In case this job doesn’t work out I’ve been researching how to be a turncoat and write for the other side. My most recent object of study is a piece on the editorial page of The New York Times by Verlyn Klinkenbourg, titled “Once a Progressive State, Minnesota is Now a Fief of the N.R.A.” Mr. K, in case you did not instantly recognize his name, is a member of the Times Editorial Board, and is a big-time wordsmith. (According to his bio on the Times website, one of the magazines he’s written for is Sports Afield.) And so, taking this gem of journalism as an example, here are the four rules to follow if you want to write this stuff.
Rule Number One is: Identify yourself as a gun owner and user; it gives you credibility, a la Bubba Clinton in the duckblind and John Kerry at the trap field. “I grew up hunting and shooting, and I still own two rifles, and two shotguns,” says Mr. Klinkenbourg.
Rule Number Two: Ignore what actually happens when a pro-gun law goes into effect. Minnesota passed its right to carry law a year ago. Since then, people are not shooting people in larger numbers than usual, and the police have not been flooded with applications from touchy citizens who want to go heeled in case someone disses them. Actually, nothing has happened. Nothing also happened when Bubba Clinton’s assault weapons ban sank below the waves, courtesy of a sunset clause.
Situations like this are, of course, intolerable to those who think like Mr. Klinkenbourg. One can imagine him saying, in tones of liberal anguish, “People shouldn’t be out there killing each other. Don’t they care?”
Rule Number Three: Any pro-gun law cannot be the will of the people, but must be due to the infernal machinations of…THE NRA. Which leads us to:
Rule Number Four, which requires that you find something really nasty to call the National Rifle Association. In this piece Mr. K. has come up with “paranoid cabal.” Webster’s Dictionary says a cabal is “a small group of persons joined in a secret conspiracy.”
Now, the NRA may indeed be paranoid. I’ve been an NRA member for 42 years, and I’m paranoid, but then I have cause to be, as thousands lust for my blood. But small? Secret? Holy Hillary, if there is one organization on the face of the earth that is less small and less secret than the NRA, I can’t imagine what it might be. There are 4 million of them, and they are right in your face all the time.
Those seem to be the basic parameters. Just for the hell of it I may do an anti-gun article–if the pay is right. At least you don’t have to know what you’re talking about.