This is my 333rd post. Over that time I might have written some posts you agreed with or some that ticked you off. I hope I’ve made you either laugh, cry, think or get angry. I’ve spent a ton of hours doing this blog. If you’ve enjoyed my blog (or would like to punch me in the nose) I’d like to ask you to give me a bit of your time. I will be the featured poet this coming Tuesday at Pig Iron Press and I’d love to see you there. I don’t want to do much of my own material so I want you to come and be a part of the open mic. Come and read a poem or short story you’ve written. If you don’t write come and read something that has touched your life. The second Tuesday of the month at Pig Iron is always a monthly reading and we always welcome newcomers.
Tuesday June 10 Pig Iron Press Open Poetry Reading, begins at 7:30 p.m. FREE and open to the public.
Pig Iron Press Building
26 North Phelps Street
Downtown Youngstown (next to Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts). Use the door next to Pig Iron and we will be on the third floor. I hope to see you there.
I saw something on the news lately that I find troubling. Its groups of armed people with assault rifles slung across their backs, showing up at places like Sonic, Chili’s, Chipotle and Target. This is happening in Texas by the group Open Carry Texas. Many people who came in contact with Open Carry Texas found this frightening. Those frightened weren’t sure if people coming into a business with guns were good guys or bad guys. A member of Open Carry Texas said he had a right to carry a gun and if people were frightened they had a right to their fear. He seemed to be mocking people for having fear. I’d make the point that those that think they need to carry weapons are the ones who are fearful. If I shared their fearful minds I’d build a bunker and never leave it. I’d like to tell these gun enthusiasts that the second amendment is not the only amendment. It also does not come before other rights, and we have to protect the rights of our nation’s citizens to life and liberty over Open Carry Texas’s right to be dangerous goofs. I don’t have any issue with people having guns. I do have an issue when people use those guns to infringe on other people’s rights to feel secure.
The news also had a story of Oklahoma now legalizing bars at gun ranges. I was reading comments online about this. I used some of those thoughts and comments along with my own thoughts to write the following poem. These are the kinds of poems I will be reading at Pig Iron’s monthly readings. I like to think I write poetry for people who might not necessarily like poetry. I hope to see you at Pig Iron this Tuesday!
Oklahoma’s lawmakers ban guns
from entering their legislature
but they have OK’d a bar at a gun range.
Which leads me to ask
“How close is the nearest hospital?”
I imagine a sign saying
“No shoes, no shirt no service
but a gun no problem.”
Liquored up and packing artillery
what could possibly go wrong?
Any sane state’s lawmakers would say
“Liquor, guns and ammo oh no.”
With booze added to the shooting galleries
gun nuts can now thin out their own herd.
Gun ranges with bars will be the perfect location
for conservative candidates to campaign
and to have Republican voter registration.
The Second Amendment says
“Well regulated militia.”
Rednecks think that is merely a code phrase
that means get shit faced and discharge muskets.
South Carolina is also looking into building
giant shooting range complexes to attract tourists.
They will be a mega church where gun owners
can come and worship their god the gun.
After all the holy trinity in the red states is
gun ranges, Wal-Mart and titty bars.
A record number of guns and ammo
have been purchased over the last few years
because a black man was elected president.
Some of the gun ranges have targets featuring
Blacks, Latinos and Trayvon Martin.
Just good ole boy Southern fun.
At least now most of the targets
will be empty beer bottles.
Adding a bar to a gun range
gives new meaning to the term
“a shot and a beer”
and getting loaded.
Should we soon expect fireworks plants
located right next to match factories?
How about pot being sold
as an appetizer at Pizza Hut?
Who would want to work at a bar/firing range?
It would require calm nerves and quick reflexes.
I imagine ear plugs, a Kevlar vest
and lots of insurance are requirements for the job.
It may sound like I’m opposed to bars at gun ranges.
Fact is I actually think it’s a really great idea
and I hope liquor will soon be served
at gun ranges in all the red states.
Drunken gun nuts shooting each other?
Damn that’s fine entertainment
if we keep a safe distance.
See you there and I’ll bring the popcorn!
Area musician: Steve Vuich
“There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons,” said California Gov. Ronald Reagan in May 1967, after two dozen Black Panther Party members walked into the California Statehouse carrying rifles to protest a gun-control bill. Reagan said guns were “a ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.”