“The best thing, of course, would be to nominate a president who believes in the Second Amendment and who personally owns guns and enjoys shooting.” —E-mail action alert to members of Gun Owners of Utah, as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 20, 2011.
In a joint appearance at the Totally Awesome Guns & Range in Kearns, the Gun Owners of Utah and the State Board of Regents announced that finalists for University of Utah president will be invited to participate in the beloved annual event known affectionately as “The Hunt.”
Colonel Siegfried Schiesslieber, commandant of the Gun Owners of Utah, said it was about time the University of Utah appointed a gun nut as president. “In the old days, the main requirement for a university president was scholarly accomplishment and a demonstrated commitment to a liberal education. Fortunately, those days are long gone. The U of U is a pioneer in new thinking about what it takes to be a university president, as shown in its choice of the last two presidents.
“Bernie Machen was a dentist, and Mike Young was a descendent of Brigham Young. We’re glad the university agrees with us that it’s high time to appoint to the prestigious post a man, woman or otherwise who likes to strap one on, gun-wise.”
Details at this point are unclear, though highly placed sources indicate that the presidential finalists will have the opportunity to prove their shooting prowess during the always-enjoyable slaughter of deer, elk, quail, partridges, cottontail rabbits, sitting ducks, mergansers, hen mallards, redheads, snow geese and the ever-clueless white-billed coots. Those familiar with the thinking of Colonel Schiesslieber say the heavily armed defender of the Second Amendment would like to have other species in the hunting expedition, including, but not limited to, the bespectacled medievalist, the bald-pated linguist and the yellow-bellied philosopher.
Besides their sharpshooting skills, the presidential candidates will be evaluated on how they handle themselves during the inevitable incidental occurrences, such as collateral damage to local livestock, family pets, hunting companions and oblivious civilians who wander into the line of fire. “We are particularly on the lookout for crybabies who crap in their pants when they wing, wound or even kill an irresponsible animal or human who makes a foolish incursion into the sacred hunting ground,” said Schiesslieber, who added that the model for the manly art of calm reticence in the face of collateral damage is the Great White Hunter Dick Cheney.
“You remember how unrepentant the former vice president was after he shot his hunting companion in the face a few years back? Well, that’s the attitude we’d like to see in the next president of the University of Utah. Hey, that’s the essence of the Second Amendment, which provides to every hare-brained fool the right to bear arms, and the right to shoot someone in the face in the course of exercising that God-given right.”
In an effort to involve all university stakeholders in the selection process, the final round of shooting tests for the two surviving candidates will be held in public, and those who show up with a firearm strapped to a bodily appendage will be admitted free of charge. The guest of honor and master of ceremonies for the event will be the noted sharpshooter Plaxico Burress, the NFL star and gun enthusiast who was unfairly imprisoned for discharging a firearm into his leg in a public place.
The university has released a tentative schedule of events, which will be held in the newly christened Rice-Eccles Shooting Gallery. The final candidates for university president will be judged on their ability to hit both stationary targets and moving targets (those who oppose the appointment of a sharp-shooting gun enthusiast are encouraged to volunteer for the latter category). Should the shooting competitions result in a stalemate, the candidates will square off in a quick-draw contest at 20 paces. Medical personnel will be standing by to whisk the loser to a local hospital should vital signs still be discernible.
Schiesslieber is hopeful that the appointment of a president who enjoys shooting will end the harassment of concealed-weapon permit holders on the university campus. “We want to display our weapons in all of God’s naked glory. No longer will I have to stroke my gun in the privacy of my own domicile. I won’t be harassed by dirty-minded citizens who mistake the long shaft of my pistol for something else when it’s concealed in my pants.”
D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.