VIOLENCE (a barlette)
Kids on playgrounds
play cops and robbers
(“Bang! You’re dead!”)
mandated by FCC, any cartoon
(Lots of ‘heroes’ in bloody battles.)
Coaches in high school
Sometimes violence = cash
(A Benjamin if you take out the QB)
Gay teens shoved in lockers
for daring to be themselves
(“My pastor says they’re evil.”)
At home, children try to ignore
drunk mom and dad going at it again
(“Time to play Grand Theft Auto.”)
A Connecticut mom has five guns, all
registered, all legal, all for use
(Why give a troubled kid access?)
Unbalanced, alienated son
walks into school for reasons unknown
(First he killed his mom and took her guns.)
NRA: “Guns don’t kill people.
People kill people.”
(Morons. People with guns kill people.)
How many presents have been bought
for kids who are not coming home?
(And what will we do about the weapons?)
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
NOTES: A barlette is my own form. Two or three lines, followed by a commentary in parentheses. ABC Wednesday is on the letter “V,” and I was stuck… until today. Also on the rolling sidebar at Poets United.
I am a firm supporter of the Second Amendment, because many Americans (especially Wisconsinites) hunt and use the animals they kill fully, wisely. My brother-in-law, now deceased, used to shoot one deer and turn all the venison into marinated meats for the freezer.
All the same, “assault rifles” MUST GO. By “assault rifle,” I mean any gun or rifle that shoots more than one bullet with one pull of the trigger. It’s that simple. Banning certain models simply means manufacturers will modify that model a bit and skirt the law.
Ted Nugent is embraced by the Right (who seem to forget he dodged the draft in Nam by smearing himself with his feces and not bathing and acting like he was mentally ill). Now he’s a “good patriot” by opening his ranch to vets in wheelchairs and giving them assault rifles to shoot imported game. Probably the last thing a traumatized vet needs is a gun in his hands.
If I hear, “Obama’s gonna take my guns and then he’s gonna make this a police state” one more time, I’ll vomit. My old friend Leslie moved to Newtown when we were in the fifth grade. I visited her often when we were growing up; her heart is broken. She was the one who gave me the last line; as she said, “How many parents already have presents wrapped and hidden in the closet for children who aren’t coming home?”
I pray for the families who lost loved ones, especially parents whose small child was killed today. I pray that the president will take this incident and push for gun control that really works. And I pray that the fear that has gripped our nation since 9/11 (collective PTSD) will give way to dialog, to common goals, and to peace. Amy
December 15, 2012 at 1:40 am
Well said…my heart is breaking for all those families who lost loved ones today! We are a continent away but it feels like it’s happened just down the street, and as a former teacher, I can’t imagine the horror that happened in that school today.
December 15, 2012 at 2:32 am
Your poem is a telling indictment. But why should even hunting shotguns be a universal RIGHT. In UK even these must be licensed, and the license is not given to just anyone – they are police vetted. All other guns are illegal, so far as I know, and nobody complains about loss of their “rights”
December 15, 2012 at 3:04 am
It’s tragic, so heartbreaking…those poor children and families… your poem speaks the truth…we have very strict gun laws here, and if you want to hunt you have to jump through a lot of legal hoops to get a license and personally I feel that’s how it should be.
December 15, 2012 at 5:11 am
Nothing will change . And we’ll have the same damn conversation after the next tragedy.
December 15, 2012 at 5:37 am
Guns are legalized for sports if only left in the right hands. On this basis if others not authorized get their hands on them (as in this case) who is accountable? This is further complicated as the gun-holder (the mother) was earlier killed ( perhaps in a failed attempt to stop the son) However strict laws are enacted in gun control, it’s lethal and can be misused/abused anytime! Great for bringing it up Amy!
December 15, 2012 at 6:00 am
it was your last stanza that got me…kids not coming hom they have already bought presents for….ugh…i agree though…we need to change something
December 15, 2012 at 8:03 am
Your comments are as poignant as your poem. XO
Sherry Blue Sky
December 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm
Amy, you have nailed it. with your poem and comments. The entirety of North America – in fact the entirety of the global consciousness – needs to be healed. Collective PTSD for sure. And now one more gaping wound.
December 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm
Ordinary Words…More barlettes please….this was well done♫
December 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm
well said…and nice poem. i liked the barlettes.
RIghts of one person stops where of another begins. I have not been able to understand the logic behind people supporting arms rights in a country which is among the safest in the world.
Pamela Smyk Cleary
December 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm
Such a sad state of affairs, Amy. Well said. Only hoping the right folks are listening and prepared to take action.
December 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm
Amy, I love that you have created your own form–it is perfect. And as usual you have provided astute and clear commentary too–we need control, we don’t need assault weapons. And I am right there on my knees with you, praying for peace.
December 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm
Indictment indeed. A very strongly, well worded, passionate commentary. I love that we live in a part of the world where we can share our points of view. Your writing was crisp and clear. I know there is a right answer for all countries, but too bad we cannot ban the politics that will messy the way of any solution.
December 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm
As usual, you hit it perfectly Ameleh. Loved: People with guns! kill people!
Happy Christmas to you, el Lex and La Riley!- Your brudda in Christ, Mosk
December 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm
Hi Amy, I would like to share this piece on my Facebook page–I hope that is ok with you–
December 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm
I agree with every single thing you’ve said here Amy. In the UK there are strict laws in place about anyone owning a gun. They have to have all sorts of mental fitness tests, be examined by one or two independent doctors and have all sorts of police checks done on them. They are also not allowed to keep a gun in their houses unless they are in adequate lockers, cupboards behind lock and keys. There were 8 deaths due ti guns in the UK last year, there were over 10,700 in the USA. Something wrong with the picture.
So sad it all has to be open for debate and not just changed for the sake of no more killings like this last horrific one.
December 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm
Well said Amy. You’ve made some very good points. My heart is just broken… it’s like these crazy ones are trying to outdo each other and really, can it get worse? I don’t want to hear the answer to that. Daydreamertoo’s comment really hit home. Eight deaths? Only eight? Why can’t we learn from that? I’ve considered the Christmas presents. They were just little kids… something has to change.
December 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm
December 19, 2012 at 9:40 am
So much to think about in your words, Amy! Not sure what the answer is, but something must happen to prevent these things from happening again and again.
December 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm
Well said Amy.
December 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm
Well said indeed! My piece this week, and my thoughts afterward share the same train of thought. I too support sportsmen, but a ban on automatic and assault firearms. Something must and should be done!
Semaphore / Samuel Peralta
December 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm
Well done. You demarcate the lines of this debate very clearly, and I know exactly which side I’m on. No assault weapons. Period.
December 20, 2012 at 1:33 am
Yes we all are feeling this. This massacre might tip the balance. We as a nation are as schizophrenic as the crazies who wreak these monstrous acts on our society. People with guns…exactly, and not only that as I said at dinner tonight – nearly everyone is apt to get angry enough once to want to wipe the other person out for up to two to three minutes. If you have to go get a knife or a sword, you’ll get over it, you’ll calm down but if you have a gun in your pocket or purse – will there be enough cool down time? I don’t think so. For me I would have no one with guns and available only in extreme cases to the police.
December 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm
“People with guns kill people” AMEN!!!
December 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Great commentary, Amy. I can’t wait to see the interview with the head of the NRA and David Gregory.
December 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm
As always you hit the nail on the head, my friend. Your voice can be heard through your words. Thank You!
January 6, 2013 at 9:01 am
You have my vote!