WASHINGTON, DCThe nation's sweeping new gun-control legislation is the result of a confidence trick pulled on President Bush by a devious rabbit, White House sources said Tuesday. The "Coney Act," which Bush signed into law Monday, prohibits the sale or ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons and enacts harsh penalties for the hunting of small game, most notably rabbits.
"The gun ban is not the result of a change in the Republican Party's position on gun ownership," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said. "It is the product of a fraud perpetrated by a conniving rabbit, perhaps as an elaborate ruse to avoid being eaten by the president, who is much bigger and stronger than he. Through the use of quick wits and cunning, not physical strength, that dang rabbit got the best of the president."
When he heard about the bill, Frist said he "immediately questioned its authenticity" and informed the president that its author, a "Senator Lepus H. Coney," was not an elected Alabama legislator.
At a press conference Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan related the story of Bush's encounter with the rabbit, whom the president met in the White House's famed Rose Garden, where the rabbit was trespassing.
"Now, dat ole rabbit, he knew Pezziden' Bush had it in fo' him after he seed him lopin' about in his best rose bushes ez sassy ez a jackdaw," McClellan said. "Sez Pezziden' Bush, sezee, 'I'm gwine ter settle yo' hash, ole Rabbit. I best not cotch you in my rose patch agin, or I'll fill yo' britches wit buckshot.'"
McClellan said that the rabbit, fearing for his life, devised a plan.
"Ole Rabbit got ter studyin' on da problem," McClellan said. "He knew his letters, so he tuck up some paper an' a pen an' commenced scratchin' away. Bimeby, he had hisse'f a right pert mess o' papers, an' so he spreaded 'em out 'pon Pezziden' Bush's writin' desk. Den he set hisse'f down on Pezziden' Bush's fanciest settin' chair es if he wuz borned to it, an' he smoked a seegyar, no less."
According to McClellan, when Bush spotted the rabbit in his chair in the Oval Office, he was "madder'n a yaller jacket."
"Pezziden' Bush sez, sezee, 'What you t'ink dis is yer, a frolic? I'm fetchin' mah shotgun dat da NRA done give me special fo' bein' pezziden','" McClellan said. "Sez da rabbit, sezee, 'Hol' up dar, Pezziden' Bush. I wuz wonderin' if'n you could settle a li'l wager 'twix' me an' ole Mr. Tarrypin.'"
According to McClellan, the rabbit then described the terms of the wager between himself and the tortoise.
"'It be my hide or his shell' sez da rabbit, sezee," McClellan said. "Sez da rabbit, 'Ole Mr. Tarrypin, he sez dat da Pezziden' O' Da Newnited States so thick he kin scarce sign his own name. 'Course, I don' beleeve him, but ter settle da matter I got ter see it fo' myself.'"
Outraged by the accusation, Bush took the rabbit's bait and signed the bill sitting on his desk.
"Bimeby, folks discovered dat, kaze o' Ole Rabbit's monkeyshines, guns wuz now banned all over Creation," McClellan said.
According to FBI sources, the cottontail rabbit is believed to have been born in the Deep South, and often employs deception as a means of self-preservation. Known to have outsmarted such adversaries as a fox, a wolf, and a bear, the rabbit is also believed to have tricked U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) into thinking that the sun was still down so that the animal could swipe vegetables from his refrigerator in May. The rabbit is also the prime suspect in the infamous April incident in which U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) lodged her head in the knot of a persimmon tree.
"Bless gracious, honey, now don' you fret none 'bout dat rabbit," McClellan said, in response to questions about the animal's current whereabouts and whether he poses a public threat. "Marse [Robert] Mueller'll tuck keer o' him, sho'. He gots his best field hands a-seerchin' high an' low fo' da ole scamp. I 'speck they'll tree him sho' 'nuff."
Rumors that the FBI is constructing a tar baby to catch the rabbit could not be confirmed at press time.