Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Poem: Let Us Explain How This Happened In Your School

(The poem and collage, below, and preamble, are by Cynthia Jacobi, a volunteer for Ceasefire Oregon)

After Newtown, people asked what could you say to those parents who lost children?  
I ask what could we say to the children who we failed to 
Protect?  What could we possibly give as explanation?  

(Collage by Cynthia Jacobi)

Let Us Explain How This Happened In Your School    
by Cynthia Jacobi 

It happened because the mother was odd
     and the boy was weird   
because neighbors did not bake cookies to greet them
     blank curtains were drawn and lawns were wide

Because the mother could no longer sing the boy to sleep
because the mother didn’t lock the safe or hide the key
because the other kids pushed him aside

It happened because the mother took the boy to practice
because the mother took the boy Christmas shopping
because America sells mega-magazines everywhere
     and Hollywood sells violence

It happened because of Gun Luv
because we are the land of the brave and the free
     and cowboys and Bonnie and Clyde
because bullets open doors to entry

Because the boy didn’t need to reload much
It happened because the NRA
     loudspeakers spread dollars and fear
because there was no good guy with a gun
    to shoot the bad guy with a gun

It happened because we fail to be horrified for long
because hunters of quail and rabbit are silent

Because reasonable people find no reason to be so

It happened because we have forgotten the poems
     we once knew by heart


Monday, August 4, 2014

James Brady, the Man Behind the Brady Bill, Passes Away at Age 73

(UPDATED -- See below)

A statement from Ceasefire Oregon:

Ceasefire Oregon, the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Gun Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, along with millions of other gun violence prevention advocates mourn the passing of former White House press secretary James Brady. Mr. Brady was a true American hero and an inspiration for all of us who are fighting to make our communities safe from gun violence.

Wounded during an assassination attempt against President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady and his wife turned personal tragedy into a 30-year crusade to pass stronger gun laws and save lives. For those maimed by gun violence, he became a symbol of the purposeful life, made meaningful by the struggle to make all Americans safer.

As the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence pointed out, "Because of Jim's hard work and the policy that bears his name--the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act--an estimated 2 million gun sales to criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people have been blocked. As a result, countless lives have been saved. In fact, there are few Americans in history who are as directly responsible for saving as many lives as Jim."

An online condolence card can be signed HERE.

Articles from national news sites can be found HERE and HERE.

Other statements regarding Jim Brady's passing can be found HERE, and HERE.  

UPDATE (8/10/14):  A coroner has ruled Brady's death a homicide, since he died from ongoing complications caused by the bullet wound from Hinckly 33 years ago.