Meditating on Stupid Losses Caused by Gun Violence


393 million firearms in the US, the country I call home.

More guns than people here.

About half the world’s civilian-owned guns—

            in houses,

            on streets,

            some carried into schools.

That day this week intended for celebration of school year’s end.

Interrupted by one carrying a semi-automatic, girded for a challenge.

It takes less than an hour, not even 60 minutes—

            for anticipation

            to turn

            into tragedy and trauma.

A student whispering reports multiple people shot, many dead.

Police wearing vests, carrying shields enter the school and line the halls.

Another student survives by smearing herself with blood—

            she fakes

            being dead,

            but lives on traumatized.

Some people ask even this week, “Why blame the guns”?

They say, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”

Many defend their unlimited freedom and right—

             to keep,

             to bear Arms,

            uninfringed.

I wonder if survivors ask, “Why? Will I ever be free from this tragedy?”

Can we tell good news amid stupid losses caused by gun violence?

Good news can’t be contained by the rhetoric of rights, but grounded in—

            shared humanity,

            transforming values,

            turning toward peace.

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