Robert Ronnow


A Gun In Every Home - Poem by Robert Ronnow

Two fine films: The Lost City and Blood Diamond.
I joined Blood Diamond during a village massacre
and said to my wife A gun in every home.
Those devils would think twice
before razing the village and seizing the boys.

A well-regulated militia.
The local militia the most interesting moment
in a strong film with motive (economic, emotional) ,
      action (chases, fights) and a sexy,  sexless love story.
Use of violence by the local militia for a limited purpose:
      protect the community, the young
from the janjaweed. The crop from the weed.
Limited scope and defensive posture
but armed and coordinated, cooperative, the men (and
      the women) side by side.
Warriors at the gate, you will not run, you will not
      bargain.
Just violence = limited scope, defensive posture.

Great music. Cuba, Africa.
The Lost City, when the communists tell the club owner
      under threat of violence
No saxophones in the band. The saxophone!
Invented by a Belgian - Look what the Belgians are
      doing in the Congo!
When the state's violence is turned against the citizenry
for non-violent acts.

This quiet neighborhood, July,
undergirded by violence, force. That's a given -
any farmer, custodian, EMT will tell you that.
Without just violence
Gandhi's scope, and King's, might be vanishingly limited,
negligible (but not non-existent) ?
                                                        Regarding King
the matter is simple - he was non-violent but dependent
      upon
federal force to counter the South's violence.
No doubt without the larger force, the non-violent would
      be overwhelmed by southern violence.
Here, non-violence was a tactic, not an ethic.
Gandhi, however, had no violent partner to protect him
      from the British. Or did he?
1. There was the potential violence of the population, which Gandhi restrained but could release which the British feared, and
2. It was the restrained (limited scope) violence of the British that allowed Gandhi to exist rather than be extinguished - this restraint was a (British) cultural imperative (limited scope) as well as emanating from Britain's view of India as a protectorate and valued    citizen of the United Kingdom (defensive posture) .

What about violence or threat of violence to compel
      compliance with community
as in mortgage foreclosure, driving without license, drug
      possession.
Perhaps it is necessary violence to maintain orderly
      commerce, the common space, and preempt bad
      behaviors associated with otherwise neutral, private
      acts.
The defensive posture is the common good; the limited
      scope is forgoing deadly force.
But the citizen, too, must maintain a disciplined, armed
      non-violence,
in case the state (the janjaweed) engages in an unjust,
      autoimmune violence.
Hence, a gun in every home.

Topic(s) of this poem: blood, city, fight, good, home, lost, love, music, violence, wife


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 26, 2015



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