OPEN CONVO LAWS

 

INT. OFFICE LOBBY — DAY

A typical busy morning at a Manhattan office. Mounted on a wall is a TV airing cable news coverage.

REPORTER:

Officials continue to investigate the tragic events which unfolded yesterday at a New Jersey mall where a man opened dialogue with crowds of shoppers and engaged in civil debate. Reports estimate that close to 60 people were forced to listen to the mass-speaker before law enforcement intervened and ended his verbose rampage.

The president is set to make a speech tomorrow in the aftermath of what is looking to be the worst mass-speaking incident in the nation's history.

CUT TO

INT. OFFICE KITCHEN — DAY

A few co-workers are gathered around the coffee machine.

ARRIE:

God, can you believe the news.

ERIKA:

Ugh, I know. Such a tragedy.

ARRIE:

It’s like every season, we get one of these psychos.  

ERIKA:

Well, you know these mass-speakings aren’t even the worst of it. I read that every day, over 30 people are engaged in debate-related conversations, most of which disproportionately affect affluent urban areas.

SEAN:

Yea, and you just know nothing's going to be done about it. 

ARRIE:

It’s the National Forensic Association and all these debate lobbyists buying off Congress.

ERIKA:

Yea, but even if that weren’t the case, have you ever met one of these speech-advocates? They’re insane. You can’t talk to them about anything. The only solution they ever offer is to “give everyone easier access to quality educations so they can ‘defend their opinions’ in the event of an important discussion.”

SEAN:

God, that’s so true. I don’t understand why they can’t just buy a gun and settle their differences like the rest of us. It’s like arguing with people makes them feel important or something.

SEAN pulls out a 92FS handgun from behind his back and brandishes it casually in one hand while he sips his coffee from the other.

ERIKA:

Yea, probably trying to overcompensate for something—if you know what I mean. 

A fourth co-worker, CLARK, walks over to get some coffee.

CLARK:

Hey, what’s up guys?

ARRIE:

Nothing, just talking about how mass-speakings wouldn’t be an issue if everyone just had a gun.

CLARK:

Well, I mean, honestly though, you can’t solve the problem by forcing everyone to own a gun. This is a mental health issue. There are tons of law-abiding Americans who legally engage in debates every day.

ERIKA:

CLARK, are you messing with us right now?

SEAN:

Yea, man. Seriously. You sound like an NFA lobbyist. How much you getting paid to say that?

CLARK:

I’m just trying to have a serious discussion about a serious issue. Voicing your opinion is a Constitutional right protected under the First Amendment. You can’t just have the government force everyone to settle their arguments with guns. Do you seriously think that letting everybody walk around carrying firearms wherever they go solves anything?

SEAN:

Dude, calm down.

CLARK:

What? I am calm.

ERIKA:

Listen, CLARK, it’s whatever if you want to debate in private, but… you don’t—you don’t bring your arguments to work… do you?

CLARK:

Free speech laws make it perfectly legal for me to bring my opinions to work and express them in a civil manner. 

ARRIE:

Whoa, dude. You’re using a lot of rhetoric right now. 

CLARK:

I’m exercising my right to free speech.

ERIKA:

CLARK, you’re starting to scare me. 

CLARK:

How am I scaring you? Just because you don’t want to openly and honestly discuss an issue, you’re scared?

SEAN:

CLARK, stop. You’re at the office, man. You can’t just walk around speaking your mind like this.

CLARK:

Are you serious? It’s people like you who make it impossible to find a solution. If you think mandating guns will stop debates, you’re delusional.

ARRIE:

Dude. He’s going off the deep end. I think he’s getting ready to say something dangerous.

ARRIE pulls out his handgun and ERIKA follows suit. The three of them train their guns at CLARK. A crowd of other employees have begun to gather around the incident, some of them cowering, some of them with their hands covering their ears, some of them ready to draw their own guns.

ERIKA:

My god, CLARK. Please just calm down.

SEAN:

CLARK, I know things haven’t been great at home between you and Emily. I know work has been stressful lately. But you don’t have to do this. We don’t have to have this argument. 

CLARK:

What the fuck! I’m just trying to talk to you guys.

ARRIE:

What do we do? He’s trying to draw us into an argument. He’s not even hiding it anymore! 

ERIKA:

Just stop talking, CLARK. Stop trying to engage us!

CLARK:

You stop pointing your guns at me! I’m not the one in the wrong here! You—all of you–you’re the ones who are—

SEAN pulls the trigger on his handgun and shoots CLARK in the head. CLARK crumples onto the floor. SEAN is in shock.

SEAN:

Holy fuck.

ERIKA:

Oh my god. Oh my god.

ARRIE:

Jesus. Sean. You shot him.

SEAN:

Fuck.

ARRIE:

Dude. You saved us. He was about to start a discussion with the whole office. Y—you’re a hero.

The other employees start to applaud. A smile creeps over SEAN'S face.

MATCH CUT TO

INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE — DAY

CLOSE-UP of SEAN as he sits in a large leather office chair, his head tilted back and his eyes closed. He’s moaning softly. His head jostles rhythmically. ZOOM OUT to slowly reveal SEAN in a nice looking suit, sitting behind an expensive desk, masturbating in his luxurious private office. An ornate gold name plate at the edge of his desk reads “Sean Porter III, President, National Rifle Association.” Suddenly, the phone rings. He answers.

SEAN:

What?!

ASSISTANT:

Hi, Mr. Porter. Sorry to bother you, but I have Senator Klein on the line asking about a donation to his re-election campaign.

SEAN:

Ugh! Fine. Put him through.