The following account was found in what seems to be a time capsule that appeared mysteriously in Washington D.C., in a parking lot near to the Supreme Court Building. It has yet to be determined who left the capsule there, leaning against a Chevy Suburban, or when it got there. Investigators have been unable even to precisely identify the material from which the capsule is constructed, all of which has led one, albeit eccentric, scientific theorist to assert that he believes the time capsule comes from 100 years in the future. He argues that it was intended to be sent a century into that future’s future—or 200 years from our present—only someone programmed the device wrong and it went backward rather than forward.
The document itself was written by a man who purports to be the head of the History Department at Richard Branson University in Key West, Florida. However, there is no Richard Branson University, not in Key West or anywhere else … at present.
The full title of the document is …
2050 C.E.—The End of the United States as an Economic Power: How the NRA Did What Al Qaeda, ISIS, Adolph Hitler, Imperial Japan, the Soviet Union, King George the Third, the Confederate Secession, and All of America’s Enemies in All of Our History, Combined, Could Not Accomplish
As anyone who has ever brought a nation to its knees knows, the most effective and complete method to do so is by devastating that nation’s economy. Armies and navies can be defeated, but winning battles in a military manner is only temporary when a robust economy can assemble more armies and navies, and do it almost as quickly as they are being destroyed in the field. Truly, in the long term, the strength of the economy is what will determine the outcome of the war. The economy is the truest measure of any country’s over-all health and survivability.
The NRA—still called, quaintly, the “National Rifle Association” long after it became clear that 1) the only “Nation” it served was the unholy alliance between itself and the firearms industry to which it owed its only allegiance; that 2) the term “Rifle” came to mean anything from the silencer-equipped hand guns preferred by the modern plague of serial stealth killers (who like to murder one or two victims a day, usually on busy streets in broad daylight, afterwards melting back into the surrounding onlookers without being detected), to the high-tech, high-capacity “crowd whackers” which are capable of sending hundreds of rounds through hundreds of targets before any of the victims even hear the sound of gunfire; and 3) “Association” was only a cynical substitute for more vivid (and accurate) descriptors such as “Gang” or “Cartel” or “Unholy Alliance”—recognized as early as the 1980s that the fastest path to authoritarian-level power was not through the ballot box or armed insurrection, but rather by controlling those already in power through the auspices of “campaign donations,” known in other countries as “bribes.”
Yet, as late as 2012, after the mass slaughter of children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, there were still many politicians and national leaders who had not “bent the knee” to the NRA throne and the agenda it demanded for America. It was in the period following that tragedy that the NRA hierarchy decided the only way to utterly destroy all opposition to themselves was to weaken America’s economy so dramatically that the NRA rank and file would expand exponentially, owing to the millions of fearful and desperate citizens who found themselves out of work, destitute, and with no future prospects of the situation ever improving. From decades of observation and experimentation, the NRA leaders had come to understand that the more fearful people were, the more likely they were to blame their troubles on imagined enemies. And absolutely nothing is more beneficial to the firearms industry than imagined enemies.
Obviously, NRA leaders themselves couldn’t be perceived as creating or encouraging the sort of chaos that would erode the pillars of the economy. They had spent too long insinuating themselves into the very halls of American power to start acting like run-of-the-mill terrorists or common community activists. However, they were well aware there is a strain of human beings who take malicious delight in inflicting carnage, and especially onto whatever setting is least expecting carnage. The NRA’s had long evoked these murderous monsters in their marketing efforts to convince the least educated, least reflective members of the society that they, too, needed firearms to protect themselves. And they managed to do it without exposing themselves as the same sort of monsters as the shooters, simply by enabling the shooters to live their twisted dreams.
The NRA was also aware all that was needed to trigger the “lone wolf” types and the “disgruntled loose screws” into taking monstrous action was the assurance of superior, and devastating, firepower—capable of rendering most attempts at self-defense utterly futile—together with the demented aspiration to become one the most prolific of mass killers, if not the most prolific.
Said another way: While the mass murderers used NRA-sanctioned guns to accomplish their purpose, the NRA was using mass murderers to accomplish theirs, which was the continual spread of weaponry and the consolidation of power.
So for years, the NRA had been steadily eating away at any and every regulation which prohibited even the most unstable, deranged, or sociopathic individual to get his hands on more and more destructive instruments of firepower. If a state didn’t allow fully-automatic weapons, the NRA and its allies made certain that potential candidates for creating mayhem would know that semi-automatic guns could be converted, for an added expenditure, with a variety of attachments. They also promoted measures to lift the ban on silencers and flash suppressors, giving killers even more of an advantage over unsuspecting targets and responding law enforcement.
In short, the NRA’s every effort—using as a cover an absurdly archaic sentence known as the 2nd Amendment in the old U.S. Constitution—was to deregulate and disseminate more effective killing tools (including ammunition designed to penetrate protective vests and do as much damage to vulnerable human flesh as possible), and fewer and fewer restrictions on who was qualified to possess such deadly force.
Furthermore, they pushed, successfully, for such ridiculous changes to the laws as allowing both permit-less “open carry” and concealed carry (making it increasingly difficult for first responders—the mythical “good guys with a gun”—to know who the “bad guys” were when they reached the crime scene) and in making sound suppressors generally available, which had the effect of giving more time for an active shooter to remain an active shooter, therefore more time for victims to be shot, leading to ever-higher body counts.
Why the entire citizenry didn’t see what the NRA was up to before it was too late is almost beyond the imagination. In retrospect, it is so obvious that the NRA—at the head of a coalition of manufacturers, arms dealers, and blood-thirsty users for whom wholesale slaughter had become a competitive sport—was establishing an atmosphere that made mass shootings inevitable, then convincing the most intellectually-weak, morally vacant and gullible citizens that the only solution to mass shootings was more guns in more hands, regardless of whose hand those were or what kind of guns they held.
Historians in our modern age still disagree on which was the first, subliminally-suggested “economy-buster” shooting. Most insist it was the Las Vegas Massacre in 2017. I personally think it was the Pulse Nightclub Incident a year earlier. Of course, neither one of those atrocities brought an immediate collapse of the markets involved. People continued going to nightclubs well after the Pulse murders, and they continued going to musical events for a period after the killing field in Las Vegas.
But later, as patterns began to emerge as to how (what some insensitively call) “casualty-count hounds” were picking their targets, it became inescapable that the killers were choosing venues with larger and larger crowds, hoping that attendance at an event would translate to record-breaking deaths.
In the months following the Throbbin’ Danny’s Dance-O-Rama killings in 2026—which was, by then, ninth in what eventually became known as the Disco Inferno Series—thousands of bars and clubs closed their doors nationwide because customers had grown too fearful to go out at night. The same proved true for outdoor musical events: The last significant musical festival—what was known at the time as “The Indie-500″— occurred in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2029, at which an astonishing 1132 attendees were cut down, half of them killed, by what was later learned to be four separate shooters, none of which were aware the other three were there until the shooting started.
As large entertainment venues and events came to an end, the “casualty-count hounds” cast their attentions to other gatherings of large numbers of people: sporting events, shopping malls, parades, fireworks displays, high-visibility celebrity gatherings (the Oscars in 2031, followed in the same year by the Tonys), even the sort of high-attendance church services popular among, primarily, southern worshippers. When the “Be My Shining Light Tabernacle” in Tulsa was attacked in 2036, it spelled the end of large-scale evangelism and the sort of personal wealth such ministries brought to the most visible televangelists.
The National Football League was the first sporting concern to fold. The first tragedy at a professional game took place in an open stadium in Wisconsin with the gunman firing indiscriminately into the packed crowd from a high-rise office building a half-mile from the site. He used special military-grade 50-caliber ammunition that was not only explosive upon impact, but was as deadly at a range of two miles as it was at two yards. (It was only three months earlier that Congress, with intense encouragement from the NRA, had approved this ordnance’s availability to private citizens.)
NFL owners rushed to get every stadium in the league covered as soon as possible, ramming municipal bonds past tax-payer objections to pay for the up-grades, but determined shooters resorted to firing into the long lines waiting to get past security check-points before the games. The end for the NFL came in 1938, when the Super Bowl LXXIII was attacked, both before the game as people filed into the stadium, and after the game, as they exited. (In spite of a casualty count of 147 before the kick-off, the game went ahead as planned. Organizers explained, “This is the Super Bowl, for God’s Sake. You can’t expect us to refund 60,000 tickets!” Since the shooter had not been located during the course of the game, 216 fans were killed on the way out.)
After that, killers turned their attentions to college football and high-school, “Friday night lights,” games. Even graduation ceremonies and Easter egg hunts were not off limits. Law enforcement experts gradually realized that not only had these shooters settled into a pattern of trying for record-breaking body counts, some were actually doing it to generate as much outrage as possible. As a sub-set within the larger range of murderous individuals, these killers became known as the “Shock & Awesomes.”
In truth, by 2045, no place was immune from random mass-shootings. Freeways packed with rush hour traffic, Christmas tree lightings, Black Friday sales, consumer outlets of every description and economic level, holiday school programs, county fairs and crowded beaches—all were targeted, and repeatedly. For a brief period, on-line retail sales boomed as Americans refused to leave their homes to go shopping at “brick and mortar” establishments. But when a gunman attacked an immense Amazon shipping center—ironically, with a high-capacity gatling gun, designed to be mounted on helicopter gunships, that he had been able order on-line, thanks to NRA-backed legislation allowing public access to such a weapon—even Internet sales plummeted when employees at shipping facilities stopped reporting for work.
The final blow to America’s economic primacy came on opening day of the New York Stock Exchange, January 2, 2050, when a gunman was able to push a rolling cart carrying 18 fully-automatic weapons, each loaded with high capacity clips, through a service entrance onto the market’s main floor. It is generally accepted that not only did he “take out” over two hundred traders, but he put the kill shot through the skull of the United State’s economic system.
Oh, except for the manufacture of firearms, of course, which continues, over 60 years later, to be the only sector keeping American economic viability on life support. Privately, people have long given up on the ridiculous conviction that “the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” But as the business of making and selling weapons currently accounts for two out of every five American jobs—what jobs there are, that is—no one dares openly question the veracity or logic of the argument. And with a new munitions or gun manufacturing plant opening, on the average, once a month somewhere in the U.S., Americans citizens have become resigned to the assertion that the high civilian casualty counts are—as they say in their Nightly NRA News Hour broadcast—”The Price We Pay Proudly to Keep Freedom Alive.”
Dr. Theodore F. Nugent the Fourth
Director of Historical Studies
Richard Branson University