An open let­ter to the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion: Help us fight those ‘jack-booted govern­ment thugs’

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION - BY PARDIS PARKER Pardis Parker is a stand-up co­me­dian and the cre­ator and star of Com­edy Cen­tral’s “Mideast Minute” — a fake news show that tries to con­vince Mid­dle Eastern­ers that ev­ery­thing’s OK in the Mid­dle East. You can find him on­line at par­dis­parke

Dear NRA, We need you. For years you warned us that the right to bear arms was nec­es­sary to the se­cu­rity of a free state, to safe­guard against tyran­ni­cal govern­ment, and to ward off “jack­booted govern­ment thugs” with the “power to take away our con­sti­tu­tional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, de­stroy our prop­erty, and even in­jure or kill us.”

And for years we crit­i­cized you, think­ing tyranny un­likely.

But we were wrong.

And now we need you and your well­reg­u­lated mili­tia.

Un­marked troops in un­marked vans are prey­ing on cit­i­zens who are ex­er­cis­ing the right of the peo­ple peace­ably to as­sem­ble and to pe­ti­tion the govern­ment for a re­dress of griev­ances.

As you your­selves have lamented, “not too long ago, it was un­think­able for fed­eral agents wear­ing Nazi bucket hel­mets and black storm trooper uni­forms to at­tack lawabid­ing cit­i­zens.”

And yet here we are. With that re­al­ity be­fore us. Un­able to pro­tect our­selves from this vi­o­lent op­pres­sor.

For a few rea­sons.

For one thing, we’re a fee­ble bunch. So many of us ve­gan. So many of us ane­mic as a re­sult. With the weak hand­shakes and in­firm morals that fol­low. And although we typ­i­cally strug­gle with even nor­mal uses of force, we’re par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive to “ex­ces­sive uses of force,” find­ing them gen­er­ally dis­agree­able and up­set­ting to our con­sti­tu­tion.

Should Sprouts or Whole Foods make avail­able a fer­mented or pro­bi­otic-and­pre­bi­otic-en­riched use of force, we’d hap­pily reeval­u­ate. But, in the in­terim, since your sys­tems seem more iron-rich, we need you. To join us. To stand by our side. To be strong when we can’t.

Sec­ond, we’re ill-equipped and un­armed. Our fanny packs and old-timey bi­cy­cles are poor coun­ters to their M16s and MRAPs.

And although we’re open to arm­ing our­selves, it ap­pears to be a non-starter, as one of us who tried show­ing up armed in Austin was mur­dered. In cold blood. In plain view of oth­ers.

And rather than be­ing sadly eu­lo­gized for it as a vic­tim of mur­der, he was in­stead crit­i­cized by the pres­i­dent of the Austin Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion for hav­ing ex­er­cised his Sec­ond Amend­ment rights. In Texas. A state so ag­gres­sively pro-Sec­ond Amend­ment that it ranks at or near the top of nearly ev­ery sta­tis­ti­cal cat­e­gory in­volv­ing firearms li­cens­ing and reg­is­tra­tion. Sug­gest­ing, per­haps, that we’re not as good as you are at bear­ing arms in a man­ner that is both non-self-en­dan­ger­ing, and un­invit­ing of crit­i­cism post-hav­ing­been-mur­dered.

And since you’ve re­peat­edly stated that “to stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun,” we need you. To join us. To stand by our side. To be our good guys with guns.

Last, we lack your re­la­tion­ships. Your po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions. The good­will built from decades of cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions. We, it ap­pears, have fo­mented the op­po­site of good­will, hav­ing re­peat­edly ac­cused our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives of cor­rup­tion, bribery and despotic be­hav­ior, ac­cu­sa­tions which, in hind­sight, could per­haps have been more tact­fully made. So we need you. To join us. To stand by our side. To be the mu­tual friend on this quar­rel­some email in­tro whom we po­litely thank and move to bcc.

So please, NRA. Rise up. Be our strong­men. Our good guys. Our friends. Be­cause we need you.

Your broth­ers and sis­ters, Port­land

Seat­tle

Austin

Oak­land

Los An­ge­les

ALISHA JUCEVIC/GETTY

Fed­eral law en­force­ment makes an ar­rest Wed­nes­day in Port­land, Oregon, dur­ing a night of protests against racial in­jus­tice and po­lice bru­tal­ity.

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