WASHINGTON, D.C. ( — In a solemn, often plaintive ceremony tinged with ineludible regret, 40 United States senators bid an emotional farewell to their balls Wednesday, moments before siding with the gun lobby to vote down a bill expanding background checks for gun purchases.

"The upside is these guys won't be able to procreate," said one optimistic gun-control advocate.

The ritual began as Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama led a procession of his fellow emasculates down the aisle to the rostrum, grimly chanting the names of politicians past who had opposed the NRA and been defeated.

One by one, the senators bared their condemnables and voted. Then, the flash of a knife, a bitten fist, and two by two, their testes fell away. In their shaking hands, the senators each held a candle, its flame blown out at the moment of evisceration to symbolize the snuffing of their manhood.

The procedure itself was quick, but not without a sting. One senator described the experience as, “almost as painful as losing a loved one. Or a primary.”

Despite overwhelming support by Americans, the background check bill was opposed by the NRA, which vowed to take down any senator who voted for it. In the end, four Democrats joined the Republicans as both bill and balls fell with a resounding thud.

In all, 46 senators voted no, but only 40 endured detesticlization. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada voted no for procedural reasons. Five other legislators were immune because they were deemed to be women: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.

Hours after the vote, Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake paced in his office as he tried to make his opposition understood.

“Representing the state where Tucson happened, you’d think I would stand up for the American people,” he said. “But to stay in this office I sometimes have to stand up for other things: for the Second Amendment, for gun owners, and most of all, for the simple reason that it hurts too much to sit down.”

Across the hall, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas stared wistfully at a sepia tone Pinterest photograph of his disunited knicknacks.

“I miss those guys so much,” said Pryor, struggling to contain his emotions and disguise his newly pitched voice. “You know, people say politicians only care about one thing, getting elected. But they’re wrong. I cared about two things. Two beautiful, bulbous… ”
Unable to continue, Pryor heaved his head on his desk and broke down, aides reviving him only after wafting a powerfully large check from the gun lobby under his nose.

The 80 genitals were sent to NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., where they will be freeze dried, bronzed, and put on public display with other political privates in the Congressional Hall of Testicles.

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