I can almost hear the telephone ringing outside the office of the National Rifle Association’s CEO the morning of Monday, Aug. 5.
“Good morning, Wayne LaPierre’s office,” his administrative assistant says with a bubbly voice.
“Good morning Susan, it’s Mitch again. Is he in?” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asks on the other end of the phone.
“Just a minute,” Susan replies before forwarding the call.
“Hey Mitch, how was your weekend?” LaPierre asks as he picks up the phone.
“Not too good,” McConnell mumbles. “My Republican colleagues are under fire,” before realizing what he just said. The two men let out a belly laugh at the irony of the senator’s comment.
LaPierre responds with a pun of his own, “Take cover, we’re armed and fully loaded for this fight.” The two chuckle again.
McConnell then explains that Democrats and a majority of the American people want Congress to do something after the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend.
“You say majority. I hope those surveys aren’t counting all those illegals,” LaPierre answers in response.
“Seriously, I don’t think brushing this aside like I’ve done with other pieces of legislation I don’t like is going to work this time,” McConnell mumbles. “I’m already under attack (both men snicker) for not having the Senate vote on a measure approved by the House.”
“If you concede anything — even if it’s a compromise that makes common sense — the left will be back looking to take guns away from every American citizen,” LaPierre yells in reply.
“I’m serious this time, Wayne,” McConnell mumbles back.
“OK, OK, I get it. How much is it going to cost us this time?” LaPierre concedes.
“Well, the Oval Office is up for grabs next year and then the next set of midterm elections, not to mention the special elections that will come up as our weaker Republicans step aside. We’ve got to make sure we remain in control,” McConnell mumbles.
“I feel like I’m negotiating at gunpoint, but we’ll do it,” LaPierre giggles.
“Let me talk to my colleagues and I’ll get back to you with a price,” McConnell mumbles as he concludes the call.
Did a call like that actually happen? I’m sad to say that it’s possible. Do I think steps need to be taken? Absolutely. Am I in favor of gutting the second amendment? Never.
Something needs to be done, however. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” may be the most overused cliché of all time, but it applies to the attacks on innocent people continuously taking place in America.
The night before I wrote this column I was thinking about the many times we’ve been to the Walmart on Route 1 in North Attleboro and how we would escape if an armed lunatic stormed the store. I’d like to think I’d have the courage to take on the attacker, but that is unlikely.
I would certainly make sure my family was with me and then grab a child or two before heading toward one of the exits on the outer edges of the store. If making it to the front of the store was impossible, I’d head to the door leading to the restrooms near the televisions in the back of the store.
There is a door next to the women’s bathroom I see employees enter to go back in the storage area; “there has to be an emergency exit there,” I thought while trying to fall asleep.
Those same thoughts came to mind as I awaited the start of the Hootie & the Blowfish concert at the Xfinity Center last Saturday and again before “Hamilton” at PPAC on Sunday.
The possibility of a domestic terrorist attacking anywhere at any time is real. It’s an unfortunate reality of living in Mitch McConnell’s America.