#GunControlNow: While We Still Have Now by Marie Cartier


If you are somewhere:
a movie theater, festival, mosque,
temple or church, bar (especially a gay one although it could be any bar –cheers),
concert, elementary to college classroom, or any other public space in America…and
someone starts shooting,
shooting so fast the bullets spray like
a hose of water —
spray so fast you can’t know where to duck.
if you are somewhere and that happens…
Re-member yourself as a hero:
hide the children, if there are children
cover the babies, if there are babies
lock the doors, if there are doors.
Try to make it out alive.

And know –it’s happened before.
In fact it may already have happened to you, dear reader. And if not, it might.
Some survive. Know that.  Some survive. And some don’t. If you do– you will tell
your story. Because you can,
and others can’t.
And some will listen.
And some won’t — until it happens to them.
If you are somewhere when someone
starts spraying bullets,
it won’t matter, at that point,
if you are black, yellow, red, or white,
gay or straight, young or old, Muslim, Christian or Jewish, …rich or poor.
What will matter is if the bullet
can find you. And when bullets
spray like water– the likelihood is that
all the ground gets wet.
This time with blood. And all blood,
of all people, runs red.
No one will know, looking at that blood,
if it came from someone
black, yellow, red, or white,
gay or straight, young or old,
Muslim, Christian or Jewish…
rich or poor.
If you are somewhere when someone
starts spraying bullets,
re-member:
hide the children
cover the babies
lock the doors.
Maybe it’s all you can do.
Before your known world
runs red.
And then. If you survive…
Mother Jones said, “Pray for the dead,
but fight like hell for the living.”
If you are somewhere..
If there is still
somewhere to be.
If there is an “after.”
Then re-member your hero.
And then, if you can,
Fight.  Like.   Hell.
–Marie Cartier
Summer 2019, USA
Marie Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University.  She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine.


Categories: Activism, Poetry, Politics, Women's Voices

Tags: , ,

10 replies

  1. My father was killed by a drunk driver and NEVER did anyone blame the car or alcohol. They blamed the person that was driving. Why would a gun be blamed for shooting when it cannot fire itself? We have so many gun laws but the issue isn’t laws, the issue is enforcement. It is illegal to hold a cell phone while driving but it’s impossible to enforce 100% of the time. Guns do not fire themselves. A human must pull the trigger. I think education and mental health need to be improved. We already have laws making guns illegal at schools yet criminals are bringing them in. It’s not the laws that are the issue it’s the heart and mind of the shooter. I have 4 kids whom I have taught their whole lives about gun safety even though I don’t own a single gun. It’s important they know that killing someone is wrong and irreversible. I promise you if you were being shot at and someone nearby had a concealed carry and pulled out their weapon to protect you and you survived because of them, you would change your mind.

    Like

  2. So sad, such a poignant and heartbreaking poem of our troubled times. It reminds me of what Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland kids, said, “Fight for your lives before its someone else’s job.” As you point out we need to fight for the children, the babies, humanity itself. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Emma Gonzalez…those 17 minutes she stood at the podium to get people to realize what that was like as she and her classmates huddled in a closet for 17 minutes hearing their classmates killed outside of it

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This poem says it all, perfectly. Have you thought of sending it to a few local and national papers? I believe that works like this could help turn the tide so that sensible rifle-owners can get behind universal background checks and restrictions on assault weapons. We need poetry to inspire and motivate us, and you’ve composed a great piece that can do that! Thank you- and please publish widely!

    Like

  4. GUN CONTROL
    WHO MAKES LAWS?
    NOT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!
    WHO MANUFACTURES GUNS?
    NOT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!
    WHO MAKES PROFITS ON GUN SALES?
    NOT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!
    WHO COLLECTS TAXES ON GUN SALES?
    NOT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!
    LEGISLATORS, GUN MAKERS
    GUN DEALERS AND UNCLE SAM
    ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN STOP
    VIOLENCE IN THE SCHOOLS!!!
    K1000

    Like

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