Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: Silly, Silly, Stupid Things Gun Nuts Do


You may have missed this one, depending on how much attention you were giving to the news of the latest mass shooting in Louisiana. It happened the same day, last Thursday, but don't worry. Nobody got shot. It was an accidental discharge—as the boys down at the firing range might say—and the bullet just dug a hole in some pavement.

You know... as opposed to some human flesh, like the bullets in Louisiana.

This one happened in Lancaster, Ohio, outside a military recruiting center. No, it wasn't a soldier or Marine or anybody like that who experienced this accidental discharge. It was some gun nut doofus who had volunteered himself to sit outside the recruiting center and guard the parking lot.

Maybe you did hear about the guys who were doing the same thing here in Boise, and it's been occurring all over the country—gun nut doofuses showing up to stand guard over recruitment stations. You can look at it as a ridiculous, meaningless, yet well-intentioned response to the mass shooting 11 days ago in Chattanooga. Or you can look at it as I do—to wit: Any excuse to strut around town with your AR hanging out, eh?

The guy in Ohio had almost unloaded his weapon in order to show it to another guy—just some fella walking by, it seems, who thought it would be cool to hold one of those Rambo shooter-uppers—and as the doofus was passing it to him, why... the gosh darn thing just went off. Ker-Blammo!

To quote Christopher Reed (the doofus in question), "I was trying to clear the weapon and hand it over to him when it went off. I thought it was empty and must have missed it."

Ah. Ya' think?

Like I said, nobody got hurt, except perhaps the feelings of Reed and his gun nut friends when the owners of the strip mall where the center is located had them escorted off the property by the police. Kenneth Castelle, one of Reed's companion doofuses, tried to make their case to a local reporter: " We're not out here pointing our weapons at cars that go by or stopping vehicles or anything like that."

Well, that's a relief.

Castelle went on to say, "If something happens here and hopefully it don't and if it does and I hope they hang the people who own the place." (Italics added by me.)

Now isn't that the kind of angry bird you'd want camped out in your parking lot, armed to the teeth? In fact, it sounds like something John "Rusty" Houser might have said in his Internet postings.

Don't remember Rusty Houser? Oh come on. It's only been four days. Remember?... the guy in Lafayette? The guy who was also pissed off at this and that and about everything else, and made his stand—which I've no doubt in his twisted mind he believed to be strongly principled—in a theater where he killed two people and wounded nine more?

Which is sort of the point, isn't it, about all these angry hombres strutting around town with their ARs erect and their Glocks half-cocked? Which ones are simply what they say they are, conscientious citizens standing watch should another lone wolf ISIS fiend show up?

And which ones are the next Rusty Houser?

The next Dylann Roof? (Reference: Charleston, N.C., a little over a month ago—nine dead.)

The next Jerad Miller? (Reference: Las Vegas, June 2014—two cops and a civilian shot to death.)

The next Frazier Cross? (Reference: Kansas City, April 2014—three cut down at a Jewish retirement center.)

The next Wade Page? (Reference: Milwaukee, August 2012—six dead at a Sikh temple.)

The next Richard Poplawski? (Reference: Pittsburgh, April 2009—three police officers killed on the street.)

 I'll just bet each and everyone of those guys were big Second Amendment supporters, too, don't you think?

Oh, for what it's worth, Christopher Reed was charged with "accidental discharge in city limits." It was the second time in two years he's been accused of the same offense. In 2013, some gosh darn shooter-upper of his just went off. Ker-Blammo! He was fined $50 and, of course, allowed to keep his shooter-upper.