So you’re having a tough week. Another mass shooting has taken the lives of innocent kids, interrupting Benghazi coverage on Fox News. You tear up, as your thoughts immediately wander to the same dark place most Americans find themselves when these tragedies confront us every two weeks: What will happen to my guns!?!
Fear not, however, because the NRA has created a lifestyle site just for you. Where you can kick back and get away from it all, the liberals dosing your water with fluoride like they’re Ra’s al Ghul, the UN’s plan to come appropriate your local golf course, and of course President Obama’s long game, which Wayne LaPierre has thankfully decoded, to pretend to not attack the Second Amendment so that he can indeed attack the Second Amendment.
We’re talking about NRA Sharp, of course, and if you’re a man, with manly fantasies—that involve shooting stuff, of course—this is the place to be!
Now to be fair to Wayne LaPierre—NRA executive vice president and foaming mouthpiece—and his Band of Merry Bagmen at the NRA, there are a few parts of this site that try to cater to females and the younger among our species. Because what is better for the “Tiny Dancer” (no, not making that up) among us than stone-fruit smoothies, the ballet, the Lululemon Hot Spell Bra with its “near naked comfort,” and the Ruger LCP Centerfire Pistol?
Apparently someone at NRA HQ has realized that the increasingly Bill O’Reilly-ish demographic of pudding eaters and get-off-my-lawners who make up the NRA won’t sustain it, unless Ponce de Leon was on to something or we’re all living in a large elaborate set of the movie Cocoon.
But most of the site is aimed squarely at the frustrated, angry conservative male, giving him the fantasy escape that only a tall tale and long gun can accomplish.
For example, as we know from the creepy manifesto left behind by the shooter in Santa Barbara, he was having a very hard time with women, and his bitterness from these failures hardened into a hatred for women, one that would tragically led him to go on his killing spree.
Clearly there are other men who fall into a similar category, obviously without having acted on this frustration by exercising what the NRA says is their “constitutional right” to buy an assault weapon and a 110-round drum magazine, among other goodies. But now they can go to NRA Sharp, become excited by becoming their very own James Bond or Clint Eastwood when he was lucid—while being told they need a gun to be Mr. Fantastic!—and emerge later, likely angrier once they realize it isn’t real, but conveniently armed!
There’s no talk of safety or responsibility with firearms at NRA Sharp to totally kill your buzz, because freewheeling with loaded weapons is an essential part of your cool character.
What lovely products does NRA Sharp have in store for you at the click of a mouse? According to the wordsmiths at the site, you can become the “Master of the Ceremonies” in your life, meaning:
Most poor suckers were born to wait by the phone, but you bring the party to your doorstep. You are the host that everyone knows or wants to know. You always put on the best show. Break out the best guns (literally). Have the most poignant insights—and we all want on your guest list.
Yes, you have all the power, baby. But it’s hard won and well-earned before the curtain opens every night. These things don’t just run themselves. To stay on top, you have to keep climbing—always.
Can you feel the power surging through your body, and the ladies just begging to be on your guest list?
If not, you need only ask yourself one question: Do you feel lucky? Well do, ya? For maybe the Master isn’t your NRA Sharp “character.”
Perhaps you’re fanciful creation is more “Dirty Harry Punk.” Besides talking to an empty chair onstage at the Republican National Convention, this ignis fatuus allows you to be a:
…renegade cop serving up his own brand of justice to “punks” when a corrupt legal system failed. But then there’s the irony: What’s more punk than a steely-eyed antihero in a tweed three-piece suit bucking the system and turning himself into a one-man police force?
You see, your cloud-cuckoo-land is bringing justice to the world one bullet at a time (or perhaps 33, but who’s counting?), but this glorious phantasm isn’t doing it as one of those “jack-booted thugs” enforcing the law. No, your out-of-body hallucination is a powerful anti-establishment conservative, taking it to all those sissies who follow laws and stuff.
NRA Sharp also allows you to watch the comic stylings of Noir, Colion Noir, just about the only African-American the NRA could dig up to try and make guns seem cool to non-whites, who reject the gun culture at an alarming rate to their accountants. Noir (which means “black” in French—get it?!), besides hosting a show that has all the production values of Wayne’s World on blotter acid, and not having a clue about actual gun-violence statistics, also can’t seem to decide which baseball team he likes. (Hint, Sporto: You may be the first person in the history of the world to wear both Yankees and Red Sox hats—those hats actually mean something to people, kind of like your bought-and-paid-for advocacy will mean more people will get killed.)
Also featured are the high stylings of people who have nothing to do with the NRA, so the gun fetishists can convince you they’re “hip” and “with it.” For example, on NRA Sharp’s “Fashion in Context” section, they’ve (I can only assume without his permission) posted a video by Dwayne Wade—presumably showcased to appear as the NRA’s other black friend, besides Noir—discussing ties from The Tie Bar. For some reason they chose this selection instead of the image Wade tweeted out of himself donning a hoodie to protest the murder of Trayvon Martin, made legal by Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law that NRA troll-cum-lobbyist Marion Hammer ensured was passed in the Sunshine State.
You also have your Gucci web suspenders for $250, Albert Thurston Caldonaire tweed braces for $140 and Trafalgar Formal Ascot stripe suspenders for the bargain basement deal of $85. The availability of all of these makes sense, because this is not what the coastal elitists LaPierre attacks in his speeches would wear—it is the clearly the uniform of the militiaman in Montana, hunter in Oklahoma, or Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot attendee in Kentucky. Also, clearly of major importance to this crowd is the “Modernist Architecture” NRA Sharp displays so you can appreciate the “‘breathing’ metals and design inspired by microorganisms are creating structures that are both energy-efficient and beautiful.”
ln fact I think I overheard this very phrase uttered by a bunch of guys in camo hats and sleeveless shirts walking next to me in the hallway when I attended the NRA Convention in April.
There are also “Fine Found Foods” such as dandelions (seriously?) and the “Aspire to Acquire” section with a nice picture of a boat, that reminds you to “aspire to purchase something just out of your reach,” which if the NRA has their way might soon be that bulletproof bubble the pope often travels around in. And don’t miss the “Fiery Spirits” section, which reminds you of the importance of “tradition” and “social ritual” in crafting fine spirits—which by the way, you can now drink in bars in a number of states while carrying an AR-15 because of crazy NRA laws—while looking around for the first guy to stare at you cross-eyed or put Barry Manilow on the jukebox.
Perhaps most importantly, the NRA knows your dreams, your need to reassert control of your life, to be the cool guy you see on TV getting all the ladies in between smoking cigars and riding motorcycles. So the NRA asks you in another section of Sharp, “You Drive Don’t You? Do You Dream?”
This section is the id of the site. We get those who work for NRA Sharp jumping in with their fantasies—all of which involve their being richer than anyone else, flying above the rest of us and “defying gravity”—or, my personal favorite, getting to hang out with E.T. and his “badass guns” only to find out he “totally” recognized our guns and we were “like” his great grandparents! (Shhh! Don’t criticize, they’re identifying with the kids and their hip hopping with the baggy pants.):
“I’m really curious about life on other planets. So the other day I found myself daydreaming that aliens from another galaxy came here and they were exactly like us but had just existed for like, 100 more years than we did—and they had these badass guns that would, like, unfold and mold around their hands when they pulled them out. Anyway, we got to talking about guns, and then I took them out to the range to show them our ‘rudimentary firearms,’ and they totally recognized my Ruger and called it by name. It was then we realized they actually had just accidentally travelled through time and come back to Earth from Earth. And we were, like, their great grandparents.” — J.M., Editor
Obviously, that this person is editing anything other than the kids’ menu at your local Friendly’s is not a problem to NRA Sharpers. In fact, it’s a business plan. So head on over to the site without wasting another moment of your time, and be the man you always knew you were, but sometimes don’t feel like you are. With guns!
No worries that misogyny has been the culprit in a number of mass killings and that a domestic abuser who has access to firearms is more than seven times more likely to kill his partner, helping lead to the harrowing statistic that three women are killed by their significant other every single day. There’s no talk of safety or responsibility with firearms at NRA Sharp to totally kill your buzz, because freewheeling with loaded weapons is an essential part of your cool character, and who worries about totally uncool things like not shooting people by mistake—or even on purpose?
For those losers who believe in not having their heads shot off accidentally or by a lunatic who didn’t need to go through a background check (thanks NRA!), NRA Sharp implores you to “Come Out of the Gun Closet,” so you can tell all the gun-haters—you know, the ones who think people who can’t get on airplanes because they’re on Terror Watch Lists also shouldn’t be able to buy a .50 caliber rifle that can take one down—how things really are:
“Because it’s what we do, I think a lot about conversations I would have with the people I know who really hate guns—because I know a lot of them. Back home, guns are… not popular. But like me, everyone grew up not knowing anything about them because of it. I keep thinking that if I could just get them to the range, like my roommate did for me in college, they would love it. So a lot of times, like when I went home for Memorial Day last weekend, I think about who I might pull aside, who I think might be receptive, what gun I think they would like— planning my strategy to slowly turn everyone to the light side of The Force.” — W.C., Graphic Designer