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An Alternate Reality United States, Part IV: Tourism

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Anastasia here again, this time to tell you all about U.S.(alt) and the industry concerned with:


Before Purification Day, one of the areas of commerce to greatly benefit from the absence of restrictions on gun ownership was tourism. Revenues went up sharply, due in large part to a new concept called ‘gun junkets’. In contrast to the well-known sex junkets where “one went, one came and one left”, (at worst with communicable diseases), gun junkets meant “one came, one shot and one left”. In many cases, unfortunately, it was “one came, one got shot, one left” – often feet first.

Gun junkets were largely populated by individuals who had ‘issues’ they could do nothing about back home because, back home it was either practically impossible to get a gun at all, or guns could be had only after extensive background checks, as local authorities felt that it was paramount to the safety of their citizens to make sure  that prospective gun owners had no criminal record or didn’t have serious mental problems. Not us! We didn’t care. It didn’t matter if you spent more time behind bars than not, or if you were certifiable. We believed in equal gun ownership and total discretion for all. Underage, unstable or plain crazy; it was nobody’s business but your own when it came to firearms. Murder was still illegal in U.S.(alt), but we now had a slew of exceptions or loopholes, any one of which could readily be used to crawl out from under the weight of the justice system. It didn’t take long for the “Stand your ground” law to be followed by the “It wasn’t me, it was the gun” defense. Then came the “I think, therefore I shoot” concept, titled the “Malevolent Perception” law, permitting you to shoot anyone you thought meant you harm. You didn’t have to be right, you just had to suspect it.

The net effect was that the U.S.(alt) prison population dropped, now consisting mostly of drug dealers, thieves, counterfeiters, illegal aliens, rapists and other various and sundry riffraff. If you ended up convicted for murder, you could shoot your lawyer, and then use the “Malevolent Perception” defense, as in: you thought he meant to get you convicted.

An offshoot of the dramatic increase in visitors arriving via gun junkets from far and wide, was an initial boom in the area of health care, but that quickly turned into a problem. Emergency room admissions went through the roof. All medical facilities everywhere were stretched to the limit. The wait to get treatment extended from a few hours to days, causing some victims to bleed out. Public outrage was growing.

The NRA(alt) initially blamed the problem on the shortcomings of the hospital industry, and heavily criticized the administration. The castigating rhetoric could only do so much; soon it was clear that something drastic was called for. To that end, construction companies were invited by the NRA(alt) to submit bids for a massive project to build first aid stations along all the roads in the entire country and in the many cities, suburbs, towns and villages which dotted the U.S.(alt) landscape. Without any guarantee of success, bidders showered the decision makers at the NRA(alt) with monetary incentives to improve their chances of landing the plum contract.

With price being the only deciding factor, the choice was made from hundred of offers, and since the winner selected was a foreign company, its identity somehow leaked out to top management at the AFL-CIO(alt). All hell broke loose; containment measures had to be instituted and fast. Heads of the NRA(alt) invited the bosses at the AFL-CIO(alt) to meet in a secret location. The subsequent discussion was heated and voices rose as tempers flared. Things spiraled out of control to the point where teamster fists went flying and their weapons were drawn. Moments before lethal gunfire erupted, which would have resulted in the most quintessential instance, bar none, of poetic justice to ever take place, order was restored. Out of sheer spite and pure principle, a right hook to the glass jaw of an NRA(alt) honcho, was landed with the meaty fist of an AFL-CIO(alt) member of corresponding rank. The NRA(alt) man went down and was un-present for most of the subsequent negotiations, coming to just in time to approve the worked out deal by way of shaking hands, something gentlemen of his caliber were prone to do.

The upshot of the agreement was that the AFL-CIO(alt) would have zero objection to the bid being awarded to a non-U.S.(alt) company, in exchange for the NRA(alt) handing over a number of suitcases full of financial remuneration in small denominations (previously ill-gotten from all the bidders), and signing over the services of three congressmen and a senator, fully loaded with all congressional privileges and powers, up to and including their vote, now remote-controlled for expediency purposes.

About A. J. Aston