10 years ago today
20 small children and 8 others were
murdered by a gun in America.

It’s no longer a surprise
When someone is killed by a gun.
It has become a common occurrence
And no place is safe.

We place our children
in harms way daily
Putting them on a bus,
sending them to school,
taking them to Sunday school.

We, ourselves
take our life in our hands
Going to the grocery store,
Watching a parade or a movie.
Even going to work.

Guns go to all of these places
And people die.

America has decided that
Guns are our savior, that
Guns will save us from tyranny.

But guns are a false god.
They offer freedom,
But enslave their owners.

Creating an illusion of power
That gives no satisfaction.
And ultimately delivers
A grim reality.

Would you trust a grand piano
Hanging in space?
Would you sit
on a bench beneath it?

How much less likely
are you to die
By a falling piano,
then by being in
the path of a gun?

By Cheryl McDonald 2022©

How much trust do you have?
I saw this piano hanging above a bullseye target at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, there was a bench in the center of the bullseye. The question attached to this exhibit was; “How much do you trust what you can’t control? How far on to the target are you willing to go?” A young child was sitting on a bench below the piano totally unafraid of the grand piano hanging precariously above him. This was back in the year of 2008 or 2009. I took a photo and knew it would become part of my Left Hanging in Space Series.

In my drawing called Trust , which was completed in 2015, he sits instead on a bullet being fired from a gun within a gun in front of a blood-stained background. Still oblivious to the danger he is in. The number of mass shootings was growing, but not to the degree of regularity that is happening today and Sandy Hook was already a reality. You can see the full drawing here.

As I have been thinking about this painting over the last week, in order to create its poem, it was puzzling me. Why did I sit the child on the bullet in the mouth of a gun? Today I was listening to the news, and I realized this painting was about our need for serious gun control measures in this country. As I listened to one of the mothers of a murdered child in the Sandy Hook massacre 10 years ago, my heart ached once more for the loss of so much young life.

How can this be in one of the most modern and wealthy nations in the world? Why can we not keep guns out of the hands of mentally unhinged humans? Why can’t we have nationwide background checks and why does everyone need the right to own an AR-15 style rifle?

Many of my friends are gun owners and some of them will tell me this is about the 2nd amendment. That we should all have an arsenal in case our government wants to take away our freedom. I say our government has way bigger guns than any of my friends. They even have the nuclear kind. How does an AR-15 defend against that?
Which takes me to January 6th, 2020. Where armed rioters tried to overthrow a peaceful transfer of power in our nation’s capital. What if they had been armed with guns instead of bear spray and various hand-held tools? Who would have protected our democracy then? Should everyone be carrying an AR-15 or maybe a nuke in their back pocket?

War is always a possibility until we start to listen to each other and find better ways to deal with grievances. There is no quick and easy answer for this, but until we have the courage to trust each other and take steps to curb gun use, at least in this country, nothing will change and more people will continue to die by gun violence.

More guns do not make us safer. More pianos for children to play might.

Have a blessed day,

If you have never been to the Exploratorium , I highly recommend it. Take a child and go visit and explore. It is full of science, nature, and ideas that have hands-on aspects that are great for children and adults.

Published by cherylmcdonald

Thank you for taking a little time to get to know me. Making art has been my life, I love to tell stories through words and pictures. I am a multi-media artist working in photography, watercolor, various drawing media, and sometimes digital art.

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