Thoughts in response to the Highland Park mass shooting on July 4th, 2022, and on mass shootings in general.
The morning after
He ascended the ladder
And pulled the trigger of his own destiny,
We focused on the guns
And the guns
Others criticized the madman’s use of
The Pills used to curb the anxiety,
Qualm the urge to kill
For a young white man who had every privilege
Yet didn’t work
Rapped into the digital vortex
Wanting to be heard
Wanting to matter to someone,
Yet who was really listening?
A follow, a like, a click
Is no substitute for human interaction.
Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big nothing but keeping us
Sick, disengaged, unfulfilled
An artificial substitute for what all humans really need
To be seen, heard, valued,
It’s a bitter pill to swallow
To know this scene will play out again
Is there no end, no bottom, no bloody red line?
Or are these dark forces of hate, inaction and deceit beckoning us
Enticing us until we all pick up arms and turn on each other?
The spraying of bullets
Is a coward’s lazy way to make a problem disappear
But the harder road to take would be to
Unplug from it all.
To re-engage in our humanity
Re-establish our rights to protect our precious minds.
To be at peace with simple pleasures unseen,
Enjoy human to human connection without the barrier
Of a screen
The constant drone of a digital Judge and Jury
Telling us who to fear, who to hate
And in the end
maybe the ultimate destruction
Will be everything we think we are afraid of losing-
our families, our faith, our wealth,
When the last shot is fired,
And the last pill swallowed
When it all goes black
Will our last moment of consciousness ponder
Whether the guns, the likes, the fame, the money, the retribution-
Was that the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness we were promised?