The Poetry of
Jack Scott

Forgive Me, This Is Not A Poem

I don’t remember ever hearing of death by marijuana.
There are lots of deaths by cigarette,
but there are laws to keep smokers
from killing others with “second hand smoke”.
Heroin, alcohol, cocaine, opium and all the other poisons
are, in their extremity,
just other forms of self-destruction
which, by definition, do not doom or damage others
except through forms of emotional osmosis:
empathy, sympathy and grief.
Hanging and jumping from high places is best done alone.
Knives and other sharp objects have more uses than abuses
and so are rightfully considered to be tools.
Dangerous, perhaps, but then so are hot stoves.
What else is there? To jump in front of buses, you need buses
and there’s never one at hand when you need one.
And so forth and so on.
Underlying all is that anything can be misused, and accidents happen.
It is bitter irony that suicide is illegal.
Are the dead punished? (I’m not talking about Catholics; that’s their problem.)
Are failed suicides punished? Fined? Jailed? Given forty lashes?
Survivors of those who have taken their own lives
always feel more pain than the dead. Duh.
Other than that, suicide does not cause the death of others.
What greater right does anyone have to anything more than that of his own life?
What greater wrong is there than taking the life of another?
Let’s leave god out of this. There are as many gods as there are people.
Now, I’ll come to the point: Guns.
Guns are killing tools.
There are only two valid reasons for their existence:
To kill animals for food.
To kill human beings: in war and in so-called peace.
In this age of video games I rule out the validity of guns
for target practice and other forms of sport.
Give me a break.
There are so many other ways to have fun
without holding the equivalent of a live grenade in your hand.
So, in this life and death morality play what options do we have?
First, it is not an option to have a law to prohibit and outlaw guns.
We have seen the consequences of Prohibition of alcohol.
We have seen the farce of the war on drugs.
Any attempt to prohibit firearms would amount to major civil uprising,
if not the semblance of civil war, which would be disastrously bloody.
I think it is a given that many intelligent, moral, ethical people
would disagree with an attempt to eliminate guns entirely.
The strong mandate for self-defense is not to be taken lightly.
There is much reason and logic to support that issue.
However, I can think of no valid reason or need for any person
to possess any automatic military type weapon of any sort.
Except through exposure to novels and movies I have no first-hand knowledge
of the specific weapons to which I refer or I would catalogue them here.
I know someone who rents a room in a house inhabited by others.
He sleeps with an AK-47 under his bed.
If something went bump in the night and he fired that weapon
the bullets would go through at least six walls in any direction.
He could empty the clip of how many bullets in how many seconds?
It’s a why-does-the-chicken-cross-the-road, a which comes first: the chicken-or-the –egg
sort of question: do guns kill people or do people kill people?
People with guns (or cars, or buses, or knives ad nauseum) kill people.
People kill people with their bare hands.
Of the types of guns we could not possibly prohibit (Utopia Lost, Alas)
it is absolutely insane not to regulate who can obtain and use those weapons
much the same as we regulate who can drive a car and how they may drive it.
There should be uniform and mandatory training and testing.
There should be background tests to at least try to eliminate
those whom I would call (please do not take offense, y’all):
the incompetent, the crazies and the dangerous.
I think those with certain types of criminal backgrounds should be included.
I would include certain types of alcoholics, perhaps those with multiple DUI records
and most definitely all abusers of wives, children and animals..
Nothing’s perfect,
But what we’ve got obviously isn’t working.
How long are we going to offer up innocent victims to this undeclared war against humanity?

L64 ®Copyright 2016 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.