NOTES: See Part One, Please enjoy. :)
DISCLAIMER: They're not mine, except for Levi McClane and Dante the dog.
SUMMARY: The White House prepares to send a comprehensive, best of the best
gun control package to the hill, and they're going to do everything they can
to make sure it passes.
Toby stood outside the door to the Roosevelt room and waited
nervously. Today was the day of Levi's first meeting to help them get the
guns. She was almost five minutes late already. Needless to say, it wasn't
reassuring. He hadn't talked to the woman since meeting her the day before
and he wasn't entirely sure what she was planning to do. He turned and
watched as Josh escorted Congressmen Sugarbaker and Wick into the room.
Suddenly he felt something tugging on his leg. Looking down, he saw Dante the
Jack Russell Terrier chewing on the pant leg of his $200 suit. He shook the
dog off and looked up to meet Levi's gaze.
"You ready to go on in?" She asked casually. He paused. There wasn't
enough time to grill her now. He'd have to do it later. With a grunt, he
nodded and led the way into the room.
"Congressman Sugarbaker. Congressman Wick. It's good to see you." Toby
said politely as he took his seat. Levi took her own seat next to him and put
a small box on the table next to her while Dante scampered around the room.
Josh raised an eyebrow at Toby who was doing his best not to scream.
"It's good to see you too, Toby. You must be Miss McClane." Sugarbaker
exclaimed. Levi glanced at him and smiled weakly.
"Yeah, that's me. You must be Congressman Sugarbaker. And that would
make you Congressman Wick." She replied nodding at Christopher Wick. He
"If I may inquire, what is a dog doing here at this meeting?" Wick
asked. Levi smirked.
"He's checking the room for bugs." She replied wryly. Toby cleared his
"If we can get started." He interrupted. "We all know why we're here.
We'd like to discuss with you the repercussions and agendas surrounding this
bill and..." Toby trailed off as he watched Levi open her box and pull out
a piece of paper, a pair of scissors and a pen. She glanced at him.
"Continue. I'm listening." She assured him. Across the table, the two
visiting congressmen traded uncertain looks. Toby glanced at Josh and then
folded his fingers together and proceeded.
"As we all know, this is the most comprehensive legislative stride
taken towards gun-control, looking into the banning of certain kinds of
bullets, such as cop-killer bullets, as well as specific types of handguns,
rifles and other firearms." Toby said hesitantly, still slightly distracted
by what Levi was doing. As he talked, she had divided the paper into five
equal parts and had begun cutting the parts into small strips of equal size.
"We know the intricacies of the bill, Toby. I'm just not convinced
that your goals aren't set too high. I look at this bill and I see a pedestal
raised over the country's head that we have no chance of reaching. Not
without a hell of a lot of time, resources and money, and from the way this
looks, if we spent a hell of a lot of time, resources and money on this
thing, it would be a *waste* of time, resources and money." Sugarbaker
"Congressman Sugarbaker, what's your son's name? It's Robert, right?"
Levi asked suddenly. Everyone looked at her in surprise.
"Yes, uh, yes, it is. Why?" He replied slowly. Levi started writing on
"You'll see. Please continue." She exclaimed.
"What are you doing?" Wick asked. She glanced at him.
"My methods are a bit unorthodox, Mr. Wick, as you've no doubt heard.
Just bear with me. You'll know soon enough." She assured him. Toby glanced at
Josh again, this time a bit more nervously.
"Congressman Sugarbaker, let me try to assure you that this bill is a
waste of neither time nor resources nor money. The budgeting and resource
planning included within this program has been reasoned out by some of this
country's top financial planners, and the time that's spent executing it, we
predict six years, will be no waste." Josh started.
"Many gun-control experts, including members of your own party,
Congressman, have agreed that this is an efficient use of funds and
resources. The time will be spent by us, not you." Toby added.
"Those members you mentioned, I know them. They're not all
pro-gun-control, they just believe that this could do the job. I fail to see
where it says in these words the reason why I should believe in this bill."
Sugarbaker replied as he kept an eye on Levi who had withdrawn a small bag
from her box, starting folding up the strips of paper and put the folded
papers into the bag. After doing so, she looked directly at him and began to
shake up the bag.
"Congressman, pick a piece of paper out of the bag." Levi said as she
held the bag forward. Sugarbaker paused. "Humor me, please." She added. He
reached into the bag and pulled out a single piece of paper. "Unfold the
paper and tell me what it says." She requested. He unfolded the paper.
"It says 'Robert'. That's my son's name." He replied. She nodded.
"Yes it is. The other papers in here say," She started as she dumped
the papers out on the table and began unfolding them, reading them off as she
did so. "Burglar. Murderer. Thief. All-around bad guy." She finished.
"Statistics show that people who buy guns for the protection of their homes
usually wind up dead themselves or," She pointed to the paper in his hand.
"There's a large chance they'll shoot a loved member of the family."
Sugarbaker paled slightly. Levi glanced at Toby and Josh who were staring at
her like she was insane, and then back at the two congressmen.
"The principle behind politics and issues is bias. Are you going to
vote for gun-control? Well, right now, you're not. What happens in a year or
two when your son comes home late from a party and you don't know that it's
him?" She continued. "There are people out there who never had a word to say
about gun control until a member of their family was killed by a gun, and
suddenly, there's a problem on the streets. Do you really want it to get that
far, Congressman? Do either of you?" She asked pointedly.
"You make a point quite bluntly." Sugarbaker said as he stared at the
paper in his hands.
"You're making the point yourself. I could have said 'Congratulations,
Congressman, you just shot your son' but I didn't need to. You can put the
pieces together on your own." Levi retorted. "Right now, we're asking you
guys to let us put the pieces together so that that little piece of paper
right there can become a meaningless little joke, and your son can come home
happy." Sugarbaker glanced at her and then at Toby and Josh. Wick
"Look, this is very touching but--" He started.
"I mentioned the fact that a fraction of people who have guns for the
protection of their homes and familes also wind up dead themselves. A
majority of such people do not get proper training with a gun before taking
it into their possession. They hear someone breaking in downstairs, or they
see someone in their room, they immediately reach for the gun." Levi
interrupted him. "Statistics show that the intruder is far more likely to
know how to use the gun, and far more able to reach it before the owner does.
The intruder is also more willing.
"If I were to put a pen in front of each of us, and at a set time, we
would all grab the pen and write "bam" on a piece of paper, that would
represent twice the amount of time it takes for someone to get a gun and fire
it. Whoever finished first would be the one who does not die in the end."
Levi continued. "You want to play that game, Mr. Wick? Theoretically
speaking, do you want to take that risk with your life?" She asked quite
seriously. There was a long silence.
"These are pieces of paper, Miss McClane." Wick said slowly. Levi
raised an eyebrow.
"Right now they are. What are they going to be tomorrow?" She said
"Guns. Loaded with copkiller bullets, the bullet that statistically
inflicts the most pain on its victims." Josh added, starting to get into the
flow of things. Toby felt that he had a grasp of the situation now too, but
he was still so unsure, he wasn't about dangle his feet in the water.
"Gentlemen, we're not saying do away with all guns, right now,
forever. We're asking you to help us do away with these guns," Levi said as
she tossed a copy of the bill on to the table. "And some very specific kinds
of bullets, not to mention stiffer penalties on people who are found
possessing such bullets. It's one step closer to the national public safety
we need to achieve."
There was a silence in the room. The three White House employees
waited for the two congressmen to respond. The Jack Russell Terrier tried to
chew on Toby's pant leg again, but after being kicked, found himself much
happier with the leg of Josh's chair. Levi began to put her supplies away,
still waiting for an answer from the slightly stunned visitors.
"I'll see what I can do." Sugarbaker said finally. "Are we done?"
"If we have your vote, we're done." Levi replied evenly.
"Lord help me if I get fired for this." Sugarbaker said softly.
"You've got it."
"Me too." Wick exclaimed. "Just make sure it works. We're going out on
a limb now, and if this bill fails us, you fail us. That's not something I
want to experience, and I don't think you guys want to either."
"Disregarding the fact that that sounds like a threat, congressman,
you have our word. This isn't going to fail." Josh replied as the lot of them
rose to their feet. Wick nodded and left the room with his elder counterpart.
Levi bent down and picked up Dante, rising again to meet the curious stares
of the two remaining men.
"Things go a lot quicker when a) you don't have to beat around the
bush, b) you don't have to follow any rules, and c) you pick some more
unorthodox ways of handling things." She told them after another moment of
the three of them standing there staring at each other while Dante rested in
"Well, you certainly accomplished that." Toby muttered.
"That was legal, right?" Josh asked.
"You're the lawyer. You tell me." Levi replied as she pet her dog.
"You're not a lawyer? You live and work in Washington, D.C. and you're
*not* a lawyer?" Josh asked in disbelief. Levi smiled weakly.
"No, you're the lawyer. I'm the warrior. They rhyme, but they're not
the same." She replied. "I've got another meeting. I'll see you two...
whenever." She added before putting Dante on the ground and heading for the
door. Toby and Josh watched as the small dog followed her out of the room and
down the hallway. Then they looked at each other.
"Do you have any idea what just happened here?" Josh asked.
"Can't say I do." Toby said, slightly grouchy (as usual). Josh
smirked, chuckled and then dashed out of the room to make preparations and to
spread the news. Toby just stood there, trying to figure out what the hell
was going on.
Bias - 5