…from a transcript that somehow found its way out of NRA headquarters. Although no one (including me) can vouch for its authenticity, and no one knows exactly who’s speaking, it appears to be some higher-up and apparently an underling named Doug.
—So how do we spin this Orlando thing? You know what’s coming—more crap about banning automatic weapons.
—Sportsmen’s rifles, Doug. How many times do I need to tell you?
—But for a $100.00 add-on they become automatic weapons.
—It isn’t our problem if a legal gun owner wants to alter his gun. Sportsmen’s rifles, got it? Now as far as spinning this, we can go two ways.
—I figured that much: gay; terrorism. Some madman hates gays or he hates America. Either way, you can’t blame the gun for what a madman does with it. We’ve used variations on that many times.
—Right, and it always works. Plus, I’m thinking maybe there’s a third way. If he had a bomb, well, bombs are worse than guns. We can’t be responsible for those. It’s like Boston. We dodged the bullet on that one.
—You’ve also used that line before. Look, I’m worried about this one.
—I’m not. That kid in Connecticut killed twenty schoolchildren and gun sales increased. Aurora, Charleston, nobody cares for very long. I think we have Americans at the point where they’re just going to throw their hands in the air and give up.
—And buy more weapons. Yeah, I know. But hate-crimes are different. San Bernardino was terrorism, Aurora was random, Newtown—crazy as the kid was, I don’t think he hated schoolchildren. But this, gays and lesbians—they don’t knuckle under. They won’t let it go.
—If you’re right, Doug…
[pause, garbled language, shuffling of chairs, same voice continues)
—Obama gave us a break on that speech, Doug. He just asked the American people if this is the kind of country they want to live in. Well, hell, we already know the answer to that. We may not have to spin this very much at all. A crazed homophobe, maybe he was drunk, or maybe he hadn’t—what’s that term?—come out. You know, he was conflicted. I say we go with that.
—No! We just put it out there on the sly. One of our radio commentators says he heard it’s true. And look, let’s rework that Trump statement about learning to protect ourselves. He’s telling people to buy more guns. Let’s play that up. I’m feeling better. Are you feeling better?
—Jeez, sir, fifty people are dead.
—And it’s a terrible terrible tragedy. But we’re not to blame. And listen, Doug, this is not the time for some crisis of conscience, you know? More people die from drug overdoses than gunshots.
—Sir, I think the opposite is true.
—Well we’ll stay off that. Just let’s ride this out, and never overestimate the intelligence of American people. Half of them are ready to vote for Trump for God’s sake. We get him in, we’re home free for another four years. You’re with me on this, right?
—Of course. It’s just, you know, fifty people. And that LGBT community. They get things done.
—LG…, gays, sir.
—Just say what you mean from now on.
—I think I did. I just wanted to….
—That’s enough for now. Let me know when you have a statement to release. And what were those initials again? The gay initials?
—I’ll try to remember them.
—I don’t think you’ll have any trouble doing that.