Carnage at Virginia Tech

You were in the wrong place at the wrong time
said the land of liberty leader
when he might have admitted that slaughter
was made possible by delusion
about the country’s second amendment

which two hundred years earlier spoke of
a well regulated militia
securing a free state against the British,
no licence for a free for all to kill
or to give that rancid toting lobby

an entitlement to threaten
and to buy votes from the fearful
anxious to have the riflemen onside
so that each year 30,000 coffins
may contain the victims of this freedom 

whose latest thirty two innocents
were listening in Virginia as the snows fell,
as English and engineering classes
settled for a morning’s thoughtfulness

without which America will continue
its fomenting at funerals
as though tears, chants and prayers may ensure
no repetition of this carnage
which the trigger happy said could also be prevented
if more guns were used by every fool who believes
that death is a path to dialogue,
that life may be preserved by fire,
who believes that the founding fathers
wanted the unloved and the paranoid
to explain themselves with bullets
in support of an interpretation 
which has soaked today’s innocents
in the blood of a classroom’s hopes.

Freedom has not been understood.
The well armed security guards
stumbled through cold and wind and snow
and through the nation’s love affair
which has ensured that no-one can be saved
because rescuers will always be
two hundred years too late.

Stuart Rees
Sydney April 22nd 2007

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