6 of our children have now died from vaping!

We wonder how this can be true…

so quickly as a country…we know what we must do…


We don’t care about the reason.

We don’t want to listen to the excuse.

We begin almost immediately…

to ban e-cigarette use.


When lawn darts first hit the market

families thought this toy was great

until so many children got hurt…

they were banned in ’88.


We ban cribs when they aren’t safe

as well as car seats too.

when something can hurt our children…

that’s just what we do!


Our country acts so quickly!

Our decisions are quite brisk…

when we see our children hurting

when our children are at risk!


Yes, we are quick to ban a danger

that may send our children to heaven…

except, of course, if that danger


is an AK 47.

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We adults tend to lose ours innocence as the years unfold…

which is why the innocence of our children is a beauty we behold.


Children sing before they realize there even is a song.

They dance whenever any kind of music comes along.


They draw upon a canvas before they realize it’s a wall.

They climb as high as they can climb before they understand the fall.


When we see innocence in our children…we are happy to detect it

and we realize it’s up to us to nurture and protect it.


But a question now arises which leads to a scary thought…

What happens to this innocence when our children have been shot?


Let’s stop a moment to remember…to take a closer look

How we did nothing back in 2012 after Sandy Hook.


Oh, we prayed, we mourned, we wept…and we said we’re sorry too

as we told the grieving parents…there’s nothing we can do.


And every day since then our country has paid a tremendous cost

as more children have been murdered…and more innocence has been lost.


Never again will they sing, or dance, or draw upon a wall

Never again will they marvel at the Heavens, or climb up high, or fall.


In 2012 we stopped protecting our children…our daughters and our sons

our love for them now less important than our obsession with a gun.


As the two sides fight with one another to do what is required

All the children of our country are caught in their crossfire.


A child will play with a ray of light before he realizes there’s a sun

A child will attempt to pull a trigger...before he realizes it’s a gun.


But we know what harm a gun can do…and if we want our children to survive

we must do all that’s in our power to ensure they stay alive…


If we continue to allow their innocence to be taken…

in this most heinous kind of theft…

There will come a time, 

if we haven’t reached it already 


when we have no innocence left.

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It was 20 years ago…the year was 1999

and we thought the world would change….after Columbine


We hoped something would be done

after children were gunned down with their books

We thought the world would change…

and then came Sandy Hook


And we hoped something would be done

we can’t sit back and watch our children die…

and we thought the world would change

then came Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High…


But nothing has been done…

Today these mass murders persist

as we sadly add El Paso and Dayton to the list.


We should have learned our lesson

that was in that first mass shooting taught…

but after Columbine, 

after Sandy Hook…

after Parkland…

we did not.


We like to think we are not a heartless people 

although we act just like we are.

At what point do we as a nation say

this has gone too far?


So once again I pray we find a solution…
once again I pray we’re ready draw the line…

so we don’t have to wait another 20 years


after Columbine.

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What if the death of any person anywhere hurled us into blackness

a world of darkness we could not shun

as if when that person was taken from this world

someone permanently shrouded the sun.


What if it led to a sadness so pervasive…even on the most beautiful days of Spring

we cold not see the flowers bloom…we could not hear the songbirds sing.


What if the death of any person anywhere threw us into a hole of sadness out of which we could not climb

an anguish…a sorrow so profound…it could not be absorbed by time…


What if the death of any person anywhere in the world hurled us into blackness

a world of darkness we could not shun…

Perhaps then we’d find a way to do away with wars,

with bombs…

with killing…


with guns.

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A teacher found a weathered copy of her poem…

And immediately reminisced…

for never had he read a poem…as sad or beautiful as this:



“I want you all to write a love poem,” He told his class,

“For love is beautiful…and grand…”

when he was interrupted by a student…who quickly raised her hand.


“My daddy was killed by a crazy person with a gun.” she said.

“How can I contemplate…

words of love and joy…

when I’m filled with so much hate?”


He had anticipated many questions…but this one…he never guessed…

He walked over, put his arms around her…and hugged her to his chest.


“When hate is all around us”, he said…”when bullets rain down from above…

That is the time we must fight hate…and search for words of love.”


“Look into your heart.” he said, ‘words of love are waiting there

words of love you will discover…words of love you’ll want to share.”


He returned to his desk amid silence…and during the interlude

the class all wrote their poems…in a quiet solitude…


He wasn’t sure what to expect until that night at home

when he came to her assignment entitled…


                                            This Is My Love Poem


My daddy used to talk about love…before he’d turn off my light…

He said love is a wonderful way to start the day…and the best way to say goodnight.


So I will try everyday to think in words of love…no matter what my fate

hoping the words of love I find…will overcome my hate…


I hope someday to discover the love I’m searching for…

For hate has won this battle…but I won’t let it win the war. 


Perhaps if words of love, instead of bullets, were falling from the sky

then love would finally vanquish hate…and no more Daddies would have to die.


Yes, hate has left me with a scar and my dreams will be forever haunted…

but I promise to try and look for love, because…



that’s what Daddy would have wanted.

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When we are sad the tears we form can be healing and satisfying…

What do we do when he have no tears left

but we haven’t finished crying?


Another person with a gun killing unsuspecting folks….

This latest one in California…at a bar in Thousand Oaks…


Each new shooting spree fails to bring us together

in fact it tears us more asunder… 

as again we cry for the victims

as again we’re left to wonder…


With each new murder of the masses

With each new innocent dying…

What do we do when we have no tears left

but we haven’t finished crying?


It saddens me to see the sorrow on each face

of those affected by this massacre

in this new time…

in this new place…


But knowing this is not the last time this will happen between our shores…

knowing this has become routine…

saddens me…

even more.


What do we do when faced with a reality

we have trouble justifying?

What do we do when we have no tears left


but we haven’t finished crying?

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It’s been 18 days since the Parkland murders caused our nation, once again, to wince…

18 days ago 17 lives were ended…and what has happened since?


18 days after 17 students and teachers were shot dead in their high school’s halls and on its stairs

politicians still refuse to ban assault rifles…

but they do offer thoughts and prayers.


Some of the students who survived and had the courage to speak out

have been ridiculed in social media…their integrity put in doubt. 


In Florida, where this tragedy occurred, and here let me be precise…

the legislature has refused to ban assault rifles…refused…not once…but twice.


The NRA and some politicians sighting the 2nd amendment of our constitution

think putting more guns in more peoples hands is a viable solution.


Even our president thinks part of the answer (is he crazy…or just a fool?)

Thinks we should train teachers, who are willing, and let them carry guns in school. 


In short…nothing has been done to help this problem to our frustration and disdain….

Perhaps before we supply our teachers with guns…

it’s time to remember Dick and Jane.


Dick and Jane taught many of us how to read…in those little books we all adore

When Dick grew up, he took what he learned…

and opened a Sporting Goods Store.


And Jane grew up to be a teacher…

receiving awards and accolades.

She’s spent her lifetime molding the hearts and minds

of her students in third grade.


Dick and Jane see the carnage assault rifles can cause.

Dick’s and Jane’s feelings are intense.

Dick and Jane say when it comes to guns in America 

we should use some common sense.


Dick says ban assault rifles…they are for killing…not for fun.

Jane says close the loopholes in the gun laws and don’t sell to anyone under 21.


Dick says we need universal background checks.

Jane agrees gun buyers backgrounds we should trace.

Dick and Jane say anyone banned from purchasing a gun…

should be in a national data base. 


Dick and Jane know there’s no easy solution.

Dick and Jane know something must be done…

Dick and Jane know there are avenues we must try.

And Dick and Jane would never give a teacher a gun.


Dick and Jane don’t want to ban all guns

Just assault rifles no one needs…

Dick and Jane would like to see them banned

before the next school or movie theater, or restaurant, or place of business or concert venue, or any other setting bleeds.


Though frustrated Dick Jane are optimistic. 

and Dick and Jane know what they’re talking about.

Because when politicians refuse do what the majority wants

Dick and Jane know… 


It’s time to vote them out.

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We heard about the shooting on the news and on TV.

We saw scenes of another mass murder…another killing spree.


The faces of the frightened children, their parents…everyone

witnesses and victims on the wrong side of a gun.


And we feel for all the victims…everybody at the scene

for even those who were not shot…have wounds that can’t be seen.


We hear about people at war…on our computers…on the news

The scenes of devastation…the panoramic camera views.


And we feel for all the victims…we can’t take it anymore…

but the killing keeps on coming…that is a consequence of war.


And we realize it’s not just the victims…not only those there at the scene

but even we who see and hear the news…have wounds that can’t be seen.


And we look to the leaders of our countries…to try to intercede…

To help the troubled ones and their families get the kind of help they need.


And we look to the leaders of our countries…to try and make the killing cease…

to face the problems…to end the wars…to create a world of peace.


And we beg our leaders to do something…anything…as we cry for those affected

and we beg their leaders to do something…anything…to keep us all protected.


To stop the wars…the fighting…the mass murders with a gun…

To make the world a safer place to live…for everyone…


So the next generation of children will not find war and massacres routine….


So the next generation of children will not have wounds that can’t be seen. 

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As I watch our country send it’s people away…while trying to keep others out

I wonder about the flame that warms our melting pot…when did that flame go out?


As I watch our president stir up hate and anger so talk about building a wall can begin

I wonder…what happened to our founding fathers who invited everybody in…


As I watch what the adults are doing with our world…how everything they do seems so wrong…

I wonder…what happened to the children…who were taught to get along?


As I watch a world at war with itself…filled with hate and discontent…

I wonder…what happened to the children who were once so pure and innocent?


As I watch people hate other people because of their skin…their religion…their name

I wonder…what happened to the children…once taught to treat everyone the same?


As I watch religious people use their religion to hate lesbians and gays…

I wonder what happened to those innocent children…the ones we taught to pray…


To pray for love throughout the world…to pray that war and hatred would cease…

To pray that everyone would live together in harmony and peace.


And then I remember those children…the ones who laughed…who wanted only to have fun…

Since 1999 from Columbine to Stoneman High…

we’ve been killing them with guns.



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