“It’s nice to have you as a guest tonight,” Tommy said. “You haven’t been on the show before and we’ve never met, but we’ve come close to meeting.”
“Really,” Rod said. “I wasn’t aware.”
“It was the Mid Town Charity Event in 2012,” Tommy said.
“Actually,” Rod said. “I didn’t go. It was rumored I had gone. Those things have become increasingly difficult for me to attend; they have become very political.”
“So you have just come out with a new book,” Tommy said.
“Yes,” Rod said, “and I’m quite excited about it. I just hope the critics are as equally excited.”
“Tell us a bit about it,” Tommy said. “My producer tells me it’s a shift from your usual work of murder mysteries.”
“The murder mysteries can be fun and readers seem to never grow weary of them..”
“Especially yours,” Tommy interrupted.”
Rod lightly chucked. “I suppose you are right, but this book is the book I’ve always wanted to write. It is about how a man is caught in a conflict of conscience and principles and chooses not to deal with them in the usual way.”
“What is the usual way?” Tommy said.
“That would be giving away an element of the book that needs to be read to be appreciated,” Rod said. “I want it to sneak upon the reader. I don’t want the reader to know it’s coming.”
“You can’t give us a hint?” Tommy said.
“I just did,” Rod smiled and the audience chuckled.
“Okay,” Tommy smiled and tapped his pen on the desk. “I’ve been told your novel will not resolve a conflict with violence.”
“Thanks, Tommy,” Rod smiled. “I just lost 10,000 readers.”
Tommy embarrassingly laughed and the audience likewise.
“I was just kidding,” Tommy laughed. “So the gun violence in the United States; what is your view?”
“I really don’t feel comfortable in offering an opinion,” Rod said. “It has become such a political issue, that I wish not to engage.”
“Obviously you’re not for gun violence are you?” Tommy said.
“If it is obvious why ask?” Rod said.
Light laughter came from the audience.
“Help me out here,” Tommy laughed. “I’m trying to establish dialogue and you don’t want to talk about your book that is so different than the rest.”
“I don’t appear very often on late night TV,” Rod said.
Tommy interrupted sarcastically. “Are you beginning to know why?”
The audience laughed along with Tommy.
Rod smiled. “Sorry, but often I’m ask about writing, where I get my stories and inspiration. How’s my dog.”
“How is you dog,” Tommy said.
“I don’t have one,” Rod said.
The audience laughed.
“Now you see,” Rod said. “That was funny that’s what people want to hear.”
“Do you think the recent outbreak of gun violence will inspire you to write a book about that subject?”
“You seem to be fixated on that subject,” Rod said. “Just leave it alone for a while. You’re much better when you’re funny.”
“So you don’t think a comedian can talk seriously about an issue that has devastating effects on people?”
“Here’s what I think, Tommy,” Rod said. “I wish we lived in a world that had zero weapons. Is that ever going to happen?”
“No,” Tommy said.
“So what’s left is to deal with reality, right?” Rod said.
“The reality is that too many people are being killed by guns and there are people who manufacture them, sell them, and kill with them. To top that all off there are those who will block any and all attempts to rid gun violence by limiting weapons. Each member of congress, each member of any organization who blocks legislation, and every person who owns a gun and does not advocate for gun control has blood on their hands.”
The audience applauds.
“You have a child, correct?” Rod said.
“Yes,” Tommy said, “and I will do what ever is in my power to see that he lives in a world that is without gun violence.”
“You must love your child very much,” Rod said.
“And let me say it again, if you keep a gun around your house, you don’t love your child,” Tommy said.
“The next time you hold your son try to go back in time and figure out at which month of you wife’s pregnancy you would have him ripped apart or injected with something that would bring about a painful and certain death?” Rod said.
“That is unfair,” Tommy said, “and you know it.”
“Who bears the greater guilt?” Rod said.
“The Supreme Court has…”
Rod interrupted. “The Supreme Court, think how unemotional and detached that sounds. It’s like saying the Supreme Leader has decreed. It’s abrogating the most basic human instinct of the right to live or die to a tribunal. Aren’t we better than that?”
“But nations and society are bound by the laws,” Tommy said. “We can’t pick and choose. As a society and people we have to correct the wrongs.”
“Tommy,” Rod said. “At what month?”
“That is something left to the individual,” Tommy said.
“At what month?” Rod said.
“I’m not going to answer that,” Tommy said.
“You would do anything to protect the life of your child?” Rod asked.
“Yes, of course,” Tommy said.
“And as soon as you found out your wife was pregnant you did everything possible to make sure your wife and child had a healthy and successful pregnancy and birth, right,” Rod said.
“Absolutely,” Tommy said, “but all of this has nothing to do with gun violence.”
“You’re right,” Rod said. “What it has to do with is blood on the hands of anyone who advocates, legislates, and is in favor of abortion.”
“But it is a woman’s right to choose,” Rod said.
“So if your wife chose to abort, that would be okay with you?” Rod said.
“You are making this about abortion when the discussion is gun control,” Tommy said.
“It started as gun control and you made it blood guilt,” Rod said. “You are the one who said blood guilt.”
“By guns!” Tommy said.
“A gun, a knife, a bomb, or ripped apart surgically; is there a difference?” Rod said. “Dead is dead. Murder is murder.”
“You are clearly outside the mainstream on both these subjects,” Tommy said.
“Two questions; at what month and what if your wife made the decision to abort?” Rod said. “You see, people like you, Tommy. That means you are a likable guy, but you influence people too. I wonder how many lives do not exist because of your approval and influence? It takes courage to go outside the mainstream. Just be funny, Tommy, because you are not courageous.”
There was a long pause. Tommy breathed deep. The audience groaned and shifted uncomfortably in their seats.
“I think I may have gotten another for 5,000 readers that you took away,” Rod said.
Tommy looked uncomfortably at the camera.
“Tommy,”Rod said, “are you still with me. I deplore guns. I deplore abortion. You are the one who made it about blood guilt; and that I’m against. And you pick and choose. You seem to me a conflicted and confused person.”
“We’ll be right back,” Tommy smiled into the camera.
“I think we know now why I’m not interviewed,” Rod said.