I decided to take a comic approach to the pro-healthcare rally held today on Capitol Hill. Since my brothers across the nation (as exemplified by Mr. New Hampshire above) were sporting their hardware at the healthcare reform town hall meetings, I thought I’d do the same.
At Target I found a “Rocket Blaster” for $4.99. It comes with one foam blaster and 4 foam rockets. I cut a hole in the top and filled it with water and daisies. I strapped the whole thing on my thigh with black duct tape as my hoster and took my stand for liberty at the healthcare rally today outside the Democratic National Committee building. President Obama was giving a speech there at 3 p.m. this afternoon. My little sign read: “I’m ready to water the Tree of Liberty with Healthcare Reform Now!” (You can see more photos here.)
There were about 500 pro-healthcare reform supporters out on the street. I didn’t see any anti-healthcare people.
My “revealed” weapon did draw the attention of the U.S. Capitol police. The officer called over his sergeant to identify my gun. I volunteered to them that it was a foam water gun and invited them to check it. They said they’d have someone come over and examine it. (See photos here.)
A few minutes later a Secret Service agent came to check it out. He asked me to take it out of the holster.
He said, “It’s just a water gun with daisies in it, ma’am?”
I answered, “Yes, sir.”
He replied, “Well, I’d rather see one of those than the other kind. ”
“I know you would,” I said. “So would I.”
He smiled and waved me on.
I also had a video interview with Voice of America. My talking points were as follows:
I’m taking a comic approach to a very serious issue. This country needs health-care reform now. It must have 1) a public option, 2) it must provide accessible and affordable insurance for everyone who is uninsured or under-insured, and 3) it should contain clear ‘conscience clauses’ around the issues that are morally sensitive. We need health-care reform now.
For a good article on the use of language in the health-care debate, see the article posted by George Lakoff today: The Policy-Speak Disaster.