Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aurora Massacre -- a poem

In the wake of the Aurora Massacre, pundits of all stripes are saying the same things they always say after all the massacres. In this sort of situation, poems are better, even if they may be just as inadequate as any other form of communication. There is also an audio version.

Aurora Massacre

The survivors will hug and tell their stories
With flashing lights the living and the dead
Will be taken to the morgues and to the hospitals
We'll hear about the last words that they said
At least if it was a notable occasion
Like if it happened just down the road from Columbine
If the victims numbered in the dozens
The murder plan especially malign

The governor will talk about the senselessness
The madness that must explain the crime
Some will ask about the guns, six thousand rounds of ammunition
He bought legally all at the same time
If the murders were especially dramatic
This man will have his week of fame
But by around this time next year
Just a few will remember his name

Fewer still will remember his victims
In this great nation that seems to have no peer
And who can blame us for our amnesia
With fourteen thousand killed by guns last year
But for now they'll talk about his methods
They'll ask how he came to be this way
They'll hire more policemen in the theaters
It's another massacre in the USA

They'll ask about his schooling
Who could have seen these warning signs
Some will ask why he had access
To buying an assault combine
Former victims will speak out on the TV
They'll have a platform for just a little while
Until something else takes over
Like a storm or a fire or the latest summer style

They'll talk about violent films and video games
The social disconnection of the youth
They'll talk about the cubicles and headsets
With each one separated in a little booth
They'll talk about bullying in schools
They'll talk about all sorts of social ills
They'll ask if he smoked marijuana
And if he was on any kinds of pills

The corpses will be removed from the theater
They'll replace the seats and wash away blood stains
The NRA will lay low for a week or two
While pouring money into electoral campaigns
The President will praise the First Responders
And ask God for these madmen to be cured
The Assault Weapons Ban will be voted down in Congress
And the next massacre will be assured

5 comments:

Ariel said...

Excellent poem and important observations.

China has been publishing an annual report on the human rights record of the U.S.

I've clipped out the section on gun crimes. It's pretty sobering information. I'm dividing it into more comments so that it can all be seen, as there's a limit to the number of characters in a comment.

The government's failure to protect citizens from gun crimes is presented as a major human rights issue, which is not the way it's seen in the U.S.

On life, property and personal security

The United States has mighty strength in human, financial and material resources to exert effective control over violent crimes. However, its society is chronically suffering from violent crimes, and its citizens' lives, properties and personal security are in lack of proper protection.

A report published by the US Department of Justice on Sept 15, 2011, revealed that in 2010 the US residents aged 12 and above experienced 3.8 million violent victimizations, 1.4 million serious violent victimizations, 14.8 million property victimizations and 138,000 personal thefts.

The violent victimization rate was 15 victimizations per 1,000 residents (www.bjs.gov). The crime rate surged in many cities and regions in the United States.

In the southern region of the United States, there were 452 violent crimes and 3,438.8 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants (in 2010) on average (The Wall Street Journal, Sept 20, 2011).

Ariel said...

Just four weeks into 2011, San Francisco saw eight homicides - compared with five during the same time of the previous year, with Oakland racking up 11, when the previous year in the same period it had four (The San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 29, 2011).

Grand larcenies in the subway in New York City increased from 852 in 2010 to 1,075 cases in the first nine months of 2011, a 25 percent jump (The China Press, Sept 24, 2011).

Homicide cases in Detroit in 2011 saw a 13.5 percent rise over 2010 (www.buzzle.com). Between January and October 2011, a total of 123,924 serious crime cases took place in Chicago (portal.chicagopolice.org).

An anti-bullying public service announcement declared in January 2011 that more than six million schoolchildren experienced bullying in the previous six months (CNN, Mar 10, 2011).

According to statistics from the Family First Aid, almost 30 percent of teenagers in the United States are estimated to be involved in school bullying (www.familyfirstaid.org).

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The United States prioritizes the right to keep and bear arms over the protection of citizens' lives and personal security and exercises lax firearm possession control, causing rampant gun ownership.

The US people hold between 35 percent and 50 percent of the world' s civilian-owned guns, with every 100 people having 90 guns (Online edition of the Foreign Policy, Jan 9, 2011).

According to a Gallup poll in October 2011, 47 percent of American adults reported that they had a gun. That was an increase of six percentage points from a year ago and the highest Gallup had recorded since 1993.

Fifty-two percent of middle-aged adults, aged between 35 and 54, reported to own guns, and the adults' gun ownership in the south region was 54 percent (The China Press, Oct 28, 2011).

The New York Times reported on Nov 14, 2011, that since 1995, more than 3,300 felons and people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors had regained their gun rights in the state of Washington and of that number, more than 400 had subsequently committed new crimes, including shooting and other felonies (The New York Times, Nov 14, 2011).

Ariel said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The United States is the leader among the world's developed countries in gun violence and gun deaths. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

According to a report of the Foreign Policy on Jan 9, 2011, over 30,000 Americans die every year from gun violence and another 200,000 Americans are estimated to be injured each year due to guns (Online edition of the Foreign Policy, Jan 9, 2011).

According to statistics released by the US Department of Justice, among the 480,760 robbery cases and 188,380 rape and sexual assault cases in 2010, the rates of victimization involving firearms were 29 percent and 7 percent, respectively (www.bjs.gov).

On Jun 2, 2011, a shooting rampage in Arizona left six people dead and one injured (The China Press, Jun 3, 2011).

In Chicago, more than 10 overnight shooting incidents took place just between the evening of Jun 3 and the morning of Jun 4 (Chicago Tribune, Jun 4, 2011). Another five overnight shootings occurred between Aug 12 evening and Aug 13 morning in Chicago. These incidents have caused a number of deaths and injuries (Chicago Tribune, Aug 13, 2011).

Shooting spree cases involving one gunman shooting dead over five people also happened in the states of Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Nevada and Southern California (The New York Times, Oct 13, 2011; CNN, Jul 8, 2011; CBS, Jul 23, 2011;USA Today, Aug 9, 2011).

High incidence of gun-related crimes has long ignited complaints of the US people and they stage multiple protests every year, demanding the government strictly control the private possession of arms. The US government, however, fails to pay due attention to this issue.

Megan Elizabeth said...

can we please get to a point where nobody wants to purchase assault weapons...or better and still, nobody has it in their mind to produce such weapons. laws will not do. we are only as far away as we think from this peace...real and true. thank you, David.

Anonyme said...

Hi !
Did you really wrote this text ? It is very beautiful. What can you say about guns today ? It was 2 years ago and I don't know about what it is going on now. Do you know something ? an improvement ?
(sorry for my english, I come from France)