Magazine | March 19, 2018, Issue


Episode 118:
“POTUS & The Active Shooter”
(continued from previous page)

Cut to: Ext. High School — Day

A swarm of police cars. The place is a major crime scene. Radios squawk. Flashing lights. Helicopters overhead. Media vans. CAMERA MOVES past the scene and LANDS ON:

TV Reporter (Female): . . . police here on the scene have no new information about the active shooter inside the school. It’s a standoff, with casualties unknown. Sheriff, do you have any strategy for resolving this?

Sheriff: Well, Noreen, as you know, current protocols require us to move with extreme caution. We need to be mindful both of the health and safety of our team as well as the relevant gun-control statutes. Our policy here is to take a wait-and-see stance and —

WE HEAR the screech of tires. Everything stops. The CAMERA PANS to find:

POTUS, riding up on a three-wheeled All Terrain Vehicle. He gets off the ATV, smooths his blue suit, and adjusts his tie.

Sheriff: (to POTUS) Sir, I know what you’re thinking but it’s simply not possible to go in there. We have a team of teen psychologists on the way and we’re handling this in the way we’ve been trained —

POTUS: Hey, Sheriff, do you have any ice?

Sheriff: Ice? For what?

POTUS: For this.

POTUS suddenly punches the Sheriff hard in the jaw. The Sheriff goes down. POTUS approaches the main doors to the school. He’s about to open them when he stops.

POTUS: Wait a sec.

He removes a white handkerchief from his back pocket and uses it to open the doors.

POTUS (cont’d): I do not need a lot of high-school-kid germs, let me tell you. I’ve got a budget to pass this week.

He strides into the school without hesitation.

Cut to: Int. School Cafeteria — Moments Later

THE CAMERA moves through the large cafeteria. Students are taking cover beneath the tables. WE HEAR the sound of a plastic fork scraping against a plastic plate.


POTUS, sitting at a table, unflappably eating from one of the school-lunch trays. He’s clearly enjoying the macaroni and cheese. He takes a bite, leans down, and speaks to some students who are crouching underneath the table.

POTUS: Is this like a normal lunch for you guys? Because it’s pretty good. When’s pizza day?

A STUDENT (MALE, teens) looks up.

Student: Usually Tuesdays.

POTUS nods.

POTUS: Guess I should come back on a Tuesday, huh?

Another STUDENT (FEMALE, teens) looks up.

Student 2: Um, sir? I thought you were here to save us?

POTUS sighs and puts down his fork.

POTUS: Okay. Okay.

He stands, and from the folds of his immaculate blue suit he produces two sawed-off shotguns.

POTUS (cont’d): What this school needs . . .

He cocks both shotguns one-handed style.

POTUS (cont’d):. . . is a little disciplinary action.

Cut to: Int. School Hallway — Moments Later

POTUS strides down the hallway. He stops at the library door. The Librarian (FEMALE, attractive, 20s) runs to him.

Librarian: What are you doing? This is a gun-free zone!

POTUS smiles.

POTUS: Doesn’t seem that way this afternoon, sister.

Librarian: The teachers’ union strictly forbids any use of firearms or —

POTUS: Hey, honey, you got a complaint? Do me a favor and send it to Crooked Hillary.

Librarian: Did you just call me “honey”? I am so offended! This is a classic hashtag #MeToo!

POTUS: Hey, baby, listen up. I came here for two things: To have some mac and cheese and kick a little crazy teen ass. And I am all out of mac and cheese.

He turns and faces the doors, raises his left foot, and smashes them open.

POTUS (cont’d): Knock, knock, nutjob.

POTUS walks into the library and into a hail of bullets.

Cut to: Ext. High School — Moments Later

POTUS exits from the main doors, straightening his suit and tie. He stops for a moment as lines of students race from the building, some stopping to offer him “high fives” and expressions of thanks. As he guides his hair back into place, the LIBRARIAN approaches. She hesitates. This is hard for her to say.

Librarian: I guess I should say thanks. I mean, I’m still a strong supporter of gun control, but —

POTUS shrugs. He puts on his sunglasses.

POTUS: Lady, you do what you want. I don’t want to get into a debate. I just came to save some kids.

He starts to go. She reaches out and stops him.

Librarian: Wait. That came out wrong. Let me start over. It really was amazing what you did back there. And I don’t just mean the way you raced towards the shooter. The brave way you saved all of us.

POTUS: Yeah, well. Maybe I’ll see you around. In the meantime, I’ve got a meeting of the G7 to get to.

Librarian: Mr. President, before you go, I just want to say . . . you are . . . you are . . . you are my president, too. I don’t care if it’s normalizing. I just . . . I just . . .

She kisses him. As she pulls away, POTUS smiles. She smiles back. As POTUS reaches out to grab her in his signature way, we:


In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Seizing the Future

Arthur Herman reviews The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World, by Charles C. Mann.




Rejecting Despair While admitting that William F. Buckley Jr. himself would probably have a more optimistic take, Richard Brookhiser writes: “The conservative movement is no more. Its destroyers are Donald Trump ...
The Week

The Week

• We don’t even want public-school teachers teaching our kids. • Historically, the National Rifle Association has derived its political power from two sources. The first is the broad popularity of ...


Sometimes the frost comes early when it might have held its crystallizing of the leaves.
Happy Warrior

Brushing Alone

Your views on Delta Airlines and Hertz rental cars now correspond to how compelling you found the cable-news appearances of a survivor of the Parkland school shooting.

Most Popular


Two Truth-Tellers, Brave as Hell

Yesterday, the Human Rights Foundation hosted an event they called “PutinCon” -- a conference devoted to the Russian “president,” Vladimir Putin: his rise and his deeds, both at home and abroad. Participating were both Russians and well-wishing foreigners. It was, above all, a day of truth-telling -- a ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Swamp: Navarro Nucor Edition

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the ties between President Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and the biggest steel company in the U.S. -- Nucor Corp. It is particularly interesting in light of the stiff steel tariffs successfully pushed by Navarro, which he championed ever since he joined the ... Read More


EMPIRICAL   As I can fathom neither endlessness nor the miracle work of deities, I hypothesize, assume, and guess.   The fact that I love you and you love me is all I can prove and proves me. — This poem appears in the April 2 print issue of National Review. Read More
Politics & Policy

Rolling Back Dodd-Frank

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Samantha Power Regrets

‘I’ve had a lot of bad ideas in my life,” former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power tells Politico. “Though none as immortalized as that one.” Wow. It’s a major concession. And what might “that one” be? Not standing idly by in the White House while Iranians protested a fixed election in 2009, then ... Read More