By Jonathan Wayne
Several thousand animals, both wild and domesticated, surrounded the United States Capitol Building on Wednesday to protest the “sinful and cowardly” refusal of lawmakers to enact policies that would protect American children from the misuse of firearms.
The animals — including geese and ducks, deer and elk, cows and horses — interlocked their hooves or webbed feet and chanted in broken English at Senate and House members passing by, “Grow a spine, grow a spine, the N.R.A. is out of line, yet before it you lie prostrate or supine.”
Demonstrators expressed anger and dismay that U.S. legislators were apparently unmoved by the ongoing devastation to children and families caused by weak gun laws.
“The U.S. Congress must think it’s okay for kids in America to be shot and killed at 10 times the rate of children in other advanced countries,” said a 600-pound bull elk from rural Oregon. “It makes you wonder if this is really an advanced country. Or a backward country lost in a daydream of black-and-white Westerns and cowboy heroes with pistols on both hips.”
Using a megaphone to address protesters, an enormous goose said it was pathetic that so few people joined with animals to prod lawmakers into passing sensible firearm safety measures.
“Firearms kill around 30,000 Americans a year, a toll that includes many children and teenagers,” the goose said. “You’d certainly think that human beings would take the lead in demonstrating against the slaughter of their own kids, but for some dark and unforgivable reason they’ve left that task up to birds and beasts. The ugly truth is that people care less for their young ones than animals do.”