Posted in Creations, Politics

“I thought that if you had an acoustic guitar, then it meant that you were a protest singer.”—The Smiths

And sometimes, it does. I wrote the following song the Friday after the Virginia Tech shootings, which also happened to be the 8th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. I had been reading the coverage of the VT incident, intertwined with the Columbine memorials, and wondered just how many more times I would be reading this same story. It seemed like far too many already. And this song came to me, quickly.

The friend in the first verse was a real kid. His name was John Palequin, and we attended Holy Name Catholic school together. He had dark hair and eyes and tan skin that was somewhat exotic for our small Upper Michigan town. We ate lunch together often. One day, he wasn’t at school. We were told that he’d died from a gun accident; he and a friend were playing with an unsecured gun, and he got the worse end of it. Our entire third-grade class went to his funeral, and later planted a tree in his memory. I wonder if it’s still growing? I wonder if any of my classmates still remember Johnny? I’ve never forgotten him.

In any case, I am sure the experience formed the bulk of my feelings about guns, particularly those that are specifically made for assaulting humans. I know a lot of people will disagree with me that guns are the problem. But you know what? You never hear of anyone who managed to knife 32 people to death in a matter of minutes. You can’t strangle 32 people in a matter of minutes. You can’t take a Louisville Slugger to 32 people and bludgeon them to death in a matter of minutes. Certainly not without considerable risk and probable injury to yourself. Guns may not be the whole problem, but anyone who thinks they don’t make it worse is, in my opinion, delusional.

You can download the song by clicking on the title below, or, if you just want to listen, you can hear it via the player here. It’s the first one on the “MySongs” playlist. Thanks for listening.

Had Enough

He sat across the table
In a lunchroom from me
My friend John
From kindergarten to grade 3

His was the first funeral
That I ever attended
2 boys, 1 gun, an accident,
an eight-year-old life ended.

How many lives
Need to be lost
Before we see
What we need to do?
I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough,
Mercy, I’ve had enough.
Haven’t you?

Every day I read the news,
Every page, obituaries.
Hot lead, cold blood, a nation mourns
Once innocent, now wary.

Crazy kids get hold of guns
And before we stop crying, we blame.
Talk is cheap, and when it happens again,
We’ll do just the same.

How many lives
Need to be lost
Before we see
What we need to do?
I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough,
Mercy, I’ve had enough.
Haven’t you?

They say it’s a polite society
That arms itself to the teeth,
But the cost of being this polite
Is pain, and loss, and grief

Ain’t nothin’ polite about carnage
And violence is kind to none
They tell me people kill people,
But they get help from the guns.

How many lives
Need to be lost
Before we see
What we need to do?
I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough,
Mercy, I’ve had enough.
Haven’t you?

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Author:

I've been doing some form of creative writing since 9th grade, and have been a blogger since 2003. Like most bloggers, I've quit blogging multiple times. But the words always come back, asking to be written down, and they pester me if I don't. So here we are. Thanks for reading.