Opinion » Bill Cope

Red is O.C.D.*

*Opern Curry Dopey

by

"Red, is that a gun in your pants? Or are you just happy to see me?"

"I ain't come here fer no small tawk, Cope. Ah'z here on oo-fitchul opern curry dot com bizzynuss."

"And what business would bring you to my house with your old Wyatt Earp tucked into your belt?"

"Id's 'bout dat comlum what yews wrote a c'pla weeks back wheres yews was tawkin' t' Badger Bob 'bout hows stew-pid wez heroes in d' opern curry mervement are. Dat's wha' bizzynuss dis be 'bout! "

"I should have guessed you were part of this 'open carry' hogwash, Red."

"Wull ah weren', not 'til ah hears 'bout dem fellers goin' t' d' zoo wid their trussy fawr-awrms. Ah sez t' mahself, 'Red, dem's yer kind o' peep-holes.' So's ah joint up, an' dis's m' firs' doody fer d' cause. Ah'z been picked spe-shul t' come here 'n' tell yews what a be-gotted, hatredful, pathetical, cain't-write-wort'-dog-snot, lilly-eatist, sniv'lin', fraidy-cat, momma's-boy sissy yews am."

"And you brought a gun because ... ?"

"Acause ah can, dat's why!"

"Got it. Care for some coffee? Or are you wound up tight enough as is?"

"Ahz could stan' a cup o' joe, thankee."

"Come on in then. But listen, we have a new kitten and he likes to chew on people's feet. I don't want you shooting him, OK?"

I let him use my "World's Greatest Dad" mug. Once he had his joe in hand, he got back to that oo-fitchul opern curry dot com bizzynuss of his. "Cope, whys d' yew keep anty-agonizin' us gun fellers? Don' yew knows weez a-doin' girlymen lawk yew a favor b' havin' our great e-colizers rawt here wheres we c'n get ad 'em instead o' logged up 'n some frick-frack drawer somewhars?" He patted his piece lovingly. "Y' know, der's a feller from down Flur-dy way what's provened dat some two millsyun crimes got perventioned 'causen fellers lawk me's got guns wit' 'em. 'At's a fact!"

"Far from fact, Red. Guy you're talking about is Gary Kleck, and everything about his findings have been disputed, from the way he conducted his survey to the conclusions he drew. The way he did his research, any numbnuts who carries a gun could claim they stopped a crime, whether or not there was a criminal in sight. With Kleck's method, you could say you're preventing a crime from happening right here in the breakfast nook by virtue of the fact you came with a rod on. Look, whenever you feel like dealing with a little more precision, buddy, check out David McDowall's criticism of Kleck's work in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Or you could go to the National Crime Victimization survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. They put the number of crimes prevented at less than 65,000. Which, incidentally, is about the same number as firearm-caused casualties in America. Every year."

"Seems lawk yews been stud'n' up on dis subjerct some, Cope."

"Some."

"Wells then, whys don' yew write 'bout dem numbers in yer gull-durn comlums 'nstead o' al'ays callin' us gun fellers stew-pid 'n' morons 'n' such? D' yews al'ays gotta be such a name-callin' nastyass?"

"You're not the audience I'm writing for, bub. You're just the subject matter. Numbers don't work on guys like you, anyway. An average of 83 gun deaths a day ... more Americans killed at home with guns in the 20th century than we lost in all of our wars put together ... a U.S. teenager is 11 times more likely to use his daddy's gun to kill himself than in any other country. See, those numbers are out there for everyone to know, and they'd be plenty enough to convince any civilized people. But honestly, I don't believe you'd change your mind about your precious guns if the numbers were 10 times that high. Or a thousand times. You don't give a damn about any statistics that don't support your holy war, Red. Actually, I think I've been kinder on gun nuts than they deserve."

"Der's only one stassictic what ahz cares 'bout, Cope! D' Number Two ... as in d' Number Two Mamentmant t' d' U.S. Caustitootchun, what says no bunch o' gun-cryin' babies c'n make me not wear m' gun whichever ahz wants t'. Dat's why us opern curry boys 'r' wearin' 'em ... an' dat's why yew cain't tells uz we cain't wear 'em!"

"Bullcrap. The Constitution is just the excuse you hide behind. Far as I'm concerned, you do it to make yourselves think you're more important than you are, that's all. You do it because you don't have anything creative or hopeful or promising to add to the human condition, so you have to bring the human condition down to your level. And you do it because you think loud-mouth bluster is the same as true conviction."

"Watch wha' yer says there, Cope! If'n id weren' fer us good ol' gun boys, yews wo'n't have no stinkin' freesdoms o' speech t' says dem awful idjut thangs what yews 'r' al'ays sayin'."

"Believe me, Red, you don't have a thing to do with my or anyone else's freedom of speech, so quit patting yourself on the back. I have freedom of speech because I choose to speak freely. That's it, that's all. I'd no more put my trust in gun-obsessed yahoos to defend my right to call them gun-obsessed yahoos than I'd depend on drunk monkeys to write my columns for me. If you guys were such great fans of free speech, the NRA wouldn't be planting spies in anti-gun groups, would they? Or orchestrating on-line smears against anyone who dares question their motives."

"Dat's not d' point here, Cope. D' point is, if'n yer ain't doin' nothin' wrong, yer gots no reason t' be afeerd o' guns."

"I'm not afraid of guns, Red. It's the fools behind them that make me nervous."

"'At's zactly right! Guns don' kill peep-holes. Peep-holes kill peep-holes! An' if'n yew had yerself a gun 'r' two, yews'd know dat!"

"What makes you think I don't have a gun or two?"

"Acause yew says in yer comlums dat ..."

"Nope. Never said that."

He studied me, bewildered, over the rim of my "World's Greatest Dad" mug. "So's yew god a ...?"

"That's my bizzynuss, Red. And you're never going to know."

He begged to see what I may, or may not, have. But when he left, he left still wondering.