Response Poem to America is a Gun

America is a Gun by Brian Bilston

England is a cup of tea.

France, a wheel of ripened brie.

Greece, a short, squat olive tree.

America is a gun.

Brazil is football on the sand.

Argentina, Maradona’s hand.

Germany, an oompah band.

America is a gun.

Holland is a wooden shoe.

Hungary, a goulash stew.

Australia, a kangaroo.

America is a gun.

Japan is a thermal spring.

Scotland is a highland fling.

Oh, better to be anything

than America as a gun.



Response to Brian Bilston’s America is a Gun

“Bystanders killed by bullets not specifically intended for them have long been

a very small part of the homicide problem.” (Journal of Quantitative Criminology)


Bystanders have been a small

part of homicide problem;

how dare they keep jumping in

front of those stray bullets.


America IS a gun.

Three hundred and twenty one

people are shot ev’ry day,

ninety unintentionally.

America IS a gun.

Some are only bystanders;

fathers, mothers, son, daughters,

grandfathers, and grandmothers.

America IS a gun.

Innocents shot while driving,

sitting, standing, and sleeping;

talking, visiting, and walking.

America IS a gun.

Others are shot while shopping,

at the movies, concerts, and

clubs, or while going to school.

America IS a gun.

We do nothing to fix this,

stymied while the next bullet

Flies at the next “untarget.”


Per one hundred thousand people,

eighteen countries suffer the loss

of half a person to shootings.

Then there's Chile; then there's US.*

*Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation