“Guns: The Sanctity of Life” by Marie Cartier

What can I say about guns?

I want to be like Gabby Giffords and survive

I want to be Emma Gonzalez and fight back

I want to be

I want to talk about how GUNS are less regulated

than my body

Guns can leave any state and travel to another state

and kill someone

I hate talking about guns

A woman’s body

It’s being discussed—a woman’s body not leaving her state

to get an abortion.

Here’s some facts about guns:

Americans own twenty-seven million guns, which gives America

the highest rate of gun worship/ I mean gun ownership—

eighty-nine guns for every one hundred people….

No wonder we are dying

Twenty percent of gun owners own sixty-five percent of the guns

Stock piling anyone?

Only nineteen states require background checks for handgun sales

Gun related deaths are the third leading cause of death of American children

(But lets’ talk about unborn babies)

Every day seven children are killed and twelve injured by a gun

(But let’s discuss the sanctity of life …pro-life)

Eighty-five percent of young people feel silenced in the debate around guns

and they are the most affected by guns

Emma (now X, they/them) Gonzalez survived the Parkland shooting—six minutes and twenty seconds…seventeen friends taken and fifteen injured.

They stood silently on a national stage, their speech standing in silence for those

six minutes and twenty seconds …maybe in order…to be heard

Forty-four percent of Americans say they personally know, or knew, someone who was shot with a gun

(But let’s talk about abortion)

In 2015 on Christmas Day, twenty-seven people were killed by guns—

which is equal to the number of gun homicides in

Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Estonia, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Iceland—combined.

I don’t know any more if this is a poem—gun violence

X Gonzalez, Fight for your life before it’s someone else’s’ job.

A poem about guns—not sexy

Gun control is sexy; Gabby Giffords is sexy

Guns are not cool

Guns are sad

And I am a black belt in karate

trained in gun defense. A gun kicks you back hard. A gun is not protection

A gun is a weapon

A gun is also an implement of fear on the part of the holder of the gun

Never go anywhere with the person holding the gun

*There is way too much for me to say on this subject*

But let me end here—this is not about the Second Amendment

And everyone knows it.

–Marie Cartier

May 20, 2022

With thanks to the QUEERWISE writing group workshop for inspiration

BIO: Marie Cartier is a teacher, poet, writer, healer, artist, and scholar. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Hampshire; an MA in English/Poetry from Colorado State University; an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) from UCLA; an MFA in Film and TV (Screenwriting) from UCLA; an MFA in Visual Art (Painting/Sculpture) from Claremont Graduate University; and a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University.

One thought on ““Guns: The Sanctity of Life” by Marie Cartier”

  1. Oh my god Marie, what a fantastic poem and the way you weave – brilliant…. I woke up at 5:45 to the bully who lives behind me shooting off one of his guns – impotent asshole – bully based men HAVE to have guns even when they don’t kill people – it gives them the “MAN” title. All of it disgusting, tragic, infuriating – I’m out of words – fury rising AGAIN. Guns and Abortion.


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