#454: Let’s hear your argument that a civilian . . .

Okay, today all the rules for the sonnet, except for one, have been thrown completely under the bus. Desperate times require desperate measures. I don’t have a lot to say about this one, as I hope it speaks for itself, but I will give you a bit of a heads up about the subject matter for today’s sonnet, just in case you need to bail. I’m writing about our gun-violence problem and particularly mass shootings. There have been 146 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023. 147, as of yesterday, I think. I’ve written about this before. Hundreds have. It appears to make absolutely no difference what poets and essayists and journalist write about the subject, but we keep doing it, if for no other reason, I suppose, to clarify our own positions, to arm people who agree with us with some compelling arguments and evidence. It is difficult not to despair about the situation, even though part of the solution seems as clear as the nose on a face. So–I humbly offer this up, a plea, an urgent demand, for some kind of sense from the other side–which, in itself is a silly prospect, since there doesn’t seem to be any sense from the other side, ever.


Let’s hear your argument that a civilian
Needs to own a semi-automatic weapon.
I’m waiting. Feel free to take your time.  
Remember, our founding fathers had these
Muskets, which took, depending on the shooter,
Between 30 seconds and a full minute to load
In order to shoot one fucking round. 
So don’t talk to me about the founding fathers
And the second amendment, which has 
As much to do with high powered assault weapons
As a turnip has to do with fruit
Or a school bus has to do with a light switch. 
Try to explain how your right to own a weapon of war
Is worth more than a child’s right to live, or yours.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

2 thoughts on “#454: Let’s hear your argument that a civilian . . .

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