Ave, Armaments Industry!
or, Paean to the Assault Rifle
By Carl E. Reed
Written after the July 4th, 2022 Highland Park parade mass murder (one of five mass shootings that occurred that day in the US) that killed seven people and wounded dozens. Among the dead: an elderly man in a wheelchair and a married couple who left behind a bloodied 2-year-old who was found wandering the deserted, debris-strewn street in dazed incomprehension after the massacre.
Darts, spears, arrows, quarrels, bullets—
long centuries a beast of killing heart
penetrated prey via projectile.
Behold—the refinement of his art!
A rapid-fire instrument of war:
wicked-looking polymers & steel.
How comfortably it nestles in the shoulder!
How rightly pistol grip & barrel feel!
Blam! Blam! Ka-pow! Ker-blam!
An itchy finger twitches: thirty bullets
explode from orange-stutter muzzle-flash;
stunned victims scream & scramble, duck for cover
spurt-wheel, totter-tumble—join the past.
Kalashnikov, Armalite, Smith & Wesson
Sig Sauer, Colt, Remington, et. al.
market wares to glazed-eyed, grim psychotics—
ensure our homicidal have a ball!
Blam! Blam! Ka-pow! Ker-blam!
Author’s note: Remember, it’s not the gun that kills people, but . . . hold on! It is the gun. It is definitely the gun that kills people at ever-increasing numbers of American assault rifle massacre sites. (Perhaps this should be an acronym now: ARMS.) It certainly isn’t hard stares, morbid ruminations or nihilist wishes that are killing countless scores, is it? Or butcher knives, brass knuckles or shuriken. In these ever-more-unhinged, violent times we routinely sacrifice our people to Gunsmoke Moloch whose sacred text is the 1791-ratified 2nd Amendment. Amendment! Perhaps this one could be un-amended or otherwise amended again by people of conscience sickened at the ongoing incarnadine carnage? Such massacres occurring with numbing drumbeat regularity “from sea to shining sea” in 2022. I suggest repeal or revision of the 2nd Amendment since nowadays well-regulated militias bearing muskets seem to be in vanishingly short evidence amongst the increasingly desperate and alienated masculine electorate itching to get their hands on their “man card” . . .
PS. Though I am grateful to any who read this post (yes, even those who disagree with my sentiments) I will not respond to any comments made here about this poem. Res ipsa loquitur. The debate around this issue has grown tiresome, tedious, nauseatingly feckless and exhaustingly over-tread/familiar. The pro-assault-rifles-for-everyone argument has degenerated into nothing but an exercise in cynical sophistry, “Look! Squirrel!” misdirection and sophomoric trolling by sociopathic gun zealots. (Details of the latest bone-chilling assault rifle mass murder? Yawn. Shoulder shrug. I mean, whatta ya gonna do? ‘Cause white-wigged, infallible, far-seeing forefathers; the-people-are-the militia; fetishistic impulses; legions of gun lobbyists; record profits for a problematic industry and freeeeeeedom!—or sumthin’. ‘Murica!) Meanwhile, the body count grows. (How long until the next mass murder? Or has it already occurred?)
FYI: This blog post was written by a former US marine well-acquainted with the M16 assault rifle. If you want to play with one I suggest you raise your right hand, swear allegiance to the Constitution, and vow to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. Then shave your head and get your feet on the yellow footprints . . .