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If we taught tolerance instead of fear,
how many lives would we have spared this year?

If we taught acceptance instead of hate,
if we taught kids to commiserate,
to see what others have on their plate,
that would make America great.
SB Nov 2
As a duet, my mom and alarm clock yell to get up.
Half asleep, I nearly fall asleep while brushing my teeth.
I choose my outfit, maybe I’ll dress up today.
I run out to the bus as it screeches to a stop on the curb.

My friends are leaned against their lockers.
I stare at the clock all of Algebra.
Pizza for lunch.
I die of boredom as the school day comes to an end.

Gunshots and screams full the air as they tell me something’s wrong.
In shock, I nearly faint while people shush us through their teeth.
I choose where to hide, maybe the teachers desk will work as a blockade.
The gunshots subside, the shooter has left the building.

My friends lie dead on the hallway floor.
I stare at the puddles of red that stain the tiles.
Cries of grief.
How did I not die?

If I had known my school would become a battleground
I would have invested in a bulletproof vest to keep under my desk
Just in case the lockdown drill doesn’t work.

Are pencils to erasers
As guns are to bullets?
The cries I never had to hear
ring in my head;
keep my heart heavy.
Cries of loved ones;
cries of lost ones.
        Gunshots ring louder.
        Voices grow quieter.
Faces become shadows.
Lights once flickering bright,
fade into the night.
We scroll quickly with mindless fingers
while they fade like distant memories.
Faces to be forgotten.
Until it happens,
        again.
        No time to mourn.
I fade into an abyss
of news and media
filled with violence;
an abyss called hopelessness.
       We disappear
              into its darkness
                       together.
This piece came from the numbness I felt in reading about all of the shootings that had been done this year. I was overwhelmed and wanted to take time to mourn but even trying to do that was overwhelming. I believe that real change can happen but, there are times when you just feel paralyzed. This poem doesn’t have to only apply to shootings in the U.S. but can be related to any systematic acts of violence in the world. I hope that those who read this won’t feel alone in their numbness and know that it’s okay to feel this way.
In my homeroom class, we don't have a seating chart.
But I still sit as far away from the door as I can.
Subconsciously it's probably because of a school shooting.
I've been anticipating one to strike at my small high school for a couple years now.
It's probably because of a lock down we had a couple years ago when I was still in middle school.
There were armed men on campus.
We had to be silent for hours.
I was in choir at the time.
Over 100 of us were squeezed into a small space.
There were girls crying,
my best friend was holding my hand,
I was having an anxiety attack.
I was only thinking
"Please not today..."

I'm not surprised anymore.
When another school is in the news,
it's deeply upsetting
but not surprising.
It's all I've ever known.
The Columbine High School shooting happened in 2001.
I was born a year later.
I've never actually known peace in this country...
Kim Jun 4
I am 14
I go to school
I do my times tables
I write my essays
I do my homework
I get shot

I am 14
I’m stressed about school
I’m worried about my grades slipping
I’m nervous when talking to my crush
I’m anxious when speaking in front of the class
I’m scared that the sound I heard was a madman with a gun

I am 14
I am confused
I am frustrated
I am enraged
I am scared
I am hiding under my desk trying not to scream

I am 14
I hate school
But for the wrong reasons
I hate it because people have died in my halls
I hate it because every sound I hear is a gun being shot
I hate it because I’m scared I’m going to die
Rayma Mar 14
Mom I’m home,
Guess what I learned in class today?
I learned what rooms are safest for hiding.
I learned what it sounds like to hear my classmates scream.
I learned what it looks like when the bodies of my friends fall
Like pretend soldiers that were never meant for a real war.

Mom, today I learned what war looks like,
Because now it looks like our schools.
We wear bulletproof backpacks and carry
Textbooks over our heads.
Our base is rigged with smoke bombs to
Disorient our enemies and
Little black boxes to let them know when we are safe.

Mom, today I learned the meaning of fear.
It means never seeing you again, or Dad.
It means sending texts in between clutching other people’s hands
As we all try to keep quiet as we quiver in the closets.
It means not knowing if the sounds outside the door are
Another tortured orphan, another lone wolf,
Or the sounds of our saviors coming to bring us home.

Mom, today I learned that I must fight.
I must fight for the future that I want to see.
I must fight for my friends, for other kids,
And for our right to live.
I must fight for Alyssa,
For Scott,
For Martin,
For Nicholas, Aaron, and Jaime.
I must fight for Peter,
For Joaquin,
For Cara, Gina, Luke, and Alaina.
I must fight for Meadow,
For Helena,
Alex, Carmen, Chris,
And all of the other students that won’t be coming home from school.
WE must fight for Parkland, for Sandy Hook, for Columbine, for Marshall County,
And all of the other schools that turned into historical battlegrounds.
Because this is history.

We are all actors if we continue to pretend that everything is okay.
We are all actors if we continue to think that anyone with a gun license
Should be able to purchase an assault rifle,
Though they continue use it on kids who haven’t even gotten their driver’s licenses yet.
Those of us here today, we are actors because we are fighting for what is right,
We are fighting to have our voices heard and our demands met.
But they are the ones who are acting.
They act like we are to blame for our own murders.
They act like the solution isn’t right in front of them.
They act like school shootings can be fixed with more guns.

No more.
No more guns in our schools.
No more wondering if we’ll make it off the campus today.
No more hoping that the world won’t forget their names.
No more fearing for our lives in a place that should be dedicated to educating us,
To bettering us, and to connecting us.
No more.
Written for March For Our Lives in honor of the students and faculty involved in the Parkland Shooting
after every massacre
by some fanaticized pathological idiot
politicians call upon their citizens
to come together
and pray for the murdered and their families

this is absolutely appropriate
also absolutely inefficient

but it seems
that ever since 9/11
the nation only comes together
AFTER more of its members have been killed

I wish very much
that the nation
   AND politicians
would come together
BEFORE  the next massacre
and take appropriate action
to prevent such disasters
in the first place
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html
Nico Reznick May 11
(A follow-up to "Whimper", which was written in response to "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg)

I have seen the best insanity of my generation destroyed by the worst minds.
I have seen humans turn into robots and the robots turn to fascism
because of What The Internet Told Them.
I have seen the weaponisation of our most rancid fears and watched
in horrified fascination as our inner demons got their own agents.
I have seen and felt the horizon constrict so tight, it’s getting
hard to swallow.

You have to understand, this isn’t what I wanted.
You have to realise, this isn’t what I meant.

This isn’t crazy.
This isn’t pure, natural, spontaneous crazy.
This is synthetic madness, manufactured madness,
genetically modified, mass-produced, mass-marketed madness:
As Seen On Television; approved by test audiences;
none of the calories, all of the carcinogens.
This goes beyond the deplorable allure of a free red hat.
This goes beyond dinosaur-dodo-dumb nostalgia for a blue passport
and a golden age that never was.
This is why you hire Cambridge Analytica.
This is the Project For The New American Sentence:
The message is, “It’s chaos out there, people; do what the **** you want.”
And the echo chamber,
and the echo chamber,
and the echo chamber,
and even the rage…
even the rage isn’t real.

Mercenaries, not maniacs.
No more lunatic songs.
That howling you hear is only feedback:
an endlessly shrieking loop of absolutely nothing, broadcast on
every channel, into every dream, until the fillings in our teeth buzz
and our institutions tear themselves apart, as
component materials hit resonant frequency.

This is how the world ends: Not with a whimper, but with
static.

We got the message wrong, giving credence to people
whose hatred is their only art.  They taught us
to avoid such human folly as Ruinous Empathy, to
distrust painful, decaying love, when these were the
things that might have saved us.
There’s a poet I know, who served in ‘Nam, who thinks
he might have even forgiven Nixon.  
Field Commander Cohen has checked out of the Chelsea Hotel,
deciding we wanted it too dark for him.
Too many of our heroes have turned out to be monsters.  We're haunted by
historic *** crimes, Cold War ghosts and the knowledge that we
could have done things differently.

The message was supposed to be, “It’s chaos, be kind.”

There's no such thing as a stable genius, but we've got
fake news and alternative facts; we're discovering the side-effects
of living post-consequence.  We're hypernormalised.  We're
past shock; our incredulity stretched beyond its
elastic limit; we've broken satire and nothing is really funny any more.

Welcome to the Disinformation Age.  These are our Interesting Times:
Glee Club and Gun Rehearsal; bloodied blue uniforms;
tears for the victims of the Bowling Green Massacre;
an early by-election for Batley and Spen;
very fine people on both sides; Thoughts & Prayers, our
only surplus, the ultimate fiat currency;
poverty **** and the return of social ****** (71 dead at Grenfell, NHS black alerts, rickets making a comeback, lead in the water); Drink the Kool-aid; humans like Kool-aid - **** stars on polygraphs; Netflix and Kompromat; the portrait
in Kissinger’s attic; Ayn Rand for Beginners; Corporate cosmology
and casino capitalism; government by gaslight; constructive ambiguity
to preserve a kakistocracy; bring me
the head of Roger Stone!  #EndOfEmpire;
Windrush and ****** Watergate…

I said we needed our madmen back, but not like
this.  Not
these posers, these gangsters, these Quislings…  
These are merely bad actors, playing to the crazy dollar,
but do not doubt their sanity,
which is icy and cynical and monstrous.  But,
in the cold fusion reactor of that sanity, they are unknowingly
forging a new generation of madmen, whose madness
will be righteous and real and burn with
a pure, perfect heat that cleanses and cauterises.  They
will know the difference between human
and humanoid.  They will be less afraid than us, less quick to
hate strangeness. They will use their craziness to
create, not destroy.  They have
already begun.

I know this because
I have witnessed six minutes and twenty seconds of silence that blazed hotter, howled louder than all your Fire and Fury.  I have seen
riot cops in Baton Rouge turn whiter and recoil in fear from serene, dignified, unarmed surrender. I
have heard the young sweetly whisper to the old,
‘Fine, but you’re wrong, and we’re right, and we will outlive you.’
You can’t hide that behind a wall.
You can’t say that life doesn’t matter.
You can’t filibuster the future.
Everything was forever, until it was no more.

Our madmen are gone, and they’re not coming back.  
But there will be others.
The best minds of their generation will not be destroyed by your sanity.
Follow-on to "Whimper", posted here: https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1513932/whimper/
Jey Blu Mar 30
The fire drill goes off
Students pour into the hallway
You don't see a fire
A single gunshot rings out
Another
Another
People are falling all around you
Students
Teachers
Friends
Screams echo
Tears run
Radio static
Shotgun
What kind of monster would do this?
You see your best friend crash to the floor
You run towards her but you are ushered away
GET OUT
GET AWAY
GET HELP
GET THE OFFICER
Running out the door as police file in
Watching through the window
Surrounding the shooter
Weapons drawn
Guns up
Click back
Pull trigger
Shooter falls dead to the floor
Silence
Medics rush in and run to the fallen
You can't find your brother
Please call your mother
Tears streaming down your face
Trying to go another place
Momma pulls up
She pulls you in a hug
A stretcher comes through the door where you escaped
Your brother's on the bed
There's a bullet in his head
Please please don't be dead
Sprinting over you scream
Bawling til there are no tears left
Rushing to the hospital
Following the ambulance
10 minutes later he's pronounced dead
Your stomach fills up with a sense of dread
Burying your brother isn't something you should have to do in high school
You see your best friend in the next room
Stuck in a coma and a bullet in her ****
Hours later
News on
14 injured
17 dead
All because of a kid that killed them when they were trying to save their lives.
Not great but I felt like writing something about it
Kind of based on Florida, mixed with other shootings
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