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Grade
11

Can it happen here?

Brutality and inhumanity

Packaged as isolated tragedy

Rooted in insanity

Caused not by guns but by mental incompatibility

With idealistic libertarian reality.

The status quo: an isolated incident, mental health, tragedy, thoughts and prayers — no action.

The status quo, as we know, flips too and fro, white shooters “troubled,” Black locked below, en masse incarcerated, this is Jim Crow, and through the blood flow, my classmates cry “no more gun violence. No, no, no…”

Unheard.

 

Can it happen here?

Stifled tears and ripped jeans

Hiding in classrooms clutching our knees

Our future is coming apart at the seems

And none of our representatives acknowledge our screams.

Our bodies are lined with bullet holes

Their pockets lined with money from the NRA

Money soaked in our blood yet they keep turning away

For them to fatten their fortunes, how many more must die today?

 

We sit

In huddled classrooms, under desks, instructed not to run

Because undoubtedly sitting still will save us from a gun

“It can’t happen here,” we hear, over and over

Lawmakers send “thoughts and prayers” trying to pull the wool over

Our eyes but no more for now young people realize

The problem is how guns, gun culture, and corruption thrives

My classmates deliberate what to in a shooting situation

Through zero transparency with the school administration!

We need tools, not silence, change, not stipulation

We must rip out this epidemic imbued within our nation

Through greater background checks and gun accessibility legislation

American democracy

Riddled with hypocrisy

Lines the pockets of the aristocracy

Who thrive on inequality

Between the one percent and the majority

And politicians hide NRA funds in endless bureaucracy

Instead of common-sense gun laws, we have an autocracy

Run by billionaires constructing a kleptocracy

The effects of gun violence, their inherent ferocity

Maintain and enable the conservative economy

Together we say no more

To conservative illiberal political hypocrisy.

 

Can it happen here?

In high school history courses

We read primary sources

From victims of violent forces

Governments, corrupt and remorseless

Refuse to acknowledge the cries of the chorus:

No more.

 

In cafeterias and classrooms,

Instead of air we breathe fear.

School has become a battle frontier

We write wills down on napkins and clutch every minute dear

“It can’t happen here,”

We hear,

Practically paralyzed with fear,

Waiting for protection to appear,

While on and on we persevere—

While gun threats puncture our “safe” atmosphere.

 

We have our whole lives before us,

We have nothing before us.

School is a place of safety,

Schools are the primary targets of gun massacres.

A good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun,

More guns in school case more deaths!

 

Stifled tears and ripped jeans.

We’re hiding in classrooms clutching our knees

American democracy is coming apart at the seams

It’s 2018, and we’re almost 18.

Do you know what that means?

We’ll elect politicians who fight for our needs.

“Thoughts and prayers” time is over for now young people see

Without policy and action we cannot be free

But our action brings policy

We are singing proudly:

No more gun violence towards my siblings or me

No more gun violence in schools, backyards, streets

No more gun violence in the “land of the free.”

 

Can it happen here, to you or to me?

We are not free until we are all free

And under this question, in hope and naivete

Championing anger, change, justice, and intersectionality

We can, united, make ourselves truly free.

State
NY
Zip Code
14850