Thursday, March 1, 2018

Calling Bullshit

Emma Gonzales
photo by Jonathan Drake, Reuters



Their leaders are failing them,
so they say “We will be the change
we need to see.”
They are tired of waiting,
so they say, “We call b.s.”
that the NRA donated 30 million
to the repubs,
who refuse to legislate
tougher gun laws,
though other countries have shown
this is the answer.

I call b.s. too,
that MR-15’s – weapons of war -
are available to anyone
who wants one
and that the prez’s answer
to school shootings
is to arm the teachers.
We have fallen so far down
the rabbit hole
we can no longer see the sky.

But when these young people speak
Truth to power,
Hope rises in my heart
like a brand new day.
Damn right, I’ll walk with them,
support them,
drink in the inspiration of
their pure, unvarnished truth,
stitch up my tattered heart
and march again.


I can’t literally march for this issue, as I live in Canada, and we have other things to march for. But in my heart I am marching, listening, supporting, and speaking out with these kids, who are rising up to make this world more worthy of their presence. Here come our future leaders, who are already providing more leadership than we have seen this past year: Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin. And students all over the country are planning to March for Their Lives on March 24.

When it came to this most recent massacre of school children in the US – the seventeenth shooting in 2018 (and it is just barely March), according to Everytown for Gun Safety  - I had had it. It was with complete admiration that I listened to the young rising up to do what their leaders refuse to do, insisting upon legislated change. Thankfully, these kids will soon be of voting age. I place my hope in them and in the voices in government rising in support of gun legislation – Joe Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, and others.

Corporate interests are now withdrawing their connections to the NRA. Good news, as it is in the pocketbook that impact is most felt by those ruled by money.

Maybe this is the tipping point, where the majority of us, good-hearted people with no Big Money agendas, say “Enough is enough!”

In Canada, we have our problems. But we do not have this repeated incidence of gun violence. We have gun legislation. People still have rifles, still hunt, still can buy the firearms they feel they need. But there are background checks, and guns are registered.  ASSAULT RIFLES are not available to the public. An intelligent, immediate response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting would be to remove assault weapons from sale to the public in the US. That would be a good first step. No civilian, and no hunter,  needs weapons of war.

On March 24, young people will be marching on Washington and across the country. I hope Washington will hear them and not insult their intelligence by ludicrously repeating that arming teachers will make their schools safe.

for my prompt at Real Toads: Being the Change

16 comments:

  1. I think this is a very powerful and moving poem. But I wonder if gun control is fixing a symptom, not the actual problem. Why are kids/adults snapping, psychologically? What the hell is going on that so many broken minds are being produced? Is this an issue with home life and/or education? I'm about to pull my kid out of school again because of all the B.S. she's having to endure every day --- both from peers and from teachers. The safety zone in her brain is being compromised, and I'm afraid that is not going to help her become a "safe" adult with a healthy mind.

    The pressure on kids these days is nutso. It's just too much. How can a child be someone who counts, someone who matters, if he/she is set up to fail (by the "system") in the first place? I'm not talking about those who can't help but succeed; I'm talking about those who struggle ... to find their place, to do well, to cope, to float.

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  2. You make a very good point. There does seem to be incredible stress, pressure, disconnection and unwellness going on. So hard for kids to handle. I applaud parents who turn to home schooling to remove that stress from their kids. It is a good move for many.

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  3. As a teacher, and as a human being, I refuse to bear arms among children. Society(the adults and leaders and parents) is failing the very generation which must inherit the future, and weapons are not the solution to keep them in check. Where is the guidance, the nuturing, the positive role model? Your words stir up a lot of emotion, Sherry. i thank you for them and for your most timely prompt to Be the Change.

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  4. The sacrifice of our children is an acceptable cost to feed the boundless appetite of American gunlove. Thanks for cranking up the volume of refusal here, and for providing a platform for it as well.

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  5. Powerful Sherry and I will march with them too! They are our hope now that they have risen! Reminds me of the youth who protested the Vietnam war...I was in middle school and could only support them with my voice as I was too young.

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  6. I come from a country with one of the highest number of guns per capita...

    We do have gun violence with illegal guns (thugs shooting thugs) but the police can prosecute them for having guns.

    If you have a gun, you have to have a license with training and you have to keep your gun locked up when not in use... But suicide by gun still exist...

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  7. As an American, and as a former substitute teacher, I am shocked as hell with this scheme of arming teachers. Who in HELL would ever want to be a teacher knowing that they would possibly be the first line of defense against maniacs? And you don't want to EVER arm me as I am a terrible shot! The powers that be have had enough time to discuss and solve this issue, but they won't and don't want to. God only knows why. Florida legislators? Totally failed these students. Arrogant sots. More guns is not the answer. Living in Atlanta where every lowdown thug and his mother have a gun shows me that we are so far from disarming it is insane. And guns are insane.

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  8. "drink in the inspiration of
    their pure, unvarnished truth,
    stitch up my tattered heart
    and march again."

    We are one on this issue!

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  9. Strong and impactful lines. With so much commotion going around, it's time to bring the change.

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  10. I love the emotion in these lines, Seherry:
    'But when these young people speak
    Truth to power,
    Hope rises in my heart
    like a brand new day.
    Damn right, I’ll walk with them,
    support them,
    drink in the inspiration of
    their pure, unvarnished truth,
    stitch up my tattered heart
    and march again.'

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. These young people give me hope among so much hopelessness! May they continue to persist in changing the world.

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  13. Sooo right on, Sherry. And arming the teachers is the most asinine way of solving the problem I can think of. Teachers do not want this, they do not teach in order to use their weapons like a hunt, they teach for the students' benefit, for the students to learn. They have though, seen a lot, learned a lot about human nature and values through this tragic incident. No nicely written, every person in a governing position should read yours and lots of the many others. But I'm sure their heads are made up and they feel they need their pockets lined more and WILL DO NOTHING, at least nothing to match the enormity of the situation.
    ..

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  14. p.s. I taught 22 years, I can feel for both the teachers and surely for the students here.
    ..

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  15. Sherry, thank you for a poetry challenge that is timely, necessary, brave and bold.

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!