Two exotic dancers in Nashville, Tennessee, found a shocking way to spotlight the “strict” laws governing their profession ― comparing those rules with lax regulations for buying assault-style weapons in their state.
In an obviously staged video posted on Tuesday, the dancers, known professionally as Mary Jane Watson and Miss Pepper Pots, offer a potential “customer” couch dances for $15 or an AR-15 rifle for $1,100.
The young man, standing in front of the table the two women set up outside the club where they perform, asks if the gun sale is even legal.
Watson explains that, yes, yes it is.
“We can do a private firearms transfer,” she says.
Pots adds that they don’t need to see I.D. or do a background check on the man.
“You just give us $1,100 in cash and we give you the gun,” she says.
The customer acts shocked at how easy it is to get the gun ― the same type of weapon used in the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff members ― and Watson agrees.
“That’s just how loose the privatized gun transfer law is in Tennessee,” she said. (State law does prohibit a person from “knowingly” selling a gun to someone “prohibited by state or federal law from owning, possessing or purchasing” a firearm.)
The man then asks about the couch dance option, and Watson and Pots detail the legal hoops they have to jump through to become exotic dancers.
“First of all, we have to get a background check,” Watson says.
“Then we have to go get our fingerprints done,” Pots adds.
Dancers in Tennessee are also required to supply two recent passport photos to the State’s Sexually Oriented Business Licensing Board. along with other paperwork, and then wait through a two-week background check period.
“And only then are we deemed safe to give you a [fully clothed] couch dance,” Watson says.
Watson and Pots don’t actually sell the AR-15 in the video, which was made to protest what they and their employer, Deja Vu Showgirls, deem to be excessive regulation of their business.
The video has been viewed on Facebook by less than 900 people as of Wednesday afternoon, but one of those was Joe Carr, a former Republican member of the Tennessee House who’s now running for the state Senate.
He’s not happy.
“All stunts are meant to generate publicity, and I think this is kind of tragic with what happened in Florida in the school down there and what has happened in a number of schools over the past few years,” Carr told local station WSMV-TV. “It should not be minimized by sensational antics by a handful of women in front of a gentleman’s club.”
RawStory notes that Carr promoted his own AR-15 rifle giveaway in June 2016, just three weeks after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in which a gunman killed 49 people.
Watson said she hopes the video gets people thinking.
“We could sell [the gun] to someone who uses it for God knows what, and yet we have to go through all of this just to give someone a dance? It’s a little insane,” Watson told WSMV.
The complete video appears below.