Mr. Cope's Cave: Don't You Have To Wonder What Would Happen If... 

Just speculatin' here, folks. Just letting the ol' imagination run unfettered, that's all. You can join me if you feel so inclined. It helps to pull a puffy comforter over your head and close your eyes.

Let's imagine that one fine day—perhaps soon—all the progressives and environmentally conscious citizens of the Northwest and Intermountain states got totally fed up with this attention-grabbing rabble that traipses about the West swinging military weaponry and dripping machismo, looking for excuses to stage confrontations with federal authorities over the use of public lands.

Imagine further that together with all those other Americans who cherish the vast and extraordinary opportunities that public lands offer our citizens, the progressives and environmentally sensitive and anyone else who has grown sick to death of the strutting, mouthy, stupid assholes who dare to call themselves "patriots" all decided to come together and make a statement of some sort that would demonstrate how adamant they are and how many they are—especially in contrast to the welfare-ranching, public-lands leeches like this Ammon Bundy butthead who's been putting on the big show over in Oregon this last week.

Then imagine that a whole bunch of such people—500 or 600, perhaps, which could probably be assembled from one or two neighborhoods of Portland, Ore., alone—drove over to that wildlife refuge and told those swaggering assholes to GET OUT OF OUR BUILDING! RIGHT! THE! F***! NOW!

Of course, I would never imagine, even in a fantasy such as this, that those people go armed and prepared for violence—even though by the assholes' own standards, they would have every right to do so, as this would be a perfectly clear case of those good citizens simply trying to protect their own public and communal property from the scummy scofflaws who have stolen and defiled it. Really, does not the public lands-owning public have as much right to "Stand Their Ground" as any clot of hayseed losers who act as though the shit on their boots gives them the authority to interpret the Constitution for the entire country? Does not the public have not only the right, but the duty, to hold tight and defend the legacy of public lands that was bequeathed to them with the expectation they would, in turn, bequeath those lands to their heirs, just as they would protect America from foreign invaders or criminal cartels, even if it meant at the end of a gun?

Still, I imagine it's probably best that the good citizens leave their weapons at home, even in the context of this daydream. It's probably best that those 500 or 600... oh golly, wouldn't an even 1,000 be great?... offset as they would be against the handful of ignorant hillbillies who feel so entitled to confiscate our property... it's probably for the best that this cleansing force—the people who actually appreciate what the federal government does for states like Oregon, Nevada, even Idaho, in terms of keeping that legacy of public lands open to the public—yes, it's probably best they don't show up armed like the ignorant hillbillies who are holding our building hostage.

Not that they wouldn't know what to do with guns if they had them. Hell, any drooling dope can learn how to use a gun. After all, drooling dopes are out there proving it every day, everywhere. It's got to be about the easiest thing to do in the world, isn't it?... to use a gun. If it weren't, we wouldn't even be talking about stupid f***ing assholes like Ammon Bundy and his little posse idiotatus, would we? Seriously, that's the only argument, the only moral justification, the only logic Ammon Bundy has going for him... the guns he and his butthead followers carried with them into our building over there in Oregon.

Let's agree: No guns. It's our daydream, and by nature we are peace-loving people, yes? So let us just imagine that several hundred peaceful public lands lovers show up unarmed (and dress warm, dreamers; it's colder than hell over there, even in my imagination) and they make a big circle around that building. Our building.

Can you picture it? A big circle of several hundred law-abiding, decent and peaceful, non-property-snatching, non-attention-grabbing, American citizens, committed to getting their and their children's building back, and in doing so, putting an end to this notion that some people—violent, thuggish people who consider themselves more patriotic that the rest of us—can snatch any piece of America they want, be it an animal refuge visitor center in Oregon or BLM grazing land in Nevada. I picture them holding hands, don't you? Like people do in churches and Druid rituals at Stonehenge. It's really an inspiring thing, to see that sort of communion, isn't it? Even in a daydream.

Then, all together, perhaps led by someone with a bullhorn, they all start chanting "GET THE F*** OUT OF OUR BUILDING!"



And each time they say it..."GET THE F*** OUT OF OUR BUILDING!"... they take a step into the center. All of them. Closer and closer. Bunching up two and three and four deep as they converge on the building... our building... closer and closer... until the only thing the handful of attention-grabbing hillbilly rabble asshole thugs can see when they look out the windows is a great throng of conscientious, public lands-loving, federal agency-thankful, American citizens... not a one of whom is swinging an AR around like they can't wait to use it on a federal employee... demanding that the buttheads get the f*** out of the American peoples' building!

* * *

I'm not sure where it goes after that, folks. Honestly, my imagination sort of peters out at this point. Sorry I talked you into accompanying me on this little reverie, and then switched it off just when it was getting good. But I just can't picture what men this stupid might do, especially when they feel cornered.

I'd like to think the buttheads would pick up their little guns and leave our building peacefully, once they understood how many others there are who feel every bit as strongly as they claim to feel about how public lands should be managed. Unfortunately, it is my experience that buttheads never care what others feel, never comprehend there are more sides to an issue but theirs, and never, ever, admit they are buttheads.

Guess it's a good thing we have agencies to handle situations like this for us, isn't it? Those good old federal agencies that, I pray, will always be around to make sure the Bundys of the world don't get their way. We ought to tell them more how much we appreciate what they do for us, huh? 
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