount of bullets in a clip and clip capacity. Miz Fargo, would you please respond?"
At first, my irritability meter went into high gear. I don't know what took over me, but my dad's words were ringing in my ears unheard, "Kathryn, no one likes a smartass." I didn't hear him or I ignored him. I frantically started taking out my hair clips and placing them on the podium.
"Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, I came here with 15 hair clips which held my hair in a nice bun. I have a lot of hair. You never knew they were in there. I just removed 5 of them. I look pretty stupid. It's dumb hair."
"Uh. Miz Fargo, I don't understand what your hair clips have to do with our discussion here today. Could you please tackle the issues."
"Clips are for hair. Or paper. Magazines are for firearms and hold ammunition. I know it's word magic in your eyes, but it's just a pet peeve. It's just as frustrating as calling margarine butter. And my hair clips were a demonstration. You want to limit the magazines to 10 rounds. And you want to make it unlawful to have larger capacity magazines. Why? To save 5 less people? How so? Or are you worried that the paper targets are wasteful and this is an environmental issue? I wish I could wrap my brain around the sense you are trying to make here, but I can't. It's dumb. Like my hair right now. I think your efforts to limit firepower are aimed at the wrong solutions. "
After making no sense, I started to fix my hair so the next question could be prepared. I didn't know what I was saying. I needed coffee. My mind channeling was not functioning and the neurons were misfiring rapidly. It was like a crack withdrawal.
"Uh, Mr. Chairman, could I trouble you for some coffee? Black. Rocket fuel preferred."
"Sure. Ellenore, could we get Miz Fargo some coffee? Miz Fargo, we have some follow up on that clip capacity...er...magazine capacity question. First, we must limit a person's capability to have rapid fire for pubic safety. Do you not agree? Second, why must any citizen have military grade firearms or high firepower?"
"Mr. Chairman, I can understand your concern for public safety. I have the same concerns but different directions. How is a magazine size limitation going to change a criminal mind? How is 10 rounds going to change a mentally disturbed teen from shooting up his classroom? It is not. To address your other question...why not? Why can't sportsman have rapid fire? Why can't citizens have military firearms? They have done nothing to prevent their ownership. We can't blanket all good citizens for the few stupid rednecks and criminals who abuse their freedoms and choose to conduct violence. Those have to be addressed with the judicial system. You are limiting the 2nd Amendment and bending things because something temporary becomes permanent and once you ban magazine size, then what? What is next? I think it is a just an introduction to what comes in the future. It is scary to think our free speech is being suppressed and it is. Look around you. Look at the world today. Our right to bear arms is being compressed to a small allowable package. Why? For what good? Why can't I have an AR 15 with high firepower capacity? Why can't I have a silencer? You assume these are for some sinister deed and not for sport and enthusiasm of a machine. Show me how this is going to stop violent behavior. Show me how this is going to change a drug dealer into a hard working and productive citizen. Once again...the bad guy does not play by the rules. You limit good citizens. I feel like this is a deposition. Am I on trial?"
"Mis Fargo. We are trying to protect the police. We are trying to protect citizens from themselves. It is safety. Americans have to come first. And why wouldn't you want a silencer outlawed? Those are for assassins."
"Well, I agree our safety is a concern. It isn't safety against firearms. It's safety against ourselves. But you need to resolve the issues of the decline of the family structure, the coping skills and mental well being of our kids, and fix our justice system, reform our prison system. When I was a police officer, I assumed everyone had a gun. Did that make me frisk all and be super invasive? No. I was just cautious. I grew up the western way, so I guess it never scared me, but made me more aware of safety and my surroundings. As far as the silencer thingy...if you are going to shoot me, I could care less if you have a silencer or not. If you are going to do it, I'm going to be dead. Loud dead or quiet dead makes no difference. Will it delay someone getting caught? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Will it encourage more bad guys? Do you really think all local drug dealing burglars are trained assassins? I think not. I think it's kind of nice my neighbor has a silencer in use while I am jamming out to Eminem because I really don't like my rap therapy interrupted by noise. And it could save us all some hearing problems."
Yeah. Deer in the headlights.
No one likes a smartass, Kathryn.
"Uh. I see no point to this. Next up for discussion is tighter background checks and firearms safety classes for permit carriers. Fargo?"
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Firearms safety classes are brilliant. Let's offer them to everyone in America and make age groups appropriateness and offer them at a very low cost or free. It's a choice. It's free education. Let's educate everyone. Let's not make it mandatory for permit carriers. I don't mind the class, but you are making it a punishment rather than an incentive. Tighter background checks. What do you mean? Define yourself. Can it be done while you wait? Sure. But don't make these parameters an infringement. Don't make it hard. You are trying to deter people, not make sure the guns are in the right hands. Think about your bills and pass smart legislation."
"Miz Fargo...I am going to direct the next question to Mr. Connecticut. Sir?"
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning, Miz Fargo. I would like to ask what you think we should do about those who have been convicted of family violence and those who have not relinquished their firearms. What about those who fail to register their firearms?"
"Good morning, Mr. Connecticut. The simple answer to those questions is all that is whack. You don't have the manpower or money to round up firearms nor the right to do so. A man's home is his castle. If a person convicted of domestic violence has firearms, that is an ATF problem you created because you extended the felony limitation to domestic violence. In theory, this is a great idea. As a local cop, we could only refer those cases to federal level unless the person was convicted of a violent felony. Fraud, domestic violence of most simple assault convictions, counterfeiting, identity theft, etc. are not covered under most state statutes, but all are covered under federal law. How far do you want to go? And if you choose to prosecute only select ones, aren't you being unfair, unjust? Maybe you need to go back to the drawing board to fix that problem.
Now to address the domestic violence issue. These laws matter not to the person who abuses their family members. They will find another way to do their harm. It's a cycle. I think this law, in theory, is good because it has a high penalty for a bad choice. A dark cloud of consequences, if you will and might make people think twice about hitting others. But you don't enforce it. And my hands are tied.
Lastly, the gun roundup. Are we cattle? Who is going to stand at the station and sign up all those who voluntarily relinquish their guns? No one is coming. No one wants their name on anther piece of police paperwork. They would rather sell them for money or hide them, save them for their kids. Or they might say they are now their wives' property and then you have nothing.
As far as me registering my old firearms. Not going to happen. Why should I? You have that opportunity to have a record when I buy new, because I signed that piece of paper and I have to go through a check. I get that. Plus it is a liability issue for anyone with an FFL selling firearms. Ok. No problem. I accept.
But now, you want people in your state to come forward and register certain firearms? Why not all of them so they can be a burglary target or a target in your eyes? Why are certain firearms acceptible and others are not? Should I tell you about my chef knives or just my steak knives? You are going to label me or flag me or make my life miserable when I have done nothing wrong? Or you just 'want to know' who has certain firearms out there? Maybe you might start monitoring people. I know. I know. You are shaking your heads at my paranoia. But are those conspiracy theorists wrong?
You penalize those who are found guilty of failure to register even though they have not broken any other law? Arbitrary searches? Random search warrants? Let's now stomp all over the 4th Amendment. You are crippling yourself. Did you gain a lot of friends by that act?"
"Well, now, there is no need for theatrics, Mis...er.."
"Are you going to answer those questions, Senator?"
"Uh. Moving along. I would like to address hunting issues. In my state, we are small and people are getting killed by stray bullets. We need to limit what they can shoot. Might be looking at putting a slug in a handgun which can only travel 20 feet. What do you think, Miz Fargo. I welcome your comments."
"Really? How many? Never heard of stray bullets because they come from some where and some firearm and were fired by some one. They aren't just zinging through the woods willy nilly by themselves."
"That's. Uh. Miz Fargo, you are twisting my words."
"First, I understand you may have to restrict certain firearms and ammunition for hunting because of your populated area. You might want to research which will take an animal down. Perhaps you may have areas where tree stands are necessary or bow hunting or slug restrictions. I would caution you on how far you go and why. If it is because of population, distance, and herd control, then I would say that is fair avenues to research.
Hunting is a necessity for herd control. For example, hunting has a key in all wildlife management, healthy vegetation management, conservation, and disease control. It provides healthy food opportunities and there is some sport in trophy hunting, yes. Irresponsible and unlawful hunters and sportsman should be punished according to the law. The entire populace should not suffer from the idiotic decisions of a few unsafe people. Very few.
Hunters, in my opinion, are some of the most responsible gun owners because they cherish their rights and they know they are under the microscope. They are familiar with firearms and probably practice more often than police officers and sharp shooters. You already hurt us in the pocket with higher ammo costs and firearm prices. Hunting licenses constantly climb and the cost of hunting became more expensive for me to hunt wild game for food than to buy meat at the store. It's sad, really. I remember the 70's when our family hunted for food. Yes, we had those animals which were trophies mounted on our walls as well, but we did not waste the animal. It was better for us and saved us money. Even trophy hunters will donate the meat.
In some states, you make it impossible to donate meat to charity, claiming food safety. Why can't they run it through an approved meat processing facility? Why deny this good food? Because you can? Because it is another way to show hunters are wasteful and shoot animals only for their head? I think it is you who are wasteful. You would rather a hunter wastes an animal than it to go to a homeless shelter? That is some of the best food those people could have. But you would rather supply them with processed foods and refined sugars. By creating these laws or bans or high prices on ammunition, you are undermining America. For what purpose does this really serve you? Are you solving something for the greater good? Or are you squishing something out you don't agree with or are afraid of?"
"Thank you, Miz Fargo. The next question is directed to Mr. California."
"Thank you, Mr. Connecticut. Miz Fargo, I have proposed smart guns are the only firearms which could be sold, traded, or given in the state of California. Are you familar with this device?"
"Yes, Mr. California, I am familiar with the concept. I feel the same about smart guns as I do about spoons."
"Excuse me? Could you clarify?"
"Spoons make me fat."
"Very well, Miz Fargo. I see your sarcasm. Could you please comment on the actual question?"
"Oh, yes. Sorry. I couldn't get that Total Recall robot out of my head. Safety first! You know the movie? With your governor?"
"I would like to know how I could get Kate Beckinsale hair. Her hair in that movie was great. I have a picture. I carry it with me. It's on my board."
"Miz Fargo. I think we should stick to the issues here at hand. I asked you about smart guns."
"Smart guns are stupid. I laugh."
"I really don't have anything else to add to that preposterous idea. Do all you senators in California smoke from the same plant?"
"Uh. I think we would like a discussion on these devices."
"I thought you liked weed. You want me answer about this magic device? So no unauthorized person could shoot a gun?"
"What is so funny, Miz Fargo?"
"I think you have watched Judge Dredd too many times."
"Miz Fargo this is a serious matter. I don't appreciate your snarkiness."
"That word is not recognized by Spellcheck."
"You're right, Mr. California. Guns are too dangerous for you. Perhaps some martial arts? Do not go gentle into that good night. You might want to make a choice not to own or fire any firearms. May the odds ever be in your favor."
(slams notebook down, stomps out, exits stage right, runs into Secret Service agent)
Nods my way.
Hands me my cape.