The Founding Fathers Discuss Gun Rights: The Lost Transcript

City Tavern
Philadelphia, PA
1780

 

 

John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton sit in an empty bar.  Jefferson tosses peanuts into Franklin’s mouth.

A. Hamilton: Alright, Dolley Madison, Betsy Ross, and Martha Washington.

T. Jefferson: Okay, marry Betsy Ross. Kill Dolley Madison. And bang Martha Washington, for sure.

George Washington enters bar in a huff.

G. Washington: Shit’s really getting real out there. I just saw this Redcoat totally get bayoneted in the junk. What’s up, were you guys talking about my wife?

B. Franklin: No… Jefferson might have been.

Jefferson makes obscene gesture at Franklin.

T. Jefferson: Can you guys believe Washington’s beating the British with nothing more than muskets and a dainty wig?

G. Washington: My hair’s powdered! You know that! Sometimes I don’t know why I’m friends with you guys.

J. Adams: Don’t listen to them. You look good with powdered hair, Dog. But guys, speaking of muskets, we gotta get this Constitution shit going. For realz.

[inaudible, groans]

J. Adams: I know, I know. But let’s just bust out a second amendment. It’ll take ten minutes. Guns—let’s brainstorm!

B. Franklin: First, I think every citizen should be provided with tickets.

A. Hamilton: Tickets? To what?

B. Franklin: Tickets to the gun show, Hammy! (flexes biceps, rubs belly on Hamilton’s face)

J. Adams: That’s funny and I can’t ever imagine that joke becoming passé in the future, but seriously, let’s talk about the Right to Bear Arms. Why do we need it?

A. Hamilton: I got this. We need it cause there’s never been a fair government in the history of the world, so if our government gets all oppressive, the people can rise up against it.

B. Franklin: Word up, Canned Hamilton. And since the musket is the most powerful weapon in the world, the people are on even footing with the government.

J. Adams: Aight, aight. So we’re highly skeptical of these bitch-ass governments cause there’s never been a legit one til now. And, at least in this moment in time, it’s actually possible to overthrow an unjust government with mere guns.

B. Franklin: True dat, and hopefully in the future there will be enough checks and balances to ensure that government can’t become tyrannical. But until then, citizens being armed is a good deterrent.

T. Jefferson: What about for hunting? I like to bring home the bacon; and by that I mean a bleeding deer carcass. We gotta eat, don’t we?

A. Hamilton: Honestly, even if I could just pull my buggy up to a magical sliding window and be handed a bleeding deer sandwich, I’d still want to shoot alive ones for fun. I just really hate those fucking deer.

J. Adams: We all do. They’re assholes. Alright, so recreational hunting seems like a tolerable reason for owning a gun.

"That's great work, Betsy. You just earned yourself some suffrage in 140 years."

“That’s great work, Betsy. You just earned yourself some suffrage in 140 years.”

G. Washington: What about for personal protection? A man’s gotta protect his family!

T. Jefferson: What’s the matter, Boy George? Not man enough to protect Martha with your bare hands? Maybe it’s time she knows what it’s like to be with a real man, instead of some wood-toothed freak!

Washington’s eyes well up, he runs toward door.

J. Adams: George, stop! Get back over here. It was only a joke. Just cool it, okay Jefferson? You know how sensitive he gets.

Washington saunters back vulnerably with hands in pockets.

J. Adams: I’m glad you brought that up, George. Self-defense is an important right. Some mofo’s coming in through your window, trying to get a little Martha action—you have a right to protect her. I mean, she’s a sweet piece, so I get that. And because all weapons pretty much suck right now, you’re not going to accidentally kill your whole family.

T. Jefferson: Yeah, like check this out. Last night I’m having this wild dream about Martha Washington—

G. Washington: Hey!

J. Adams: Tom—

T. Jefferson: And right when she’s about to take her top off, I’m woken by this rustling outside my door. Naturally I assume it’s Cornwallis of Cambridge and his men! So I reach under the bed and grab my musket! But it’s not loaded, so I run to the closet and grab a cartridge. But I forgot to open the pan on the musket. So I put down the cartridge, and open the pan. Then I pour a little of the powder from the cartridge into the pan. Of course it goes all over the place—I’m all thumbs. But I get a little in there and close the pan. Next I have to pour more powder into the muzzle, and drop the cartridge ball in there too. But I forgot the ramrod! So I run back to the closet, grab the ramrod, jam it down there a few times, and I’m good to go. But at some point in that process I fell back asleep. Good thing too, because it turns out it was just one of my concubines getting a glass of water.

J. Adams: Well that’s exactly what I’m getting at… George, how many shots can you get off in a minute, at maximum?

G. Washington: If I’m really workin’ it, I can get off maybe three, sometimes four times a minute.

T. Jefferson: Ha! Martha found herself a real Minuteman. It’s quality, not quantity, Georgie!

A. Hamilton: You set yourself up for that one, George… So four shots per minute, and you have to reload between each shot. You know what? That’s kind of ideal. I mean, imagine for a sec if everyone had access to rifles that had a rate of fire of—and I’m just spitballing here—200 rounds per minute.

G. Washington: Why that’s as outlandish as being handed a bleeding deer sammy through a sliding glass window!

J. Adams: Benji, you’re an inventor, right?

B. Franklin: Yeah sure. I invented the bifocals, lightning rod, Franklin stove, assless chaps, edible panties, and penis-shaped things for bachelorette parties.

J. Adams: And would you ever invent a weapon as advanced as Hamilton is describing?

B. Franklin: No, I’m more into kinky shit. And anyway, why would I? Like for example, the other day, I was at the mall to get that sweet new cup-and-ball game. It’s super crowded, you know, with onset of modern capitalism. And all of the sudden I hear, “Look out, he’s got one-shot pistol!” I look behind me, and this madman has somehow gotten a hold of a gun! He fires at me, but I guess I must have been outside of its 15-foot range because the bullet just kinda rolled to a stop in front of me, and everybody went back to shopping.

A. Hamilton: Ha! You have to be a real idiot to get killed by a pistol! Hey guys, I’ve been meaning to ask, what’s hubris?

"This man's edible undies gave me Salmonella!"

“This man’s edible undies gave me Salmonella!”

J. Adams: So it might actually be a good thing that guns suck… But hypothetically, if someday they were awesome, should we impose regulations?

G. Washington: I don’t know. If we did, then the only people that would follow the rules would be the law abiding citizens; so then the only people with the sweet guns would be the criminals.

J. Adams: That’s a fair point. But I mean, if we’re doing our job as a country, people shouldn’t need to turn to crime, and the ones that do will go to prison.

B. FranklinAnd anyway, why would we ever prefer to have both law-abiders and criminals be well-armed, instead of everybody just having encumbering, shitty guns?

T. Jefferson: Wait, we’re still talking about some hypothetical future sitch, right?

B. Franklin: Of course. All guns are currently shitty and encumbering.

J. Adams: But can I tell you something else? Criminals aren’t the ones that really scare me. They usually kill each other, not totally random people for no reason. It’s the whackos that scare me. Sorry sorry—Mongoloids.

A. Hamilton: What about better care for the mentally ill? And closer scrutiny for warning signs!?

J. Adams: Sure. Quality care for the mentally ill, a better system for reporting red flags—that should be the standard. But can I hit ya with something?

B. Franklin: Hit em, J!

J. Adams: We’re all a little crazy. Some more than others, sure. But anybody is capable of flipping a switch, being pushed over the edge. Somebody without any red flags. And it’s just good that when that happens, we’re only capable of shooting a one-shot pistol 15 feet.

A. Hamilton: I just want to reiterate that you have to be just a complete moron to be killed by a pistol.

Just then, a loud thrashing at the bar door.

[voice, British]: All Revolutionaries, surrender at once! Or prepare to be fired on!

The Founding Fathers jump to their feet. Washington fires his pistol at the door, but it misfires into the ceiling. Enter Samuel Adams, intoxicated.

S. Adams (arms extended, raspy voice): Whazzzzzzzzup???

The Founders all groan and throw peanuts at Samuel Adams.

S. Adams: What, are we not saying that anymore?

J. Adams: You almost just ate it, asshole! You’re wasted on your Samuel Adams Boston Lager again, aren’t you? How did you get here?

S. Adams: Oh, this again? I can have a little drinkie and take my buggy out for a spin! It’s no big deal, Cuz! What are we talkin’ about?

T. Jefferson: Martha Washington.

S. Adams: Hottie.

“Oh so Prince can rock it, but I can’t?”

G. Washington: No, we’re talking about guns in the future! Okay, how about armed guards in every school? Lock up all the nutjobs?

J. Adams: I don’t know. Would more guns really be the answer? That seems counterintuitive. And do you really want to live in a police state?

S. Adams: Umm, boring! Why are we even talking about this? Everybody knows gun control doesn’t equal fewer gun deaths.

J. Adams: Well, it’s easy to say that when research into that very matter is suppressed at every turn by the all-powerful lobbyers, the National Registry of Assholes. We’re living through the Age of Reason, right? Doesn’t it just stand to reason that fewer guns, or more importantly fewer awesome guns, would lead to less violence? I mean, if you disagree, that’s like saying that if slavery were made illegal, you’d all still be getting laid by hot young African women all the time. I mean, I wish it were the case, but let’s be real. Look at y’all.

S. Adams (burps): Speak for yourself! I get more ass than a water closet.

G. Washington: But gun control is just a precursor to disarmament!

J. Adams: You can believe that if you want, but beliefs are like monarchies. They’re big and scary, but when you challenge them, you realize they’re full of shit… And anyway, consider the guns we have right now. We’re saying those are acceptable. But what if guns advance step by step for the next 250 years to the point where they are capable of shooting 200 rounds a minute. If we’ve allowed guns to take 10,000 steps forward unimpeded, why can we not reasonably take a couple steps back?

Technically—right now, as we’re writing this constitution—we’re like one step away from disarmament because our weapons are so shitty that it’s like not having a weapon at all. So if, in the future, we went from 30-shot magazines down to like 10, we would still be lightyears ahead of 1700s capabilities and lightyears away from disarmament. And if they’re capable of 200 rounds a minute in 250 years, what will they be capable of in 500 years? Will there never be an appropriate time for control?

[long pause]

T. Jefferson: It’s funny you mention magazines, cause George’s wife was on the cover last month’s Colonial Courtesans.

B. Franklin: What the fuck’s a lightyear?

G. Washington: Hey Mr. Made-Up Words, knives are weapons too. So are clubs and chains. I once chopped down this hippie asshole named—get this—Cherry Tree with a hatchet. If someone wants to do harm, not having a gun won’t stop them.

J. Adams: Somewhat true. Though having a gun will make it a whole lot easier. To kill somebody with anything else, you really have to earn it. You can’t just impersonally pick them off from afar. It’s not very easy to go on a killing spree with chains.

T. Jefferson: George, let’s keep that whole hippie thing on the DL. That’s pretty messed up. Also, sorry for ripping on you all the time. We’re cool, right Dog? We coo-day-la?

A. Hamilton: Hey, Adams for Peace, way more people are killed in buggy accidents every year than by guns. Do you want to ban buggies too?

J. Adams: Ban? No. And I don’t want to ban guns either. But we do heavily regulate buggies. You have to take a test and get a buggying license, which you can lose. And you can’t operate a buggy drunk.

S. Adams: Don’t look at me! I’m a congressman!

J. Adams: And still, we’re trying to get more buggies off the road, aren’t we? Our roads are covered in horseshit.

Colonial Courtesans. 21 Jan. 1780: 21-23. Print. Subversive Strumpets. 14 June 1776: 56-59. Print.

Colonial Courtesans. 21 Jan. 1780: 21-23. Print.
Subversive Strumpets. 14 June 1776: 56-59. Print.

T. Jefferson: But if we the leaders ever had to scale back gun rights, people would be fucking pissed!

J. Adams: Of course they would be pissed, and justifiably so! You’re infringing on their rights! But you’re also giving rights. You’re giving parents the right to send their kids to school without being worried that they might be mowed down. Rights for poor communities to not be plagued with buggy-by shootings. And even rights to us as leaders to lessen our chances of being assassinated.

A. Hamilton: Don’t worry about me. I’m invincible!

J. Adams: Here’s my last argument. Look at slavery—

G. Washington: Whoa, hey now—

T. Jefferson: Ixnay on the slavery-ay!

J. Adams: My cuz and I have never owned slaves. (J. Adams and S. Adams slap hands.) But if we were to outlaw slavery, we would be taking away people’s rights. The right to own people. Rights that citizens are extremely accustomed to and protective of.

But we’d also be giving rights to all those slaves, and to humanity in general—that no one has to live in fear. In fear of being enslaved, in fear of a nutjob who’s found his mom’s future-gun…

I mean, people are so attached to having slaves that shit could really hit the fan, civil war and all that jazz. And yet in hindsight, we’d realize we never even had a choice: of course it was the right thing to do.

S. Adams: J, that was all impassioned and stuff, but my buzz is wearing off. You guys are kind of downers.

T. Jefferson: Sam, how about hooking us up with some of that Boston Lager? I’ll call some chicks.

G. Washington: Yeah, I gotta jet. Martha’s blowing up my cellie.

[Jefferson makes whip-cracking noises]

J. Adams: Oh, everybody’s too busy? We’re just gonna bag the Constitution? Okay, okay fine! How bout we just leave it super vague, something like, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”?

B. Franklin: Ratified!

J. Adams: Wait, I was kidding—

G. Washington: Here here!

T. Jefferson (singing): Ey where the party at? Girls on the way, where the Bacardi at?

A. Hamilton: I’ll never die!

Ain't no party like a 1780s party...

Ain’t no party like a 1780s party…

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