Poems on Making a Difference

The Lockdown Nursery Rhyme

My most recent work is a romantic comedy novel – but in light of recent news, I feel the need to share this sombre opinion piece today, from my collection Three Spaces (2013). Feel free to share it.
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Danny got dressed for school today;
Danny didn’t come back,
because of one gunman’s
mass attack.

Should we start teaching our children this nursery rhyme at school, along with lockdown procedure? A ridiculous idea? Why? Nursery rhymes were designed to warn children of possible dangers in the world.

They also make light of what children would perceive as tragic events (Humpty Dumpty not being able to be put together again; a tiny spider nearly drowning in a waterspout).

We’ve had enough school massacres in the USA to warrant it being called a real threat, and yet, so many of us downplay the chances of it happening closer to home, and argue that nothing can be done to stop crazy people from doing crazy things.

We may as well write a nursery rhyme about these events, because nothing else constructive is being done.

We’re all too busy shouting at each other: Gun control versus freedom to carry concealed weapons. Shoot the crazy dude dead. He ws just some nut case, so let’s forget about it, I need my Grande Vanilla Latte at Starbucks.

We hold these truths to be self evident: If we can buy all kinds of weapons with only a driver’s licence as ID, and if we retain the right to carry a concealed .223 calibre Bushmaster rifle which can kill 20 children in 8 minutes, innocent lives will continue to be lost.

It’s too late to bring back the children. It’s too late for an all-out ban on weapons. It’s never too late to make a positive change.

We can regulate who can carry concealed handguns, and we can bring back Canada’s long-gun registry, which would provide one extra safety measure to regulate who owns and uses weapons in Canada. Now is not the time to loosen any country’s gun laws. It’s time to strengthen them.

We. The people. It’s up to us. It’s our lives. It’s our children. Something can be done, but we can’t sit around waiting for it to get done. We have to voice our demands, and make politicians hear them.

If not, we may as well start teaching our children the nursery rhyme about the gunman who comes to their school and opens fire.

Danny dressed for school today.

Mitts on hands, hat on head.

Danny went to school today,

and a gunman shot him dead.