"Cope! Want me to write your column this week? I'll do it for nothing."
"Uh ... why? Bob, you're not usually so eager to fill in for me. What's going on?"
"Deal is, I have an important new concept to introduce into the cultural and spiritual zeitgeist of our age. It's relevant, it's sure as hell timely and it's gotta be said. I'd be happy to pass it on to you, but Cope, I just don't believe you'd have the guts to use it."
"What do you mean? I got plenty of guts! Anything you got the guts to say, I got the guts to say, gosh darn it! That's about the meanest thing you ever said to me, Bob Berserquier! Sometimes you treat me like I'm some kind of scaredy-pants little wuss, and I'm tired of it. Just tired of it! You think you can say just any darn thing that ..."
"All right! For Christ's sake, calm down! I'm sorry I said it. I apologize. You have the guts, definitely. There, you feel better?"
"Uh, OK ... what is it? Must be a pretty hot concept if you want to make it part of the cultural and spiritual zeitgeist of our age."
"Cope, know how whenever you write a column about the 'open carry' clowns or Second Amendment fundamentalists or those NRA swine, you always call them 'gun nuts?'"
"Yeah. I do it on purpose. I figure it's the least I can do ... to piss off the gun nuts by calling them 'gun nuts.' Seeing as how any kind of sensible or reasonable control or regulation is out of the question with these birds, I'm trying to get them all so mad, maybe they'll break out in a rash. Hah, wouldn't that be funny? If old Wayne LaPierre and Ted Nugent weren't able to stop scratching their crotches. Hah!"
"Yup, that's quite a plan you got there. But calling them 'gun nuts' doesn't go far enough. Not anymore. Not when they won't compromise even on the capacity of ammunition clips. I've finally seen it like it is, Cope. We're not dealing with comically stunted men-babies who can't stop playing with their Roy Rogers. No, these freaks are twisted. Perverted. That's the concept I want to get out there ... that there's something seriously unnatural about them and their morbid fixation. So you need to start calling them what they are. 'Gun deviants.'"
"Holy smokes, Bob! I can't say that!"
"I knew it! I knew damn good and well you wouldn't have the guts!"
"Well, jeez. 'Deviants?' I mean, that takes it to a whole 'nuther level, Bob. 'Gun nuts' ... that's one thing. 'Gun whackos!' 'Gun loons!' 'Gun dingbat Elmer Fudd monkeys' ... heck, I could call them things like that all day long. But 'deviants?' 'Perverted?' 'Twisted?' Gosh, that makes them sound like they should all be wearing ankle bracelets that alert the police anytime they leave the house. I can tell you right now, they're not gonna like being called 'deviants.'"
"Cope, close your eyes for a minute while I draw a mental picture for you. Come on, just do it. Imagine this guy, see, who's watching the news when he hears about a Congresswoman and 18 other people being shot down like tin cans off fence posts. But rather than being stunned and repulsed and saddened like decent folk are, he scoots down to a gun store as soon as he hears what the murderer used and buys himself the same gun. The same f***ing gun! What would you call somebody like that? You probably heard, sales of that model Glock went through the roof following the Tucson, Ariz., killings. So how would you describe that kind of abnormal behavior?"
"Um, well, Bob, it's not exactly what I'd call normal, I admit. In fact, it's pretty ghoulish. And creepy. And demented. And no, I wouldn't want that guy on my bowling team. And I can't help but wonder if people like that aren't but a hop, skip and a tequila bender away from going Jared Loughner, themselves, given the slightest push. And I think it's atrocious that we're supposed to sit on our thumbs while 30-some Americans are blown away each and every damn day because these delusional lunatics insist their right to own any firearm they want supersedes everybody else's right not to get shot."
"Makes you mad, doesn't it?. These f***ers have forced their obsessive aberrations onto society like an open sewer stinks up a whole town. You'd agree with that?"
"Sure, I agree. But 'deviant?' That's a mighty strong word, Bob. Can you imagine how many angry responses I'd get if I were to call them 'gun deviants' in print? Even if that's what they clearly are?"
"That's why I volunteered to write the column, Cope. We wouldn't want all those yappy a**holes bruising your delicate feelings. But I couldn't care less what they say. And I'm tired as hell of watching mass murders come and go without something being done to stop it. People need to realize that it's not just the unhinged killers who are unhinged. It's this whole f***ing gun-worshipping a**-backwards mob we need to watch out for."
"Welllllll, OK then. You go ahead and write the column this week. But make sure you make it clear it's you calling them 'gun deviants,' not me. And tell them not to bother writing nasty letters calling me a wussy and stuff, because it's not my fault--and you never open your mail. So make sure you tell 'em that, Bob ... that if they don't like being called 'gun deviants,' there's not a darn thing they can do about it. You tell them that, OK?"
"Will do, Cope."
"And Bob, do watch the language, won't you?"
"Don't I always?"