When we first hear the news of another shooting

another list of people dead

we are saddened and our hearts ache

and we immediately bow our heads.


We bow our heads in silence 

for we don’t know what to say.

We bow our heads in reverence. 

We bow our heads to pray.


We pray this killing will stop!

That today will be the last day!

That all sides will put away their differences

and somehow find a way…


to solve this horrendous problem

instead of trying to cover it up!

Because we’ve been bowing our heads so often now


It’s getting harder and harder…to look up.

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As parents we made a promise to our children

the first time we held them in our arms:

To love them unconditionally

To keep them safe from harm…..


But we haven’t kept our promise

to our daughters and our sons…

when we do nothing to stop their being killed

at the hands of someone with a gun….


And so our children now are weeping…

Pleading with us to disrupt this flood

of senseless violence and murder…

and they are crying tears of blood…


We must make a choice now

of what we’re going to do.

If we don’t help them..

if we let them die

then part of us dies too.


We have been failing our children for too long.

At a solution we MUST arrive!

We must do something to keep our promise…

to our children still alive


It’s time to come together…to fulfill that promise

to keep our children free from harm

for we don’t want today to be the last time


we hold them in our arms.

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It’s been 18 days since the Parkland murders caused our nation, once again, to wince…

18 days ago 17 lives were ended…and what has happened since?


18 days after 17 students and teachers were shot dead in their high school’s halls and on its stairs

politicians still refuse to ban assault rifles…

but they do offer thoughts and prayers.


Some of the students who survived and had the courage to speak out

have been ridiculed in social media…their integrity put in doubt. 


In Florida, where this tragedy occurred, and here let me be precise…

the legislature has refused to ban assault rifles…refused…not once…but twice.


The NRA and some politicians sighting the 2nd amendment of our constitution

think putting more guns in more peoples hands is a viable solution.


Even our president thinks part of the answer (is he crazy…or just a fool?)

Thinks we should train teachers, who are willing, and let them carry guns in school. 


In short…nothing has been done to help this problem to our frustration and disdain….

Perhaps before we supply our teachers with guns…

it’s time to remember Dick and Jane.


Dick and Jane taught many of us how to read…in those little books we all adore

When Dick grew up, he took what he learned…

and opened a Sporting Goods Store.


And Jane grew up to be a teacher…

receiving awards and accolades.

She’s spent her lifetime molding the hearts and minds

of her students in third grade.


Dick and Jane see the carnage assault rifles can cause.

Dick’s and Jane’s feelings are intense.

Dick and Jane say when it comes to guns in America 

we should use some common sense.


Dick says ban assault rifles…they are for killing…not for fun.

Jane says close the loopholes in the gun laws and don’t sell to anyone under 21.


Dick says we need universal background checks.

Jane agrees gun buyers backgrounds we should trace.

Dick and Jane say anyone banned from purchasing a gun…

should be in a national data base. 


Dick and Jane know there’s no easy solution.

Dick and Jane know something must be done…

Dick and Jane know there are avenues we must try.

And Dick and Jane would never give a teacher a gun.


Dick and Jane don’t want to ban all guns

Just assault rifles no one needs…

Dick and Jane would like to see them banned

before the next school or movie theater, or restaurant, or place of business or concert venue, or any other setting bleeds.


Though frustrated Dick Jane are optimistic. 

and Dick and Jane know what they’re talking about.

Because when politicians refuse do what the majority wants

Dick and Jane know… 


It’s time to vote them out.

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As I watch our country send it’s people away…while trying to keep others out

I wonder about the flame that warms our melting pot…when did that flame go out?


As I watch our president stir up hate and anger so talk about building a wall can begin

I wonder…what happened to our founding fathers who invited everybody in…


As I watch what the adults are doing with our world…how everything they do seems so wrong…

I wonder…what happened to the children…who were taught to get along?


As I watch a world at war with itself…filled with hate and discontent…

I wonder…what happened to the children who were once so pure and innocent?


As I watch people hate other people because of their skin…their religion…their name

I wonder…what happened to the children…once taught to treat everyone the same?


As I watch religious people use their religion to hate lesbians and gays…

I wonder what happened to those innocent children…the ones we taught to pray…


To pray for love throughout the world…to pray that war and hatred would cease…

To pray that everyone would live together in harmony and peace.


And then I remember those children…the ones who laughed…who wanted only to have fun…

Since 1999 from Columbine to Stoneman High…

we’ve been killing them with guns.



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Another mass shooting this one in California…and another day goes by…

289 people are shot in America each day…87 of them die…


I’m not sure which is sadder that each day 289 shootings are taking place

or that the number no longer bothers us …that shootings are commonplace.


It doesn’t seem to matter if the murders are splashed across the evening news,

it doesn’t make a difference, it doesn’t change our views.


Oh, we’re angry for a moment…and for a moment it gives us pause…

but it doesn’t stop the killing…it doesn’t change the laws.


Would it be different if we knew that every 17 minutes in the rise and setting of our sun

someone in America is killed at the hands of someone with a gun?


When we look at the sheer numbers how can we not weep or shriek…

when we do the math and calculate we lose 600 people every week?


It is sad to think more people are gone who were here the day before

and even sadder to think we can multiply their family’s grief by over 600 more.


There is a problem in our society, the numbers do not lie.

It leaves many of us frustrated as each day more people die.


Until something is done to curb this violence that everyone deplores

I’m afraid today, like yesterday, will be a little sadder than it was the day before.


If you don’t believe we’ve become accustomed to this violence…

Here is what I mean….

This poem you’re reading right now…today…

I first wrote in January…





Sometimes when it comes to how regularly we’re killing each other

it seems like we’re tumbling inside a flood…

being swept away by the raging waters of destruction…

or, for those left behind…stuck deep in the mud.


I wish our government was like the first governments ever formed

for their designers all agreed…

that the safety of their citizens…

was…their highest priority.


Mesopotamia…Rome…Greece…from the pyramids to the Casbah

the safety of their citizens…was the first and highest law.


But we’ve reached a point in America…(for some people it has proven to be too late)

where the safety of our citizens…is now something we debate.


It’s not guns that are the problem…it’s mental health…some say

It’s not mental health it’s the guns…

and so we dance this cruel and pestilent ballet.


And while we dance…people across our land are hurt…

and some of them are dying…

and all we offer are love and prayers…

while their loved ones stand by…crying


We are not safe in our churches…(follow this pattern-it repeats)

We are not safe in our schools…in our movie theaters, at our concerts…on our streets.


Our citizens are not safe…in this dangerous world we have created

Our citizens are not safe…while solutions are being debated.


The left…the right…the NRA…the president…the constitution…

all spend time in the debate without proffering solutions.


Difficult decisions are, by definition, difficult…but we have reached a climax when…

the safety of our citizens must be our highest priority…again!


We must follow our hearts…mistakes be damned!

We must do something before more of our citizens fall…

Because continuing to do nothing (as we’ve already seen) 

will be our greatest mistake of all!


Unless we come up with ways to decrease the killings 

we’ll continue to be tumbling inside this flood…

only it’s not water that we’ll be drowning in…


it’s our friends and family’s blood.


Hurricanes are massive…they devastate cities, homes…and more.

But hurricanes are natural disasters…we can’t stop them from coming ashore.


We have come to realize that hurricanes, swirling off the water, are the norm…

So we try to build our houses better in hopes they stand up to the storm.


Tornadoes wipe out entire neighborhoods on a scale wide and grand.

But tornadoes are natural disasters we can’t stop their blowing across the land


We realize that tornadoes, across our countryside, are the norm

So we try to make sure our buildings have basements to take shelter from the storm.


Earthquakes crumble buildings in an instant…entire cities from the quaking

But earthquakes are natural disasters…we can’t stop the ground from shaking.


We realize that earthquakes will destroy our cities, destroy our towns

So we try to make our buildings stronger in the hopes they won’t fall down..


Another mass shooting has brought us all to tears…causing sorrow, causing woe

We can’t understand how anyone can take a gun and kill people they don’t know.


Innocent people murdered from every walk of life…

They are someone’s child, someone’s grandchild…someone’s husband…someone’s wife.


They were out for fun together…why they were shot…they know not why…

One minute they were laughing…they did not expect to die.


They were soldiers who have fought in wars…across other countries they have roamed…

How could they survive the terrors of a war…only to be murdered in they’re home?


These mass shootings continue to dishearten to break our hearts…and again we are appalled…

Mass shootings are certainly disasters…but they’re not natural at all…


We may not be able to stop people from killing…perhaps we never will…

but we have it within our power…to make it harder for them to kill.


If we can better prepare ourselves for natural disasters 

I have to wonder why…

When it comes to mass shootings…and automatic weapons…

why are we afraid to try?


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It was just like any other high school…it’s name was Columbine

when 2 students decided to shoot it up…in April of ’99.

They killed 13 innocent people…without a reason or a rhyme…

We wanted to talk about gun control then…

But we were told: It’s not the time.


And so we did nothing.


13 years later, one man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School

shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults…without a reason or a rhyme…

We wanted to talk about gun control then…

But we were told: It’s not the time.


And so we did nothing.


3 years later a man walked into a prayer service at a church in Charleston

shot and killed 9 people…without a reason or a rhyme.

We wanted to talk about gun control then…

But we were told: It’s not the time.


And so we did nothing.


1 year later at a nightclub in Orlando. 

A man shot and killed 49 people…without a reason or a rhyme.

We wanted to talk about gun control then…

But we were told: It’s not the time.


And so we did nothing.


1 year later from 32 stories up and 4 football fields away

one man, his intentions they are still surmising,

shoots randomly into a concert…and the death toll is still rising.


We don’t know why he did it…there seems to be no reason or no rhyme…

And we want to talk about gun control…

But again we’re told: It’s not the time.


I’ve heard people say, there’s nothing to do…this is the price of freedom…

but I beg to disagree

This is not the price of freedom…it’s the price of anarchy.


I’ve heard people say, guns don’ kill people…people kill people…

And it’s obvious the person shooting is deranged or mentally ill…

That’s true…but we give them easy access to automatic weapons…

automatic weapons that are meant to kill!


If it wasn’t the right time in 1999, 2012, 2015, 2016

or after this latest deadly and senseless shooting spree..

Would someone please tell me…for I’m at a loss,…

When would that right time be?


(I wonder how can we believe any congressman or representative

when they tell us it’s not the right time today…

How can we possibly believe them…


If they’re taking more from the NRA?)

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When I was a boy I had toy guns…my parents could buy them at any store…

I played cops and robbers with my friends.

I played cowboys and Indians…and war.


One gun I filled with caps…they came in a little roll, …red and round…

and when I squeezed its trigger…that toy made a gun-popping sound.


Then I grew up, I’m not sure when, and other thoughts occupied my mind

I discovered other games to play…and I left toy guns behind.


Now I’m and adult…I have no guns…but they can be purchased at many stores

People can own an arsenal of weapons…even when we’re not fighting a war.


And some of those people are using those guns

To kill innocent people… families and friends…

And after each new atrocity happens we ask….

when will this senselessness end?


Can’t those who love guns and those who hate them come together

combining their divergent views…

putting their differences aside for the good of this country

and come up with something to do?


Because we can no longer trust that every gun owner is decent…

and we can’t on their own integrity keep relying…

because those aren’t caps they are loading into their guns

and innocent people are dying!


Because once again we’ve seen the horrors real guns can do…

how they can injure and take life away…

Because reality is so much different…

than the games I used to play.


Because we don’t want to see another person murdered…

at a concert, in a restaurant or riding a bus…

And because we don’t want to worry and wonder…


if the next victim will be one of us?