Here's the situation with guns as it now stands—and I'm not telling you anything you don't already know:
1. Even in states with more stringent regulations, it is easy to get your hands on a gun. Private sales are unregulated, gun shows are unregulated and it's as simple to get a firearm on the Internet as it is a pair of L.L.Bean socks or a bottle of miracle weight loss pills. Of course, even in states with the most stringent regulations, there is nothing to stop anyone with a relatively clean background and a permit from walking into a Cabelas and buying whatever the hell he wants.
2. Pro-regulation forces continue to attempt ever more concise restrictions on who may legally own a gun, the most recent of which was a failed try at restricting individuals on the no-fly list—those who have been deemed a potential terrorist or security threat—from gun ownership. The only other discussion still alive, as feeble as it is in light of the gun cartel's strangle-hold on Congress, is the call for a renewed ban on military-style assault rifles, increasingly the weapon of choice in mass shootings, presumably because of their efficiency and effectiveness at killing people. There is no talk, nor has there ever been any talk by the great majority of anti-gun advocates, of banning all guns outright or assembling a database of who owns guns. Regulation advocates have abandoned any expectation that guns might be taken out of the picture entirely, if indeed there ever were advocates in significant numbers who thought that was a possibility.
3. Anti-regulation forces continue to insist that there aren't enough guns in the public sector, that the 300 million-plus already out there aren't stopping mass shootings because the people getting shot aren't armed. They argue as they have always argued, that the bad guys will inevitably get hold of a gun should they so desire, and that the only people hurt by stricter laws are law-abiding gun owners. Of course, the reason behind that inevitability is the total lack of any meaningful oversight on for such things as interstate sales, private sales and gun shows—a condition they themselves created. Their logic is deeply flawed, but then, who needs logic when they are the most powerful lobby in America with an entire political party tucked comfortably away in their rectum.
OK, that is a broad overview of the situation with guns as it now stands. You will notice it's pretty much the same as it has stood for several years, if not decades. The only significant difference in the situation with guns between now and 30 years ago is that: 1. mass shootings have become as common as breakfast, this year averaging out to more than one a day; and 2. it is harder than it has ever been to do anything about it.
I only bring it up again because, as you might have gathered from Friday's episode of "Mr. Cope' Cave," I have virtually given up on expecting anything meaningful will change in the situation with guns, not in the foreseeable future. I fully expect more and more guns will be sold in this country, that more and more people will be killed with those guns—whether it be in mass shootings, other shootings, accidents or suicides—and that nothing will be done to even slow it down. In fact, ignorance about the violence guns are doing to Americans is being actively promoted; the gun nut crowd has such overwhelming clout they have prohibited the Centers for Disease Control from even compiling statistics on that violence.
It's as obvious to me as anything that: 1. America is full of mentally unstable people, many of whom feel, for whatever reason, they need to gun as many people down as they can; 2. a good portion of the population—i.e. the Republican Party—is content to let that happen; and 3. the portion who aren't content to let that happen are powerless to stop it. So I'm sorry to say there is nothing happening to make me think that situation won't continue.
However, since writing the Friday blog, I've been thinking. Is there any possible way to approach this situation that doesn't involve stricter regulation—which the Right won't allow—or total capitulation to the wishes of the NRA and like-minded demons—which the Left won't allow?
In other words, is there a third way? Have activists on either side of the issue spent enough time and energy trying to find it?
I know I haven't. As a longtime gun control advocate and a detester of the noxious scum to whom an AR-15 slung over their shoulder is worth every life lost in San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Aurora, Tucson, Charleston, Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary... etc.... combined, I have spent the greatest share of the last two decades insisting that neither the aforementioned noxious scum, nor anyone else in civilian life, should be allowed access to weapons like AR-15s. I have even considered the possibility that guns of every variety should be registered—not an unusual proposition elsewhere in the world.
As I've said, none of that is going to happen. So, if for no other reason than to feel like I'm doing something, I have outlined a third way. It's a compromise, to be sure, which means it might be hard to convince the uncompromising shitheads on the gun nut side to take part. But once it is explained to them that for at least the first 10 years, they get everything they want, perhaps they will go along.
I'm calling it "Cope's Master Plan to End Gun Violence, Eventually," and the more I think about it, the more I am convinced it could work... eventually. To follow this plan to completion, we will very likely see an exponential increase in the number of American corpses with bullet holes in them, but if we all agree to stick it out to the end, it may be just what we've all been searching for—a way out of this f***ing mess the Second Amendment got us into.
After all, whether we follow my plan or not, it is very likely we will see an exponential increase in the number of American corpses with bullet holes in them, so we might as well try something that has a built in expiration date, which mine does.
Here it is...
Cope's Master Plan to End Gun Violence, Eventually
STEP ONE: "Give the NRA Every Goddamn Thing They Want"
(To be continued in this coming Friday's "Mr. Cope's Cave.")