Photo Credit: CBS News

It’s Wednesday morning, and the hit new show, The American Selfie, opens from its New York studios of the Satirical News Network. Anchors Kate Kelley and Mia Cooney, two twenty-somethings devoted to explaining America to itself and the world, sit behind a curved table and greet the audience.

Kelley: “Welcome back from the field, Mia.”

Cooney: “Thanks, Kate. We had a couple good interviews in Florida, but it’s nice to be back in the studio.”

Kelley: “What’s on tap for this morning, Mia?”

Cooney: “In a moment, we’ll go to American Selfie co-anchor, Faye Watson, who is on location in Montgomery, Alabama to interview Judge Roy Moore, who just defeated the establishment Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate that President Trump backed. Check out his photo.”

Kelley: “He’s quite a character, that Judge.”

Cooney: “Duh, Kate, just look at the picture. Love that cowboy hat and vest. Is it me or does the hat seem a wee bit too small for his head?”

Kelley: “It’s his brand. He also pulled out a pistol on stage during a campaign rally the other day, an interesting touch.”

Cooney: “No doubt. For more, let’s go to Faye.”

Watson: “Good morning, Kate and Mia, from Alabama. (turning to Judge Moore in a vest, tie and cowboy hat seated across from her with a low table to his side). And good morning to you, Judge.”

Moore: “Good mornin’, Little Lady. It’s a great day to be an American.”

Watson: “Especially for you, Judge. Congratulations on your Republican primary victory last night.”

Moore: “Why thankee.”

Watson: (suddenly looking horrified) “What’s that in your pock— is that a pistol?”

Moore: (pulling out a small silver pistol and placing on the table) “Yes, ma’am, it is, but don’t worry, it’s for the bad guys.”

Watson: “Like Democrats in the Senate?”

Moore: “Heh, heh, heh. No, Faye, but I wouldn’t mind roughing them up a bit—and maybe Mitch McConnell too. You should pick one up while you’re down here. I know a great dealer just down the road.”

Watson: “Thanks for tip. Okay, Judge, America would like to learn a little more about you. While you were a state judge here in Alabama, what were you best known for?”

Moore: “That’s an underhand slow pitch, Little Lady—no doubt it was erecting a huge sculpture of the Ten Commandments outside my courtroom–weighed more than a ton.”

Watson: “Why did you do that, Judge?”

Moore: “Because God’s law supersedes all human laws and rules, that’s why, and that’s what the people of Alabama expected of me.”

Watson: “Didn’t it get challenged on Constitutional grounds?”

Moore: “It did, dagnabit. The liberals are against Christianity and sued me over it.”

Watson: “What happened?”

Moore: “A liberal court ruled it was unConstitutional, and some judicial panel ordered me to step down because I wouldn’t remove the Ten Commandments.”

Watson: “How did you feel about that, Judge?”

Moore: “Horrible, Little Lady! Whatdyathink? This country is going to heck, and the courts are offering it a free ride, that’s what I think. God’s laws are supreme, and the Constitution is subservient.”

Watson: “Not to quibble, Judge, but at your campaign rally a few nights ago, you pulled out a gun and said you believe in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.”

Moore: “That’s different! The Right to Bear Arms is divinely inspired to help man fight sin.”

Watson: “But don’t the Ten Commandments say ‘Thou shall not commit murder’?”

Moore: “No one’s a talkin’ about murder, just protectin’ our neighborhoods and women.”

Watson: “(Turning to the camera) Well, Kate and Mia, that’s an American Selfie in the flesh, Judge Roy Moore. Thank you, Judge.”

Moore: “My pleasure, young lady. Would you like the address of that dealer?”

Watson: (before the camera and microphone cut out) Hey Judge, can we do a selfie with your gun for Snapchat?


Background for Foreign Readers

The most controversial part of the Bill of Rights (first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution) for non-Americans is probably the Second Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms. This amendment reads:

“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.”

The language and even grammar of this short amendment have been the subject of considerable debate and several Supreme Court cases. Some Americans believe the Second Amendment is an essential enabling element of American freedoms because it allows citizens to arm themselves as a guard against a potentially tyrannical government. Others question the purpose of the amendment and whether it was only meant to arm a militia.

In any event, the debate rages with Republicans generally siding with more gun freedom and Democrats favoring less. There is even disagreement about whether the government should prohibit suspected terrorists on the ‘no-fly’ list from buying guns. Interestingly, almost ten years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in a decision written by perhaps its most conservative Justice (Scalia) that the government cannot ban ownership of guns for the protection of the home, but could regulate guns in other ways such as requiring background checks, limiting public gun use and outlawing certain types of guns.

The United States has a gun issue. There are more than 300 million privately owned firearms in the country, and we have an exponentially higher gun death rate than any other developed country. It is mind boggling, yet our politicians will do little to protect the public. Gun regulation is not unConstitutional (see previous paragraph), and regulation is not, as some on the Right suggest, a first step in taking away guns. Furthermore, it should be painfully clear that ‘good guys with guns’ don’t prevent mass gun violence. If Europeans are mystified by American gun policy, it is with good reason. I pray for change.