Yes, another 17 dead,
Killed by a madman fueled by demons unseen
Using an assault weapon to end lives of innocents.
There will be much talk in the days ahead
About how to stop such senseless tragedies.
We will propose laws, craft legislation aimed at a target,
The easiest one target to find, label and vanquish.
Yes, there is no rational explanation
For the private ownership of military-style weapons.
The Second Amendment protects hunters, sportsmen and those who want to be safe.
It does not, arguably, protect those who want to overthrow the government.
Despite the soaring rhetoric of the Declaration, Treason is still punishable by death.
But long after bills are signed and corked popped by those who have “won”,
There will still be assault weapons out on the streets of America,
Ones we are allowed to use with little to no restriction.
Everyone one carries this weapon every day
And whether we use it to protect or assassinate
Is wholly up to the owner.
The weapon of choice of most of us is sleek in design
And most efficient in its ability to maximize pain and suffering.
The assault weapon we use every day, often without impunity
Is the tongue. Our words are the bullets, often silver, as they can slay
The mightiest of opponents.
“The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do,” the ancients remind us.
We proudly beat our chests and demand our freedom of speech,
As if it is not also a responsibility.
We want freedom from religion in any form, but crave the power to use words as weapons.
I am castigated if I share my faith with you, offer prayer and encouragement,
But if you call someone an F—ing whore on a school campus or a Snapchat story,
Well, that’s just freedom of speech.
What it is is something else.
But, while I have the freedom to hurl the invective,
I choose to employ enough self-restraint not to.
Yeah, but how bad can it be?
They’re just words.
They disappear like mist as soon as they are spoken.
10 seconds and they’re vapor.
O, the lies of instant messages instantly forgotten.
For your information, more teens die by their own hand each year than by another.
And you know, deep down in the hidden cavern of your soul,
You know those hate-filled daggers of insults cleverly phrases we love to compose
Are at least one of the weapons that lead to their unfortunate and unnecessary demise.
It’s also part of the reason they pick up guns and rifles and come after the most vulnerable among us.
So, what if you don’t say such things?
What if you the one who says nothing
When others say something?
You are free from blame, right?
You keep telling yourself that.
Let’s be honest with ourselves.
“No one does good, not even one.”
You might think I am trying to divert your attention,
Change the subject so that real reform does not happen.
That I want to protect rights and kill children.
How dare you!
I spend each day in a classroom.
I am on the front line. These killers are coming to my place of work, not yours.
They are aiming for me, not you.
Of course I want a safe campus.
But I know that more of my students are under assault every day
And we don’t do nearly enough to regulate the use of their firearms.
Of course, this begins with us, you and I.
I am very, very good at the clever retort,
My insults are razor sharp and can wound just as well as yours.
So, here’s a thought.
Let’s stop the verbal barrage on others,
Setting a horrid example for those who watch our every move
And know when we step false.
I am not simply mad about this situation,
Like I would be about being late to dinner.
I am enraged, livid, dismayed and disgusted.
I also am unwilling to accept the status quo.
We must not accept the unceasing discharge of this silent killer of soul and spirit.
But the only way we can win this war on the soul of our nation.
Is through mutual disarmament.
So, I’ll put down my assault weapon, if you put down yours.