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Archie Comics and the NRA

Peter Stewart

gun control is a hot issue up here in Canada, but seems to have even more outspoken detractors in the US. Last Saturday night I picked up the recent Jughead Double Digest #69. Upon reading the "Group Gripe" cartoon my eye was caught by some NRA propaganda. I wonder if this is just the tip of the iceberg for gun-toting advertising in the pages of Archie comics.

Jughead and the NRA

Well, I was leaked a copy of the one-shot special "Archie Joins the NRA". The following is a transcription of the opening strip:

Archie and Jughead are playing ping pong in Archie's basement. Archie makes a long shot and Jughead goes back to play the shot, but runs into the plaster-board wall behind him. Revealed is a secret room which Jughead falls into. Inside the room are various automatic weapons, plastic explosives, grenades, and propaganda books (such as Che's "Guerilla Warfare", and the ever popular "Converting Semi-Automatics into Autos - For Dummies").

Jughead: Jesus freaking Christ Arch, you have enough weapons here to arm the Goddamn Israeli army!

Archie: No Jug, just a small militia for now. But in time I hope to be able to amass a sizeable army.

Jughead: Crap, Archie, what the Hell is going on here? What happened to you, man?

Archie: It's our obligation to have a well-armed public, to protect ourselves from the corrupt American Government or the ZOG.

Jughead: Archie, are you bleeping crazy?!

Archie: Here Jug, I think it's time you meet somebody...

They get into Archie's old jalopy (with "NRA #1" bumper-stickers and a newly added gun-rack), and drive down to old town Riverdale to the NRA headquarters. Upon entering the building they come to an office labeled "President". They open the door, and find Charlton Heston dressed as Moses with murals of mountains in the background. He is holding a stone tablet of the Second Amendment.

Heston: Good day, Arch, my precious acolyte. Have you brought a new member into the fold?

Jughead: Who the shit are you, man?! Aren't you that old fart from "Planet of the Apes"?

Heston: Why, I'm not just the President of the NRA, I'm also a gun-toting Right-Wing Christian fanatic. Is "Planet of the Apes" going to dog me forever?

Archie: Well, as you can see I need to "educate" my good pal Jughead. He seems to think my militia isn't a good idea. As far as I'm concerned, if it's good enough for Michigan it's good enough for me!

Heston: Jughead, Second Amendment states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." You see, my boy, it's our God-given constitutional right to keep and bear Arms.

Jughead: Wait a sec, that was written when the most powerful "Arm" was a bloody musket, not a Mach-10 or Uzi.

Archie: But Jughead, what about the marauding hordes of thieves and rapists lurking in the streets at night, wanting to take advantage of your precious family? What of them, I say?

Jughead: Gee, Arch. I never really thought about it like that before.

Archie: Yes, not to mention the ZOG.

Jughead: Thank you Mr. Heston. This meeting has really shown me the light. No longer will I be a doubting Thomas. I'll get my membership on the way out, and I'll tell my friends how totally rad the NRA is.

Heston: My pleasure. May democracy reign true, and your sights always shoot straight.

Archie and Jughead get down on their hands and knees, and bow to Heston. They back out of the room, facing Heston. On their way out, Jughead fills out a membership form, and makes a sizable donation. They get in the Jalopy, and take off down the street. They pull up to an arena, with a huge sign stating "Gun Show Today". Jughead is shown with a gun dealer, and he is looking through the scope of a semi-auto.

The last panel shows Charlton Heston, still holding the Second Amendment tablet.

Heston: Yes, that's right kids. You too should come down to your local chapter of the NRA, and learn about your God-given rights before it's too late.

Well, I won't tell you about the rest of the comic. OK, if you insist, here is start of the next strip.

Archie is running down the street in a panic. He spots Jughead, and starts shaking him frantically.

Archie: Jug, Jug, Reggie and I went moose hunting. I mistook him for a bear, and killed him....

Peter Stewart is related to neither Jane nor Martha.

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