It’s not wonderful that nearly a year and a half after the Parkland Shooting, there was been no movement on gun reform in our country. Back in February of 2018, this is the poem I wrote in response to the event and the tactless—not to mention meaningless—chorus of republican “thoughts and prayers.”
Call Script for the Reporting of Bad & Erratic Behavior
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
Authorities? I would like to report bad & erratic behavior that poses a serious threat to public safety. I believe this man could be armed & dangerous. It’s also been said that he has a matchstick temper & is mentally ill. That may be conjecture, but I’ve been told to report such instances to the authorities. I think he intends to do harm to us all. I should also mention he has access to guns & other deadly weapons. His address? He moves around, but I believe he can be reached at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C. at least some of the time.
Hi, is this the police? I’m trying to report the bad & erratic behavior of internet trolls who spread the claim the Parkland shooter was a member of the white supremacist group the Republic of Florida. They called it a “prime trolling opportunity.” Basking in American dread. Their bad & erratic behavior is spreading & they want it to burn over our TV screens: bump stocks, paramilitary, the men in white capes, the ones who will proudly state “yes, this shooter was one of ours.” I’ve been told to report such instances. I’ve been told internet trolls are harmless, but now the quiet mouths of 17 classmates & teachers did not live to tell us what they were murdered for…
Head to Poets Reading the News for the full poem and audio of me reading it.
Where do we go from here?
Democratic candidates for president, Eric Swalwell, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren are all dedicated to tackling gun violence in the US head-on. I appreciate their fortitude. I have two nieces still in high school—and one even younger—who have to practice “active shooter” drills the same way we used to practice for earthquakes. As a high-anxiety kid, I thought earthquake drills were frightening, but I’d never known anyone to die from an earthquake. How must our kids feel hiding under their desks knowing that about 7 children are shot and killed every day in the United States? Via Everytown:
THE DEADLY IMPACT OF GUNS ON AMERICAN CHILDREN AND TEENS
Annually, nearly 2,900 children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed, and nearly 15,600 are shot and injured—that’s an average of 51 American young people every day. And the effects of gun violence extend far beyond those struck by a bullet: An estimated three million children witness a shooting each year.3 Gun violence shapes the lives of the children who witness it, know someone who was shot, or live in fear of the next shooting.
It’s despicable, and I know you know it—it’s self evident, just like that line in the Declaration of Independence—children should not be actively dying from gun violence in our nation.
Today is the 4th of July. As I write this, I’m relaxing in the safety of my home. An update to my website is long overdo, and as I work on my building an internet presence I think—god, what a silly thing to worry about when at our nation’s southern border children are being held in cages, women and men cramped into cells and denied access to personal hygiene and proper nutrition. I mean, bologna sandwiches and no showers for 40 days.
All this is to say that today I’m celebrating America by casting a critical eye upon it, which as a free citizen I have every right to do. As I say in the Call Script, “Hello? I’d like to talk to the person in charge.” Who is that person? Because honestly, it doesn’t seem like the Desperate Cheeto is in full control of anything much less our trajectory as a nation of compassionate Americans. I’m sure you’re worried as much as I am. So I’m sending out tidings of courage, hope, and compassion and before I gather my dogs close and try to keep them from shivering at the sound of illegal fireworks going off all the over the neighborhood, I’ll light a candle for us all. Remember that cruelty is cheap and as the “richest” nation in the world, we can afford to do better.
Happy Independence Day.
May you be safe from gun violence and free to shower whenever you please.
Patriotic Bella is not amused.