American Politics DC Winter Seminar Day 4: The Gun, The Chair, and The Devil

Abe here. If you don’t already know me, I’m the guy who sacrifices sleep and limb every night to write to you about the American Politics DC Winter Seminar. But, I assume you already knew that.

If I could describe today (Saturday, January 6, 2018) in one word, it would be “cold.” If I could describe today in two words, they would be “freezing cold.” If I could describe today in thirteen words, they would be “Holy Christmas Eve, why in god’s name is it so [expletive] cold outside?!?!” If I could describe today in long-form, I would say:

We had a late start today, which was nice. Our first and only speaker was Mr. Todd Adkins of the National Rifle Association. Mr. Adkins was a fantastic speaker, though there were times where I could tell he was sticking to NRA talking points rather than speaking more candidly. Even then, however, Mr. Adkins was very engaging and took the brutality of our presumably mostly-but-certainly-not-entirely-liberal class’ questions with almost a sort of Grace (comma “Will and”). The speaker continued through lunch and stayed answering our questions for several hours, which was very generous of him.

Once Mr. Adkins left, we had a break before going into class. The room we were in had these microphones set up (see above). Some of us had hoped to use them, but once class got started and people started answering questions normally, that plan fell through.

Our class conversation was steering by our previous speaker into the gun debate. My fellow classmate gave his argument in opposition to more gun control, and I was asked to be the one to argue in the affirmative. After a few introductory mutterings of mine, my neighbor caught my eye and signaled to me to use the mic. I nodded, paused, leaned in, and pressed the button to speak.

(It me)

“I’d like to start by thanking the chair for this opportunity to speak…” I began, the room erupting into laughter, our professor, thankfully, included.

Once the jokes died down, I gave my actual argument in favor of more gun control, which was personally based on reading of the Constitution that linked Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15 & 16 to the Second Amendment.

From there, we talked more about the substance of the class. We talked about the interest groups we each chose to do research on, and delved further into a discussion about the tactics of the lobbying industry.

Once class had wrapped up, Professor Doherty stayed behind with a few of us so we could have a real gun control debate. The Professor noted that I would be the only one allowed to use the mic – I utilized this power.

The debate was actually a really great time. Professor Doherty tasked us with keeping our tone Bob-Rossian type of mellow, but our happy little trees, quickly turned into the impassioned yet sophisticated political debates one might find in Congress, or more realistically in some sort of Model UN thing. The debate carried on for an enjoyable hour or so with multiple voices and multiple view points engaged, and one voice and one viewpoint both engaged and artificially amplified. From there, we went our separate ways.

This is Bob Ross. The Man is an Angel, both because he is a fantastic dude and because he’s dead now (RIP in Peace)

“Beat the Devil out of it” – Bob “That TV Painter Guy” Ross

Let’s play a choose your own adventure game:

If you want to hear about my day, go to #1. If you could not care less (and you probably can’t), go to #2.

#1) So, a friend from NoVA came into town. I mean, could you imagine, a William & Mary student living in NoVA? I mean, it’s ridiculous, amiright?

Actually, this friend used to live with me in Atlanta until freshman year of college, so there’s that.

Anyways, he, two of my apartment mates, and I went out (all four of us part of the once grand Taliagarchy freshman year, I their loyal Reverend Vice President, my one apartment mate a Hall Rep, and the other two members of the Defund Haul Qounsil movement (you had to be there)). We made reservations at The Pig for dinner at nine, and spent the next two hours walking around DC.

First we walked by the White House, which had yet to be repainted. Then we walked to the Washington Monument. Then we shuffled down the Mall over to the Capitol building. It was cold. I froze. They froze. We all froze. We grabbed some pictures (I sadly did not bring my camera) and then called an Uber to the restaurant.

The Pig is a pork based restaurant. It is amazing. We all got so much food. We started with their sausage platter, with three just amazing sausages. Then we had our entrees – I had the special, a Tenderloin Wellington. It was amazing. I also had Mac and Cheese, some of the best Mac I’ve ever had. I had cornbread too – that was great, but was better coming out of the stuffed quail my friend had gotten. We all then got dessert – a platter of three cakes, each one amazing, and each one with just absolutely superb gelato on top.

12/10, would recommend.

Then, we all walked back and played a game of Euchre before my friend went back home and I started writing this.

Now, see #2

#2) There’s literally nothing else to say about today (hey, that rhymed), so I’ll leave you with this meme:

It’s late, yo. Goodnight.

Ibrahim Schnitzlestrauss

(Abraham Winterscheidt)

Categories: Academics, Student Blogs, Study Away, W&M in Washington

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