We brought the guns from
Europe to America, lorded
them over the native people,
were careful to hit when we shot,
Part of scaring the people
into submission and stealing land.
We needed guns, or so we thought,
crammed together in close
quarters—England, France, Germany
and others within stone’s throw.
We looked all around, and best
weapons of war seemed to win.
We brought the disease across
the sea, that with our bibles
to justify treatment and dismissal
of a people clearly not Christian.
The Virginia Charter of 1606 clear,
calling all in armor sent across for the
…propagating of Christian religion to
suche people as yet live in darkeness
and miserable ignorance of the true
knoweledge and worshippe of God…
The descendants of Chief Luther
Standing Bear of the Lakota Sioux
from Wakan Tanka, the Great spirit
living among the kinship “with all
creatures of the earth, sky and water…
all of one blood, made by the same hand,
and filled with the essence of the
Great Mystery… The Lakota never
enslaved an animal, and spared all life
that was not needed for food and clothing.”
No cursing, no swearing, no loud guns
until we came here pushing our loud,
violent way as better.
And we tout a military that kills,
police that learn to kill, shooting for
the torso on the firing range, selling
our soul so often over the years,
All normalized and baked in the cake,
America the Beautiful shot in the heart,
helicopters overhead “keeping the peace?”
Killing is not defense, nor can it ever be.
Killing is offense, weapons of war, instruments
of fear—“all creatures hate them,” says
Lao Tzu, but what can one do? Jesus said
“Live by the sword, die by the sword,”
So we as humans get to choose. But if
your goal is to stop an attacker,
do so moderately short of stopping
his or her heart—
and the reward will be peace, and
perhaps a converted bad actor
given a second chance to be what
Wakan Tanka wants us to be.