Mr. Cope's Cave: Cope's Master Plan to End Gun Violence, Eventually—Part 2 

(Continued from Monday's "Mr. Cope's Cave," in which I explained how I have grown so skeptical that anything meaningful will be done to slow the epidemic of mass shootings, I have actually devised a third-way approach—something that includes elements appealing to both the anti-gun and pro-gun advocates. I now lay out this plan in full.) 

Cope's Master Plan to End Gun Violence, Eventually

STEP ONE: "Give the NRA Every Goddamn Thing They Want"

Research reveals that out of 46 of the worst mass shootings this country has seen since 1984, when James Oliver Huberty walked into a San Ysidro McDonalds, killed 21 customers and employees and wounded 19 others, not one of those rampages ended with the "bad guy with a gun being stopped by a good guy with a gun"—not unless you count the policeman or policemen who did the stopping as the good guy.

Just so you don't miss what I'm saying, I repeat: Out of the 46 worst mass shootings—as compiled by the Los Angeles Times—that have occurred in America between 1984 and last week in San Bernardino, not a single one of them came to an end because some mythical citizen hero with a concealed carry permit stepped up and did a Lucas McCain on the perpetrator. Every one of them ended because: 1. police killed the bad guy, 2. the bad guy killed himself or 3. he was taken into custody—the rarest of the outcomes.

Nor is it true, as gun nuts often claim, that the shootings happen mostly where gun laws are the strictest. That list includes entries from Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina... all states where guns are as common as fried chicken.

Yet gun advocates continue to insist that if enough people were carrying a gun everywhere they went, these horrific events would come to an end. So let's try it and see. With the power and economic clout of the federal government, let us put a gun at the disposal of every man and woman in the country. Let us mandate it as a requirement of citizenship. No more leaving it up to individual sensibilities whether or not they want to own and carry a gun. For ten years, it would be the law of the land. Period.

For those who can't afford even a modest gun, there will be vouchers. There will be tax breaks for gun purchases. There will be free gun-giveaway programs and gun stamps for the exceptionally needy. There will be community agencies whose role will be to restore used guns to tip-top condition and make them available to anyone who made the mistake of leaving home without their gun. These guns—loaded, of course, and painted a bright color such as yellow or lime green to denote they are community-owned guns—will be found in distribution/collection bins located at strategic points about every town in America.

Upon entering the 7th grade, every child will be issued a starter gun—small of caliber yet with enough punch to put down a fully-grown man the size of Robert Dear, the hulking brute who killed three in Colorado Springs two weeks ago. Each kid will be required to take two semesters of gun training before leaving middle school. By the time they enter high school, they will be expected to have traded the starter gun for a more potent weapon. Again, assistance will be provided to those who can't afford an AR-15 or 12-gauge shotgun, but in return the student will be required to carry the weapon where ever he or she goes, including out-of-town football games, band trips, the junior-senior prom and, of course, graduation ceremonies.

For 10 years, every person in America will have a gun and ammunition sufficient in quantity to become a proficient marksman, plus however many rounds are calculated to take out multiple shooters. All black people, Hispanic people, homeless people, paroled people, employed people, unemployed people, disgruntled people, retired people, disabled people, church people, senior citizens, students, teachers, the timid, the brave, the stupid, the smart, the educated, the ignorant, the good shots and the bad shots... everyone will have a gun on or near to them at all times. The penalties for non-compliance will range from heavy fines to imprisonment for repeat offenders. For minors and students, it will mean the suspension of driving privileges and/or exclusion from Pell grant eligibility and any scholarship opportunities.

The only human beings in America who will not be required to conduct their lives locked and loaded will be those still in prison (though once they have paid their debt to society, they shall be issued a suit, a full clip, and a matching gun upon leaving incarceration), and those who claim that their heads are full of shrieking voices commanding them to commit unthinkable acts. Even then, it will take a panel of at least four independent mental health experts to agree that these alleged "unthinkable acts" are indeed unthinkable.

Need I say that this policy will have anti-gun advocates, most liberals, progressives of every variety, pacifists, a good portion of the Christian faithful, and the greatest share of those with above-average intelligence up in arms—so to speak—but they will just have to live with it. And it shouldn't be that difficult to adjust to the new order, seeing as how the mandated proliferation of firearms is not so very far from the reality in which we already live. And with this policy, there may conceivably be a resolution to it all—something we have no hope for under present circumstances.

Which leads us to...

STEP TWO: "Keep Track"

The biggest concession the pro-gun side must agree to is this: During the 10-year test period in which the scarcity of guns will no longer be a possible factor in the consideration of criminal activity, the federal government will be assigned to build a data base of every discharge of a firearm outside of a certified target practice facility. However, if someone ends up dead or wounded at a certified target practice facility, it must be entered into the data base.

Essentially, if any shot is fired, it will be recorded: where it happened, how it happened, to whom it happened, the make and model of the firearm involved, if there were any casualties and how many casualties, whether it was an accident, a suicide, an act of self-defense, a murder, a moment of temporary insanity, an incident stemming from a barroom dispute, an incident of road rage, an incident of domestic violence, a drunken fraternity prank, a sniper on an overpass shooting at passing cars, a hunter who blows his own or someone else's head off while climbing over a fence, a toddler pulling a loaded handgun out of his mothers purse and killing her and/or someone else, a handgun discharging in a guy's pants as he's dancing at a discotheque (along with all pertinent data as to whether it blew off a foot, a testicle, or simply made a hole in the dance floor without encountering any flesh whatsoever), a case of the owner believing the weapon was unloaded until the surprise bullet has destroyed a window, an overhead lighting fixture, the television set, or a wife who had just seconds earlier asked if he was sure the gun was unloaded... every shot fired under any circumstance will be entered into the data base—tentatively titled the "Human/Gun Interface Project"—and included in the final statistical analysis derived from all the data by the end of the trial decade.

STEP THREE: "Live With the Math ... Like It or Not"

This will be the most difficult condition of the plan for a great many Americans to accept. It may seem it would be a complicated procedure to calculate the relative value of having a loaded gun at every American's disposal, but boiling the Human/Gun Interface Project down to it's most simple should result in an easily understood ratio: How many Americans die from gun violence (per 100,000 population) during the trial period, as opposed to how many Americans have already died from gun violence (per 100,000 population) over the 10-year period immediately preceding the test period.

In other words, the results will either be X > Y, or X < Y. Even gun nuts should be able to understand it.

If it is shown in clear and indisputable numbers that a gun in every hand, purse, back pocket or jockey box has brought about a sharp reduction in the number of mass shootings and/or a sharp reduction in the number of mass shooting victims, a sharp reduction in the incident of criminal activity in general, a safer and more peaceful atmosphere in which to watch future generations grow up, then anti-gun advocates will just have to shut up and quit trying to do anything about gun violence. Period. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

On the other hand, if the clear and indisputable numbers show that there has been a sharp increase in gun violence—whether it be the flashy mass shootings that get everyone's attention for a few days ... usually until the next one happens... or the more intimate events where only one child at a time, one wife at a time, one mugging victim, one despondent veteran who decides to end it all, one teenager goofing around trying to impress friends with his dad's new Glock, collateral kill from a random drive-by, a "Stand Your Ground" situation in which another black teenager is shot dead for knocking on a white man's door, etc.—then we, as a nation, are done with this twisted 2nd Amendment misinterpretation horseshit for good, and the NRA, along with every other gun-fetish asshole in America will just have to shut up and turn in their guns... period.

No ifs, ands or buts about it.

Special consideration will be given to hunters, but only to the extent that they agree to register their hunting weapons and that the weapon itself is appropriate to the sport. No more military-grade firepower in the hands of machismo morons out looking to bag a duck.

Collectors can still collect, but the firing pins must be removed and the barrels filed with epoxy.

Gun manufacturing plants will be converted to producing weapons for police and military personnel exclusively, or to salvage facilities retrofitted to melt down the metal in guns to be used for other purposes.

Plowshares, for instance.

I understand that whatever the outcome of this experiment may be, millions of Americans will be outraged. Many, I'm sure, will refuse to comply with the conditions as established from Day One of the process. But not a day goes by when millions of Americans aren't outraged about one thing or another anyway, and that doesn't mean we have to stop striving to improve our lives for fear of pissing off somebody.

No, everyone agrees, on both sides of the debate, that something needs to be done about gun violence—mass shootings in particular—and this plan I have put before you is definitely that. Something.

We can chose to either try it, as offered, on the promise that we as a society are still capable of doing what free people have always done when faced with a seemingly unsolvable problem—being: to get busy and solve it—or we can drift along, doing nothing, and hope it all takes care of itself before we find ourselves or our children in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Pin It

Latest in Bill Cope


Comments are closed.

More by Bill Cope

Submit an Event

Popular Events

  • 10 Barrel Brewing Pray For Snow Party @ 10 Barrel Brewing Co.

    • Sat., Oct. 27, 5 p.m. FREE
  • Western States Conference on Suicide @ Boise State Student Union Jordan Ballroom

    • Mon., Oct. 22, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tue., Oct. 23, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. $80-$120
  • Haunted Halloween Trolley Tours @ Joe's Crab Shack

    • Through Oct. 25, 8-9:30 p.m., Through Oct. 27, 7-11 p.m. and Through Oct. 31, 8-9:30 p.m. $18-$40
    • Buy Tickets

© 2018 Boise Weekly

Website powered by Foundation