Dad: Son, since you persist in trying my patience, I will ask you one simple question: Why do you hate freedom?
Biff chortles gleefully. Mom enters the foyer.
Mom: (wincing at Dad) Honey, don't you think you're being a little hard on Skippy?
Dad: Tough love won't hurt him, dear. Lately, he's been acting just like that socialist who's plotting to to take away our guns.
Skippy: Dad, you're wrong. Obama has never said he wants to take away our guns. In fact, he keeps saying he wants us to keep them.
Dad: No, that's just part of his plot to take them! If we let down our guard, it's only a matter of time before he comes for my Ruger.
Biff: (laughing and pointing at the gun in Dad's hand) Your Ruger? That's what you're taking to the movies tonight? That little .380 with the six-round magazine? C'mon, Dad, don't embarrass me. What if there's a guy behind us talking during the film, and maybe he's toting one of those semiautomatic AR-15s? You can't confront that guy with a Ruger. It's bad enough that Mom's only got a .38 snub.
Mom: (to Dad) Honey, maybe Biff's right. Doesn't the gun you wear to church have more stopping power than the Ruger? Or how about your mall gun?
Dad: OK, OK. Give me a minute so I can go back to the bedroom and man up. Honey, where's my AK-47 at? It fires a more powerful cartridge than the AR-15.
Skippy: (rolling his eyes) C'mon, Dad, it's going to be dark in there. You wouldn't even be able to see who you're shooting at.
Dad: Good point, son. Everyone go back to your rooms and get your night-vision goggles.
Biff: (strapping on his goggles) I've got mine already. An American hero is always prepared.
Skippy: You look like a tool. And even if you did manage to shoot the guy, it probably wouldn't matter, because he'd be wearing a vest.
Dad: Right again, son. Everyone needs to go fetch their body armor. That will maximize our self-protection in the kill zone.
Skippy: (smirks) I thought we were going to the movies. Anyway, I can't find my Kevlar.
Mom: (seething) You'd know where it was if you ever picked up your room!
Biff: Dysfunctional family! We are, like, so uncool. We are ill-prepared for the most serious threat level. I love my 9mm pistol, and the stainless steel chassis is, like, seriously cool, but c'mon, Dad, it only fires 10 rounds, and my friends at the multiplex are starting to make fun of me.
Dad: A 10-round Smith & Wesson seems quite manly to me, son.
Biff: As if! Dad, what happens if a potential hostile cuts in front of us in the snack line? And he's maybe carrying something that looks like it has a 100-round magazine, and we're stuck there with our pea shooters? And Skippy still hasn't even racked the slide on his Glock? We all know what would happen. It would be Blackhawk Down for us. So much for going to the movies in freedom.
Dad: Good thinking, son. Looks like we gotta ramp up. Let's pop over to the local sports shop.
Biff: Better yet, Dad, check out this website I've got on my phone. It's called Woot!, and it's selling 100-round magazines for under a hundred bucks. Listen to this (reading from the website): "Just the ticket, should things really heat up and the lead needs to fly. Of course, this means less time spent reloading, and more time for shooting as fast as you can pull the trigger."
Dad: Is this a great country or what? Which reminds me — everyone back to their rooms: We forgot the gas masks and teargas grenades. The six-ounce units oughta be enough.
Skippy: With all that stuff, how am I supposed to hold the popcorn?
Mom: No need to worry about that anymore — I just checked my watch. Honey, we've spent so much time packing our gear that we missed the start of the movie.
Dad: It's just as well, dear. Those liberals in Hollywood are really at the root of all our violence anyway. Guns don't kill people — movies do.
Dick Polman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and found on Twitter at @dickpolman1.