Guns used to shoot themselves,
like the Lone Ranger’s gun when it shot the gun
out of the hand of the crooked land-grabber.
Guns don’t shoot themselves anymore,
but people have been shooting people,
and not just winging them.
People, not being like guns, shoot themselves,
and while pointing guns they shoot people –
people who freak out from fear of being shot,
people who talk back, caught
between the two freedoms –
freedom of speech
and freedom after speech.
Guns don’t escalate fear, no.
Fear escalates itself, in people behind guns
and in people in front of guns.
They used to be mostly big people,
these people who are shot.
Now the trend is little people.
More attention? Who knows why.
It is a ritual now, like Thanksgiving,
a turkey shoot, with little people
being hit and bleeding out,
part of the national heartbeat –
maybe now the excuses will die,
no, just people die –
causing (people causing) our emotions
to go down, and up, and down again.
Don’t you think it deserves a holiday of its own?
School Shooting Day. It could be on June 14th.
This would save busy people the trouble
of raising their flags all the way
to the top of the pole.
(Those precious seconds, at minimum wage,
would offset millions in tax cuts.)
After half-saluting we could each silently
internalize the motto – No Relief Allowed.
But, you see, this is a trick.
The depressed brainwashed copycat takes the cue
and observes this day like Valentine’s Day,
but instead of a card (also something
that is available to anyone)
he buys a tool for mass murder
and drives over to a school.
He shoots and shoots,
but it is summer, no kids are there.
It is a school shooting. What he had in mind
was a children shooting. That is the trick, see?
It is like throwing rocks at your school
when you really wanted to throw them at people.
Of course, rocks don’t throw themselves.
Vere McCarty edits the Salem Writes column.
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