A poem dedicated to little children who succumbed to violent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, CT – December 14, 2012
Yesterday, we were children, full of innocence and big dreams
Today, we are little pawns in your war, bigger are your plans
Yesterday, war and violence was stuff of video games, sigh!
Today, ‘t was not for us to reason why, ours was to do and die
Yesterday, we prayed to keep our parents safe and here
Today, at sight of out blood streaked bodies, weep our parents dear
Yesterday, we were putting an angel, high up on our X’mas tree
Today, the angel weeps beside us, looking down on the tragedy
Yesterday, I peaked and saw, for me, my big brother wrap a pony
Today, it’s too late to thank you, it’s too late for me
Yesterday, we were warned to stay away from strangers
Today, we met, stranger than strangers, their weapons
Yesterday, snowflakes and rainbows were our favorite things
Today, your favorite things got us, as we learned how much you love guns
Yesterday, we were your future, your family, your community
Today, your future and past is wiped out as “evil visited the community”
Yesterday, we learned to ward of evil with compassion
Today, evil came, armed with weapons and ammunition
Yesterday, sunset looked divine and bright was morning sun
Today, rivers are overflowing with tears ‘cause of a glock or a gun
Yesterday, there were big plans for X’mas and birthdays
Today, we know, there will be tears for years on our birthdays………..
Some statistics: Each year over 30,000 people are killed by firearms in this country. Consider the probability of it being you or your child. More than 30 people are shot and murdered each day. There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000. The majority of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides, with 17,352 (55.6%) of the total 31,224 firearm-related deaths in 2007 due to suicide, while 12,632 (40.5%) were homicide deaths. In 2009, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 60% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm.
And please carefully consider: Since there is a high probability of encountering gun violence, what would you prefer? That you are armed with guns also? If we expand concealed carry permits (as NRA lobbies), would you carry it to a theater, when you take your child to a movie? Would you bring it to the school when you are dropping off your child? Would you effectively use it? In that scenario, consider many armed people using guns in a theater and police trying to identify the victims from the perpetrator.
Or would you rather focus on lowering the probability of such mindless violence by limiting access to guns, so no bozos can enter a school and hurt a child?
Do we want to teach our children that if someone is shooting, they ought to run, escape, hide, and cower OR do we want to teach them to shoot back. Consider the impact of, shall we say, “friendly fire”? And if we want our children to hide and escape, then why do we want guns in our homes? Do we want to make our homes safer, even as our children are in harm’s way in schools, colleges, theaters, churches, temples?