A guy is filmed on a beach. He is carrying a gun
not unlike guns carried by Hollywood movie stars
on the covers of DVD “must see” action films - you know
that man-alone look, that troubled soul look.
that straight to video this-is-an-earner look,
that down to the ground look of anguish and grief,
that I’m-a-good-looking-tough-guy look.
They’ve all been captured in that moody stance,
Clooney, Costner, Pitt, Washington, Seagal, Statham, Neeson, Willis,
Stallone, Schwarzenegger (he used to be an elected politician)
and others and others and others, romantic souls under contract driven
to sort out the bad guys regardless of anyone who gets in the way.
There is blood. There is always blood and lots of it.
There is death, there is destruction, mostly in slo-mo.
What appalls us in real life, entertains us in the movies.
We vomit our disgust at horrific news before gorging ourselves with popcorn.
I’m sixty-one. I watched westerns as a kid on the horse-arm of a settee.
I have not the slightest urge to be trigger-happy, to walk any streets
and challenge gunslingers to perform Kid Curry do or die draws.
I know the fantasy. I can see the reality. I know right from wrong.
I was taught religion but I’m not a fanatic kidding myself
that a voice in the clouds is telling me to shoot to kill for God, for God’s sake.
There is a guy in a US city with an ambition to start a race war,
a guy, it is reported, who got a gun for his birthday.
I got a gun once for my birthday, a plastic Winchester rifle,
a firearm that couldn’t hit a cow’s arse from two inches away
because, for Christ’s sake and in the name of all that’s holy, it was plastic.
The bombers, the beheaders, the murderers, the insane fuckwits –
just do your worst, then disappear because with all the bullshit
in your nut-brittle heads, you will not change a thing.
People with guns will never get into legitimate power.
Oh, hang on, wait a minute, think about it. Think.