SCENE: Mitch BERG is leaving Alary’s after a Bears game, when he runs into MyLyssa SILBERMAN, reporter for National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau. Dressed in a hemp power skirt, her brunette-but-slightly-prematurely-gray hair cut into the style known as “ELCA Hair”, she is on her way from her Lowertown condo to the MPR building.
SILBERMAN: (In her “NPR” voice – a nasal brogue that bespeaks an Ivy League education, and sounds like it may have ironic clarinet music in the background) Mr. Berg.
BERG: Oh, hello, MyLyssa.
SILBERMAN: So you’re still a Second Amendment activist?
BERG: I am.
SILBERMAN: And you oppose closing the “Gun Show Loophole” with mandatory registration?
SILBERMAN: Why? It’s clearly commonsense.
BERG: I’m going to refute you with an NPR story. Yesterday, NPR reported that the Obama Administration has done away with a 9/11-era program that allowed the creation of a registry of people from several countries linked to terrorist activities. (BERG draws iPhone from pocket, shuffles through to find a recording). I believe this the report, from NPR’s Tom Gjelten:
GJELTEN: Among those who would speak out – the American Civil Liberties Union. Hina Shamsi is the national security director there.
HINA SHAMSI: We would absolutely oppose this program. And as we have said, if this form of discriminatory registry is put in place, we stand ready to sue and to challenge it.
(BERG stops the recording)
SILBERMAN: Right. So?
BERG: Listen to this next bit. I’ll crank up the volume for a few parts”
GJELTEN: A new registry could bring out law-abiding Muslims. But human rights lawyer Banafsheh Akhlaghi says it would probably not reveal the would-be terrorists the government should be worried about.
AKHLAGHI: They aren’t going to voluntarily come into a federal building, give you their fingerprints, give you their name and their identity and allow you to take photographs of them. The good guys do that.
(BERG stops the recording again)
BERG: So terrorists aren’t going to come in and register themselves…
SILBERMAN: Right. That’s absurd.
BERG: Exactly. But criminals – people who commit violence with guns? They will come in and, in effect, register with a background check when they buy guns?
SILBERMAN: You are clearly “fake news”.