Monday, October 25, 2004

NRA, PETA to Merge
OFGS News Service
Fairfax, VA - Declaring a "sweeping, new synergy," the National Rifle Association and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will merge, both organizations confirmed today. The new, combined organization will be known as NRAPETA.

The announcement caught many analysts off guard. "This is a shocker," admitted Pinky Westerberg, executive director of Oklahoma City-based Women With Weapons, a group that lobbies Capitol Hill on Second Amendment issues. "But it might be just crazy enough to work."

Despite a history of promoting causes at odds with one another, both PETA and the NRA hope to further their goals by working together. PETA officials hope to tap into the NRA's formula for making extremist positions palatable to the American mainstream, while NRA officials hope to target one of the few remaining American subcultures not likely to wallow openly in its love for guns: animal lovers.

NRAPETA (pronounced N-Rape-eta) assistant director Debbie Leahy explained the merger in an e-mail message to PETA members, saying, "By merging with the NRA, PETA will learn how a fanatical organization has been successful in getting complete buy-in from average Americans. It's mind-boggling: thousands of Americans die every year from gun violence and yet Americans have no interest in regulating even military-style assault weapons. And most states reject commonsense measures like background checks and waiting periods. How does the NRA do it? Quite frankly, they have some ammunition we need."

"Meanwhile," she pointed out, "PETA struggles to drum up any interest in the ubiquitous mistreatment of animals in this country. Face it, KFC representatives could probably go on TV and bludgeon live chickens with staplers and nobody would care."

Leahy's e-mail went on to tout NRA accomplishments that have left PETA members envious, including the recent expiration of the assault-weapons ban and the complete absence of a meaningful dialog about gun violence during the current presidential campaign. "Even John Kerry seems to be packing heat practically every time you see him," she pointed out. "Both candidates have tried to out-macho each other in a manner that is... well, to be honest, a little hot."

Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the NRA, concurred. "Look, the goal of any extremist organization is to promote an agenda way beyond anything any reasonable person would expect. Then, popular opinion can meet it halfway. But the NRA has blown past the constitution to give even the most criminally insane Americans easy access to all manner of firearms, including military-style assault rifles! To be honest, it's a little scary, even to us. But hey, if PETA had that kind of success, 90% of Americans would be eating seitan and wearing hemp sandals!"

What's in the merger for the NRA? Cox explained, "Thanks to our tireless efforts to identify and track every gun owner in America, we've also identified all Americans who do not own and shoot guns joyously from their front porches or automobiles on a regular basis. When we crunched those numbers, a trend emerged: The only people in America who are not gun lovers are also PETA members. So we figure we've hit the bull's eye with this merger. This might be our only shot at getting the remainder of America in the crosshairs." He then pointed his finger at an imaginary barrel of fish and said, "Pow. It's like shooting fish in a barrel! Pow pow pow pow pow powpowpowpowpowpowpow! Datdatdatdatdatdat! Ahn a datta datta datta datta datta datta datta dat! An an an an an an an an anna ant! Ka-blowie! Ka-blam!"

Leahy lamented the fact that America has so thoroughly embraced a culture of bloodlust, but stressed that hunting issues aren't even on the table any more. "When guns are discussed in America nowadays, nobody is talking about restricting weapons used in hunting, so animals aren't really on the NRA's radar," she pointed out. These weapons are for killing humans. And humans are the very people who are treating animals unethically, so from our perspective, it was win-win."

Cox rolled his eyes, shrugged his shoulders and reluctantly agreed. "It's true we're mainly focusing our efforts on the AK-47, the Uzi, and the Tec-9 automatic weapons, which really have no use in hunting -- or any sporting endeavor for that matter," he admitted. "Shoot one of those babies at a deer and there's not much left to eat, let alone mount over the fireplace. That's one thing all NRAPETA members can agree on. I mean, ewww."

Not all observers expressed high hopes for the success of the merger, however. "I think it's a shot in the dark," said Wolf Disembowelski, a professor of marketing/communications at Oberlin College. "It might work from a marketing and list-exchange point of view, but there are still a lot of issues to be worked out. For instance, what happens if an Uzi blast goes right through some humans and then kills an animal on the other side?"

When asked to comment, Leahy said, "Hey, yeah, he's right..." but then was immediately shot to death by Cox. No animals were harmed in the incident.

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