American One: Concerned, gun weary, shell shocked, patriotic-centrist, and parent
American Two: Concerned, gun weary, shell shocked, patriotic-centrist, and parent
Now. A weekday afternoon. On a comfy porch, somewhere in the United States of America where reason still exists. AMERICAN ONE and AMERICAN TWO sip coffee, talk, and wait for their kids to come home from school.
AMERICAN ONE: They're late.
AMERICAN TWO: Only fifteen minutes. Relax.
AMERICAN ONE: You're right. I just...those poor people in Connec-
AMERICAN TWO: Not gonna happen here.
AMERICAN ONE: No one ever thinks it will. I can't even keep up with these mass shootings.
AMERICAN TWO: I know. They're all running together.
AMERICAN ONE: It's like one a week.
AMERICAN TWO: It's not that bad.
AMERICAN ONE: It's not good if it's once a year.
AMERICAN TWO: You're right.
AMERICAN ONE: And the news media doesn't help. I'm almost afraid to watch the news.
AMERICAN TWO: Turn off the television. That's not news.
AMERICAN ONE: Snob.
AMERICAN TWO: Lazy ass.
AMERICAN ONE pours AMERICAN TWO more coffee.
AMERICAN TWO (CONT'D): Thanks.
AMERICAN ONE: De nada.
AMERICAN TWO: We could stop these mass shootings and rein those guns in. There's just no will.
AMERICAN ONE: You can't see it, that's all. People are fed up. There's more opposition than you think. It's hard to organize against the NRA's money and their lobbyists.
AMERICAN TWO: No problem.
AMERICAN ONE: Puh-leeze. They're organized everywhere.
AMERICAN TWO: Not in inner city neighborhoods. They're not organizing young Black and Brown men.
AMERICAN ONE: That's true. Hhhmm, I wonder why.
AMERICAN ONE and AMERICAN TWO laugh.
AMERICAN TWO: Really, the NRA isn't a problem.
AMERICAN ONE: Because they don't recruit everyone?
AMERICAN: Because they're short sighted. We should do what the conservatives did with abortion.
AMERICAN ONE: Kill people who make guns?
AMERICAN TWO: What?
AMERICAN ONE: You know. Those people who killed abortion providers.
AMERICAN TWO: No. And that wasn't conservatives killing abortion providers, that was the cray-cray nutbars.
AMERICAN ONE: I never thought I'd hear you take up for conservatives.
AMERICAN TWO: I'm not. But all these labels aren't solving anything. I didn't mean conservatives. I meant the rabid, anti-choice types.
AMERICAN ONE: What are you saying? Sell fake bullets, like those fake abortion clinics that are really anti-choice fanatics? Maybe fake bullets would be good.
AMERICAN TWO: I hadn't thought about that. Good idea, but impractical.
AMERICAN ONE: Why?
AMERICAN TWO: Because lies create more lies. And, we don't need to be devious. Let people have their guns.
AMERICAN ONE: You're serious aren't you? No gun control at all?
AMERICAN TWO: Let people have guns, just make them get up early every weekend to drill and march. Make them take target practice, and add some administrative layers--special licenses for each type of weapon.
AMERICAN ONE: Ha!
AMERICAN TWO: People would have to be competent cleaning and caring for their weapons. We could have tests, like driving tests but more difficult. Make them regularly demonstrate that they're ready for an invasion, at a moment's notice. You know, so that all gun owners are part of the Second Amendment's 'well-regulated militia.'
AMERICAN ONE: That'll go over well.
AMERICAN TWO: It's better than nothing.
AMERICAN ONE: I'm not so sure. You know the lunatic fringe is just waiting for a little encouragement. They'll show up with bells on.
AMERICAN TWO: A few might. But I think they're outweighed by the people who want guns, but who also want to see their kids play soccer on Saturday, and watch football on Sunday. Some people work. Or, maybe people will chill or meditate.
AMERICAN ONE: Meditate?
AMERICAN TWO: Yeah. Meditate, or whatever. This is America. Hell, some people want to relax and catch up on their sleep.
AMERICA ONE: Or go shopping at the mall, without fear.
AMERICAN TWO: Right. Or go shopping. That's about all I've got. You?
AMERICAN ONE: I think we need something stronger than this coffee.
AMERICAN TWO: We need something.
Mona R. Washington is a playwright and social commentator. She is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and Harvard Law School. Her plays have been performed and read in New York, Philadelphia, Rome, and Paris. She's been awarded fellowships at The Dora Maar House (Provence, France), The Ucross Foundation, and The Jack Kerouac House, amongst others.