Only in the US

This used to only happen in movies,
movies I didn't want to watch
but Monday it happened again
a twice daily event on average 
in the US
Oddly, this shooter wrote a novel
naming specific names for his victims,
specific sites for his rampage
he wrote about blame and how murder
quenched his thirst

Starting at Cheesman Park
where my daughter and I had
walked in her former neighborhood,
the shooter proceeded 
down the street to murder a man
in his apartment

Oddly, too, that Cheesman Park
was built over an unkept cemetery for
paupers, where bones sometimes
unearth themselves in that movie-
sort-of-way because the headstones,
not the bodies, were relocated

My daughter has since moved 
to a suburb town where this
killing spree ended just down
the street from her new abode

We live what we write, 
we write what we live.
May I write not just about 
pretty snowfalls, intriguing
moonscapes, embracing the
unknown, may I listen to the
whisper I don't want to hear
saying, “Make this change happen,
assault weapons have no
place in a civilians’ hands”
This right to bear arms does not
uphold a well-regulated militia,
it is not necessary for a free State, 
in fact, this distortion of the second amendment*
is an antithesis of what is necessary
to maintain a free State

When will the day come when I 
speak out? I didn't last month
when a boy killed his classmates
just a few miles north of my house
When will the day come when 
we insist on common sense gun
laws that uphold the second
amendment as it was written? 
When will the day come 
when children in schools
are no longer killed in
greater numbers than our soldiers?
When? What if today is the day
I need to take that first step?

Victims of the Oxford High School, Michigan shooting

While the US has the distinction of having more mass shootings than other countries, only 22% of Americans own a gun according to a 2016 investigation by Harvard-Northeastern, and half of all guns in the US are owned by only 3% of the population.

*Text of the second amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Top photo was taken at Cheesman Park in Denver, CO in 2019. Bottom photo is a CNN compilation of the four victims of the Oxford High shooting of December, 2021.


17 thoughts on “Only in the US

    1. Thank you, Heather. It happens way too often. I was involved with the Michigan Coalition Against Gun Violence a few years ago and I guess during the pandemic I stopped being involved. Writing this reminded me that I need to do something. New year’s resolution, I guess. I appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I have looked into it and it is more like 33% of Americans own at least one gun now. In theory I don’t have a problem with gun ownership (although I personally do) but these semi-automatic weapons just have no place in civil society. And they aren’t useful for hunting. I really need to get more involved. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, VJ.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree. It’s crazy to me, but then I’ve never owned a gun or lived in a house with one. Our neighbour, a farmer, has a pellet gun for chasing off unwanted animals, but nothing that kills.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You’ve offered a portrait that’s hard to look at, but look or not, we know it reflects reality. I do not personally know how to get the gun-rights attitude aligned with overall rights (like safe schools, safe neighborhoods). I wince reading about the clear evidence that guns in the hands of unstable people is a disaster in the making. Check this out: – I’m in Texas with 45% gun ownership. Our Governor recently made open carry legal w/o registration. I avoid crowds, and not because of COVID.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As an Australian, I should probably just shut up on this as it’s none of my business… but you might be interested that in 1996 there was a mass shooting in Australia, the Port Arthur massacre, that triggered changes to gun laws and a big amnesty and buy-back of guns. It made a huge difference to gun ownership and gun deaths and while the *conservative* government that implemented it didn’t do much else I approve of, it did work – the statistics are really clear.
    I wish you luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry it took me so long to respond, Kate. I appreciate your response and there’s no need to shut up. I have heard about how Australia responded to that mass shooting and it should be a model for us here in the US to follow. I appreciate you reminding me of it. Common sense gun laws can make a difference and your country can show that to be true.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s the “whys” that keep me up at night. Why can’t we agree that mass shootings are an American problem? Why can’t we agree that something has to be done or this will continue and perhaps even get worse? Why can’t we find middle ground on anything anymore? If murders and suicides of our children do nothing to rally us…I honestly have no idea what will,

    I had several people tell me yesterday, “you shouldn’t be reading about those kids because it makes you upset.” Damn right I’m upset. You should be too. What will it take???

    Liked by 2 people

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