Baby teeth and bullets

I’m Calvin’s lonely cousin
the one without a friend
The darkly-quiet moody one
The one who couldn’t blend
I’m the smoker in the stairwell,
skipping school all day
the fall-between-the-crack-type-kid
the one who slips away


I’m the ink inside the headlines
the lead story on the news
The kid the network anchor says
was surely born to lose
I’m the details at eleven
a community in shock
I’m the often-bullied quirky kid
who lived just up the block


I’m a parent’s darkest nightmare
I’m my doctors deep concern
I’m the angst that no one seems to get
the match about to burn
I’m an issue in the social science
circles of the day
I’m the brush it underneath the rug
that never goes away

I see angels circling the sun
feathered wings and halos
golden and hand-spun
Frozen little angels
Circling the sun
bursting into rain drops
cleansing everyone

I’m the isolated Incel
The bullet in the gun
The angry white American
Who’s blaming everyone
I’m the cryptic manifesto
The video online
The AR-15 lover-boy
Who grew-up Columbine

I’m the one who gave up caring
I’m the anger and the rage
I’m the finger on the trigger
I’m the tiger in the cage

I’m the suicide by cop
On the stairway in my school
I’m the little boy with crooked teeth
That others ridiculed

I see angels circling the sun
feathered wings and halos
golden and hand-spun
Frozen little angels
Circling the sun
bursting into rain drops
cleansing everyone

Tired of the AR-15 yet?

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Memo to gun rights enthusiasts: We’re not living in the land of the Walking Dead. We’re not trying to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

If there’s a house being broken into, it’s probably not a gang of crazies looking to kill and eat an entire family. It’s more likely a desperate schmuck looking for cash, or something to hock. In most cases, a decent home security system can provide the deterrence and protection you need. But if a criminal persists, I suspect a 12-gauge shot gun or a hand gun is sufficient protection.

Do people really “need” their AR-15? Of course they don’t. Any citizen who argues they “need” an AR-15 is full of shit.  But here’s the thing – they LOVE their AR-15. They enjoy firing it, and more to the point, they enjoy the feeling they get when they fire it. They get pumped like John Rambo on crack when they fire their AR-15. The sensation of a round exploding through the barrel, the synaptic crackle and pop, the release of endorphins, the sense of control, the validation of masculinity, and the empowering dissipation of weakness and insecurity, all in one-fell-swoop. Why would any law-abiding citizen give up all that pleasure?

Listen, I get the tired argument that guns and ammunition are “inanimate objects”, in-and-of-themselves, not dangerous. But if we know that one inanimate object is being used consistently in mass shootings, and that banning the sale of that object would not cause harm to society, why the hesitation?

The NRA continues to use fear (nothing loosens purse strings like fear), patriotism, and (appallingly) God, to peddle guns and pad the bottom line of gun manufacturers.

The gun lobby fills the coffers of senators and congressmen to push the false message that the AR-15 makes citizens safer, and that it’s a useful insurance policy against tyranny. And let’s face it, ideologically-ensconced, fact-challenged Americans don’t need a lot of convincing from the NRA.

Combine NRA efforts with an American mentality of wanting what we want, when we want it, (also known as the big “FUCK YOU, I LOVE MY GUNS!”) – and we have what we have today.

Will banning the AR-15 and similar weapons end mass shootings? No. The mass shooting issue is complicated and multifaceted, we need to do more than regulate weapons to prevent these tragedies from occurring. But banning these types of weapons will mean less carnage and fewer casualties per shooting. I know that’s not much, but in my opinion, it’s a baby step in the right direction.

The boulevard of the unsuspecting

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A mentally disturbed and delusional kid – spurned by others – sitting behind the wheel of a BMW – firing a legally purchased 9 mm semi-automatic pistol into a crowded café and deli – killing and maiming – just as he promised.

On any given day in America, any one of us can get cast for the role of the unintended victim in the twisted wreckage of someone else’s tragic life– like we are all just a trigger finger away from a becoming a profile on CNN’s website.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun – is a good guy with a gun, except that almost never ever happens – even though Americans are armed to the teeth – we still wake up (on average) to a mass murder every two weeks – and in most of these cases, the only thing that stops the bad guy with a gun, is that very same bad guy, when after killing a slew of people, he decides to eat a bullet.

Unfortunately, many American’s are as delusional as some of these shooters – as they continue to tell themselves that more guns make for a safer society, when the data tells us the exact opposite is true.

We are immersed a culture that glorifies violence, where too many believe that violence and aggression are the solution to problems – we have inadequate and often ineffective mental healthcare and way too many people who should not have access to guns – –  have access to guns.

I am sick and fucking tired of the NRA denying the role guns play in mass murder – there is clearly a gun component to this problem – but any time anyone even mentions, considers, whispers that maybe we should look at gun regulation along with other components of the problem, the NRA ratchets up a campaign of lies and fear.

We need to wake up.

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them”

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I remember how those words, spoken by then candidate Barack Obama, caused such and an up-roar in America.

Yesterday, as violent uprisings spread throughout the Arab world, I thought to myself these same exact words, used to describe attitudes of Americans in small midwestern towns, could also be used to describe the  Islamists storming our embassy in Egypt and Libya.

What does it mean to “cling” to one’s religion? Well obviously it’s not a flattering comment (that’s why so many people got pissed). It’s kind of the opposite of saying people are getting strength from their religion. It conjured up images of angry, white (only because a black man said it); uneducated families huddled around their own prejudiced thoughts while holding a bible in one hand and shotgun in the other.

What Barack Obama was saying was that when times are tough, especially economically, people grab onto these two things (religion and guns), not as a means to get them through difficult times, but as a way of nullifying what they believe to be socio-economic injustice. I may not have all that you have, but I have Jesus Christ and a semi-automatic hand gun – and that trumps everything!

Those extremists storming our embassy have been on jelly-side down side of the socioeconomic sandwich for generations – for many of them, the only thing they have is their God and their religion.

Insult that, or demean it in any way, and they see it as an attempt to take away the one thing they believe they have that is superior to all things material, their God.