"What Are We Going To Do, Start Outlawing Forks?"

In Thank You For Smoking, Christopher Buckley's 1994 novel, spokespeople for the gun, alcohol, and tobacco industries meet-up to commiserate and brainstorm about public relations challenges and strategies. They dub their little group the "M.O.D. Squad" - Merchants of Death. At one of their meetings the three brainstorm about how to deal with the press in the aftermath of a mass shooting in a church. Nick, the novel's protagonist, works for the tobacco industry in a "research" organization, Polly works for alcohol companies, and Bobby Jay Bliss represents the gun industry.

Bobby Jay: To them, my ten-year-old's BB gun is an "assault rifle." He held up his fork. "To them, this could be an 'assault' weapon. What are we going to do, start outlawing forks?"
Nick: "Forks?"
Polly: Forks Don't Kill people, people kill people. I don't know....Needs work.

Later he tells his M.O.D. Squad pals about how he was listening to a talk radio show, when he heard a woman who was at the church call in to say she had a clear shot of the gunman but had to leave her gun in the glove compartment because of the laws. He realized he could use her for some PR and recounts his trip to her home in Carburetor City, Texas with a camera crew.

Bobby Jay: "I had her hairdresser come over. She wanted to do her makeup but I wouldn't hear of it. I wanted her eyes red from crying. We dabbed a little onion under the eyelids, nothing wrong with that, just to get her in the mood, get those ducts opened up"
Nick: "Onion?"
Bobby Jay: "Didn't even need it. Soon as she saw those color police photos I was holding up for her off camera she started bawlin' like a baby...she gets to the part about how she had to leave her pistol in the glove compartment. Then she looks right into the camera, right in your face, and dabs the corner of her eye -- and that was not in the script -- and says, 'Why won't our elected lawmakers just let us protect ourselves? Is that too much to ask?'"

He tells how he used the footage to dramatize a story about Second Amendment rights to combat calls for gun control. In the novel, the piece was used to urge citizens to call their congressmen.

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