Wednesday, March 7, 2018

There are Lots of Guns in Florida (2nd Version)

There are Lots of Guns in Florida

By David Hartley Mark

When I first moved down to South Florida
From the snow and ice of New Hampshire
Someone told me,
"Forget about Tallahassee, the State Capital.
"They totally ignore us.
"It's like they're in another world."

I live a short ride from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,
Where little kids and their teachers got shot

Nothing is left but dying flowers
And dusty Teddy Bears
#MSD Strong

While the Florida State Legislature did and does nothing,
Not even permitting the discussion of why
Ordinary Civilians should, or must, own
AR-15s, which are Weapons of War

These handy little Murder Weapons
Are readily available online,
In pawnshops, gun shows,
Or elsewhere;
They list for about a thousand dollars,
But someone told me
"You can get one for about four hundred,

Eighty-round mags--

You're out!


I journeyed to Tallahassee,
To that timeless city,
And entered the Legislature Building,
To sit invisibly
Next to Ms. Carrion Chainsaw,
A sweet little old grandma-lady
Who is the NRA's tool in this state
For writing, self-approving, and passing
Pro-NRA legislation.

She can make or break
She has been doing her job
And carries a pistol
In her handbag

For reasons unclear
But she passed the legislation
Allowing her
To do so

Her state office
(She is not an elected official;
She is the NRA State Marionette)
Is hardly luxurious;
I sat on the floor among
Various Teenage Corpses,
Oozing blood and body parts

(They are dead
They will never grow up
And have families of their own

Nothing is left of them
But memories and photographs....

No matter:
I sat and watched Ms. Chainsaw
Do her work:

Handling phonecalls from fawning GOP legislators,
Taking their requests for help with new legislation,
Removing their tongues from her--
Well, never mind

And, overall, making it easier
To purchase a machine gun
Or automatic pistol
Than a loaf of bread

(Given all the cutbacks to Food Stamps).

From our Sunshine State of Carnage,
Ms. Chainsaw's tentacles
Reach throughout the nation,
Inspiring similar legislation
In the other forty-nine states

(In Louisiana, for example,
You don't even need a license,
Just a gun.)

I watched for a while,
Slowly growing nauseated
'Til my phone alarm went off:
It was time for me to attend
My Gun Lesson.

As a lifelong teacher dedicated to education
And what used to be called
The Rule of Law,
I have the option of attending classes
To learn how to take down an invader
Until the SWAT Team arrives,
Who will, hopefully not assume that
I myself am the attacker,
Since I am White
And Grandfatherly.

Still, you never know.

I picked my way carefully
Among the various corpses
Dripping blood on the floor
Of Ms. Chainsaw's office

Passed the three sweet elderly women
In the outer office
Busily cutting newspaper articles
Busily Pro-Gun,

And I left Tallahassee,
The Land of Blood and Confusion.