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January 24th, 2013
06:29 PM ET

After death, great poet still speaks out on guns

By Nova Safo, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Sandburg produced much of his writing in the 1910s and 1920s, while a journalist in Milwaukee and Chicago. Among his contributions to American culture was his descriptive phrase of Chicago, “City of Big Shoulders.”

A newly discovered poem, which had languished in Sandburg’s voluminous archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, seems as if it could have been written today. It vividly portrays the author’s feelings toward guns in stark and powerful language.

Considering the current gun debate, university officials felt the poem was so relevant that they released it to the public.

[3:04] “Given the nature of that poem and how much it applies to current events, I really consider it a great find,”

said George Hendrick, professor emeritus of English at the University of Illinois, who spent decades acquiring the Sandburg collection.

Hendrick, who spent decades assembling the Sandburg archive and who edited a book of previously unpublished Sandburg poems, is sure that the new poem is authentic. University officials consulted with other experts as well who all agreed on its authenticity.

The poem is printed on the same kind of onionskin paper that Sandburg often used, and print smudges on the ink match his typewriter.

You can read the complete poem below and play our audio story above to hear how the discovery was made and learn of Sandburg’s relevance in America’s cultural history.

Revolver

Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.
When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution come in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.

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soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Frederick van Tassell

    I saw this phrase that speaks volumes on this issue. "If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words?"

    January 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MartinR

    The UN ((Not a NRA affiliate)) report makes it clear WE DO NOT HAVE A GUN PROBLEM

    Americans gun and non-gun owners are actually good people despite what our media and the rest of the world would have you believe.

    UNESCO the UN data gathering group post yearly gun violence scores for each and every UN member country, and some interesting facts that the media has not reported can easily be looked up.

    If you discount gang violence in the United States it turns out that our gun owners are an incredibly safe and kind people, and our "gang free" gun violence scores put us in the same territory as Sweden and the U.K.

    The U.S. ranks #1 in private gun ownership, yet even with all the gang violence inflating our stats we still only rank 26th in the world for gun violence. I bet that comes as a shock to most readers due to the constant hype of gun violence in the media. Without gangs inflating our stats we rank a lowly 153 out of 193 U.N. countries.

    While the U.N. does not like the fact we allow private gun ownership, their own research supports the fact that America does not have a gun problem and that U.S. gun owners are safe, respectful, and not the nuts the media would have you believe.

    But where does that leave us? Number one we have to face the fact we are to blame for most of the issues we face. How long have we let politicians turn us against one another over abortion, gun rights, or gay marriage while they get away with ignoring the abject poverty they've cause in our inner cities.

    Rampant poverty, Inner city blight and failing school systems all fall squarely at the feet of your elected officials, who are more than happy to let you fight amongst yourselves as long as they avoid being held accountable.

    While Sandy Hook and Aurora Colorado create a media storm causing us to focus our attention on mental health, gun control, and other issues. We need to address our societal and leadership shortfalls on a daily basis and not wait for the system to fail.

    We the American people have become so self involved over little issues that divide us that we hardly notice the suffering around us. So much so that media groups rarely even bother to report it, lets look at what happens in a typical average day in the U.S.

    Every single day 180 children go missing in our country.
    Every single day 250 females are raped in our country.
    Every single day 27 people are killed in gang violence.

    The U.N. report clearly shows that guns are not a problem in the U.S. but we still choose them as the bogey man in the argument as it's far easier than addressing poverty, failing schools and a corrupt government.

    If you like this article then please forward it, as I found it enlightening that America is not the rampant cesspool the media describes and that the American people statistically rank quite well against the rest of the world.

    But on the other hand feeling good about yourself doesn't mean you get to slack off and let your elected officials ignore the real issues in this country.

    January 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron S

      The reason gun owners are so kind and friendly in your data is because you took out criminals. Obviously your data is going to show less violence because you purposely skewed it to make a point.

      January 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thor

    Precisely as Mr Sandburg states, what the revolver.... or more mundanely placed..... what the gun can do, speaks of a finality of death. No beating around the bush about it. The bottom line is: it is even the voice of poets that we know what death brings; why do we refuse to teach our children the lesson of our poet?

    January 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Doc Preacher

    Douglas Allchin, you have to understand that there are horrible people throughout the world. I, currently serving in Afghanistan, haven't really felt the impact of this assault weapon ban but I can tell you that this truly upsets me. I believe that if i want to own a .50 caliber sniper rifle or a AR-15 carbine assault rifle to go rabbit hunting, I will go out and buy one. Also, North Korea has the largest military in the world and is backed up by China. The United States as a combined strength of only 1% of the US popluation (last estimate 2 million) and the military is having cut backs and is "trimming the pile". So, let's just say that we, Americans, get invaded (a wild long shot) by N. Korea and China, do you think that with that combined strength, could 2 million Americans who serve in the US military fight them all off? We are an awesome military and the most tactically proficient military out there but don't you think that we would love the help of our local militia...wait for it....OUR OWN CITIZENS?!?!?! With all the arms we have (more than anyone in the world) ordinary citizens would help fight for freedom in ways that citizens did it in 1776?

    I am not saying what happened at that elementary school was horrible, but think of it like this: someone could go to a mall and shot everyone is single-shot pistols from the 18th century, or even poke people to death in their funny bone with a pen, or mass murder with a butter knife. The point is that you can hurt anyone with anything. Where would you want to be; on the side with bats trying to defend your home from an intruder with gun because of way to aggressive bans on firearms or would you want to defend your family at any cost with your own gun. It's just the matter of who is the quicker draw.

    January 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • bothered

      The point is that you can hurt anyone with anything.
      Do you think if regular weapon can be used in a war, let north korean to delelop nuke as they may lanuch a war anyway? Hm...

      January 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenna

      And if I want to own an atomic weapon, why should I be stopped?

      If the American government wants to attack its own people, it won't use guns, it will shut down your bank account, cancel all your credit cards, shut off all utilities, and cut off all communication systems. Your life will be at the government's mercy and you will never have the opportunity to fire a single shot. You are living in a 21st-century world with 16th century weapons. How naive can human beings possibly be?

      January 28, 2013 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
      • rhino

        i guess if you had enough money and know how, you could have one. why? are you all the sudden going to turn in to a mass murderer of millions or something just b/c you possess a weapon? freedom is a great thing and does not corrupt people as much as power and wealth do.

        January 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • ray1950

        'If the American government wants to attack its own people, it won't use guns, it will shut down your bank account, cancel all your credit cards, shut off all utilities, and cut off all communication systems. Your life will be at the government's mercy and you will never have the opportunity to fire a single shot. You are living in a 21st-century world with 16th century weapons. How naive can human beings possibly be?"

        Absolutely brilliant!!

        January 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Uh...NK does not have the largest military in the world – their military is estimated at 1 million persons out of a total population of around 24 million. If we have 2 million that means we have a bigger military...Also, if we needed to and the cause was a real one and not going on a wild goose chase for non existent weapons we could institute a draft. Regarding your 50 cal point to go 'rabbit hunting' that is exactly the kind of talk that makes the rest of us gun advocates look bad. If you really did/are serving our country (there's no way to verify that online) then thank you for it.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Dondi Cook

      I am in agreement with You statement: "The point is that you can hurt anyone with anything."

      A Brick wall used properly can be devestating, and that seet Gem of a yellow fruit w know as the Banana if shoved down someones windpipe will only go so far before it sticks, and therefore it is a DEADLY WEPON...

      As for The Militia You mention, unfortunately the Anti-Gun Nutjobs don't bother to read the Articles of Militia... We both know they need to SET DOWN and SHUT UP!

      Constitutionally speaking, the Militia is NOT THE NATIONAL GAURD, It is Every Able Bodied Man(SHOULD Now be read as CITIZEN) between the Ages of 17-45 Years of age.

      Because it is Mandated that All constitutional Language is to be at the reading leval of the common people, and that has long been determined to be that of a third grade reading level, it should be very understandable at face value and say without question what exactly it meens.

      SO, If any U.S. Citizen does not posses an ARM to keep and bear as is stated in the Constitution as a requirement to [CIVILIAN] Militia they Are in Violation of Such, and Constitutionally Speaking, this make them Criminals!!!

      January 28, 2013 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Wow, crazy is out today...

        January 28, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. WatrGrrl

    Good poem by Mr Sandburg, although he present only one aspect of a gun: it's use for crime. But then, this is the tactic of people that can only think two dimensionally: good-bad, yes-no, right-wrong, hot-cold, white-black. In the real world, bicameral thought is the refuge of the unimaginative who deny the existence of all the shades of grey between their white-black philosophy of gun use. Is the policeman that uses a gun to prevent the death of innocents a bad man? Was the military that defeated the Nazis in World War 2 an evil, marauding army? Is the man that uses a gun to protect his family from criminals a bad man? Is the family that relies on the use of a rifle to hunt for meat bad? Nice poem, foolish absolutist fool that uses it for propaganda.

    January 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Douglas Allchin

      I love comments such as these, which purport to be lofty but evidence a sad lack of even the fundamentals of good grammar or indeed the meaning of words.. As poems are about words this is quite important?

      Bi-cameral means two-chambered or two-roomed, and cannot reasonably be used to describe a pattern of thought that is either black or white in aspect. So too its does NOT take an apostrophe, unless used as a contraction of it is, nor do plurals...

      Sadly writing something that has resonable grammar, or expecting others to do so is now considered 'elitist' as if it is fair to write down whatever rambling thoughts one has, and then expect the audience to attempt to divine what one may have meant?

      The comment also misses the poet's point – namely that 'justice' or 'right' – here characterised by 'God' is too often determined my the person or force with the most guns, regardless of any real assessments of the merits of the case?

      January 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jack McCauliffe

        Did you read your reply? The pot is equally black.

        January 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • NC2012

      I doubt Sandburg only thinks in one dimension LOL it was a poem he wrote ~ ...see how quick people are to label someone liberal? :) He was only stating pulling the trigger is a final act and can not be taken back ~

      January 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sophie

      Not true. A gun is a weapon of mass murder no matter how it is used. Killing is killing murder IS murder, no matter what you are doing it to. Some people like to hunt,i get that, or feel they need protection, but the problem isn't the gun. It's the person behind the gun. The difference between someone in the army and any person walking down the street, is that in the army that is what you are trained to do. You have to learn to control the power you hold. Without guns people will still kill eachother, but it has become too much. Too many random people have access to guns, America has the amount of deaths by gun, by FAR. I don't think any random person should be able to buy a gun, it';s dangerous and stupid. I don't care if its in the constitution that anyone can have a gun. That was hundreds of years ago, people were more trustworthy and oless stupid. Back then you could trust your neighbor, that isn't the case anymore.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ryno

        And Sophie, that is exactly the case – you CAN'T trust your neighbor anymore – although I would recommend moving if that is that case – I've got neighbors and I trust them with my life, BUT you can't trust everyone – hence the need for personal protection. Using a firearm in self-defense is NOT murder. I would much rather have my wife standing over the body of a scumbag rapist, instead of being the victim of that rapist. (and yes, there are thousands of stories like that around the country).

        Let us not remember the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives saved every year because a common citizen owned a gun and used it to protect themselves and the family. I've had individuals in my family, and myself included whose lives were saved because we had a firearm.

        Remember the 2nd Amendment likely prevented an invasion by empirical Japan during World War 2. The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting – it is about the people having the ability to resist a tyrannical government – that is the explicit reason that it was included in the Bill of Rights. The threat of tyranny now is no different than it was in the 1700's or 1800's, or 1900's. Some may scoff and laugh that off – but look at the countless times in the history of the world where a government has imposed tyranny upon it's people. To assume that it won't or couldn't happen here in America follows the same logic of me saying I never will need a spare tire because I haven't had a flat in the past 20 years of my driving, but yet – I still keep a spare tire in the trunk.

        The 2nd Amendment helps ensure that we are able to keep the rest of those Amendments.

        January 28, 2013 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jimjam77887

    Cnn stoops to new LOW!! Cnn, you have become FOx news. Shame on you. You are a real disappointment.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. smako

    The only dead people I want to hear speaking about the Second Amendment are the ones who wrote it. I would carry a cap and ball pistol for protection because if I only wing an attacker the infection would kill him.

    January 26, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe Shmoe

    He said it himself, it's the "finger" (meaning the "person") that's the problem. Also Joe42 is a genius, "Apparently, the Taliban and Vietcong didn't get that memo." Hilarious.

    January 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Auggie Doggy

    You know, all this nonsense has simply backfired – turning barely profitable gun compaines into Fortune 500's. There's an old saying – don't wish too hard for something.... you might just get it. Legislation will unintentionally double/triple the number of gun owners in this country, many of them first-timers, who will finally "get it" after they've gone down to the range, llearned the tried and trued manual of arms, gun safety and range safety protocol. And for those of you who wanting to ban guns outright, this market rush and mass gun buying frenzy will have a significant effect on previously anti-gun citizens, permanently altering their thinking processes about the evil 2nd amendment. For those of you who think guns simply jump up and explode rounds with llittle or no provocation – you need to
    1) Get real
    2) Grow up
    3) Get current, and stop taking in all the nonsense Hollywood elitists feed you in the media and on the screen
    4) Take a certified firearms safety course, and get with the program.

    If you ain't ever flown a plane, went snowboarding, jet-skiing, or never had a relationship with the opposite sex, don't ever lecture the 90%t of us about whats' "normal" and "perfectly acceptable" and "fun"

    January 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Douglas Allchin

      I know that English is not my first language, but what language is this? It seems the more passionate the position taken the more inarticulate the holder? Hollywood elitists? What has Hollywood got to do with this? Indeed my memories of the Hollywood films that reached our shores were full of guns...

      To interject a few facts (always something that so many Americans avoid..)

      1) The rest of the West and countries like japan have far lower rates of gun crime that the USA whilst largely prohibiting gun pownership. Some countries even have a largely unarmed police force (as in the United Kingdom I believe). They also have lower rates of crime that the US.

      2) Many guns used by 'bad' folk are stolen from the gun owning homes of 'good' folk... Newtown is a classix example.

      3) Many gun injuries in the US are from 'friendly fire' either the owner shooting themself or a close friend or ralative.

      4)The3 problem would seem to be a country with an enormous number of folk who wish to break the law (for the USA has more folk in prison that ANY other country, including North Korea, China, Russia or, well as I said, anybody) coupled with ready access to guns.

      4) The 'militia' provision was instituted mainly to give some measure of defense against a British return – as at the time the USA did not have the funding for an adequate standing army. It now has by far the largest standing military in the world.. if it still needs a militia then... what in God's name is the military for?

      5) Many argue that the right to carry arms protects them from the government becoming a tyranny.. well if the government has the largest military in the world then a few hundred thousand assault rifles will not help you!

      Guns are perniscious. The real enemy out there is, apparently, either your fellow citizen, or your distrusted government? maybe of course it is just your own poaranoia?

      January 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ryno

        1) Arguing the "lowest gun crime" statistic is grossly misleading. You MUST look at overall crime – and the United States isn't even in the top 20 – and it is preceded by countries that have extremely strict firearm laws. Japans suicide rate dwarfs that of the U.S., not only that but there are fundamentally huge differences in the culture of Japan and the U.S. – so much to dilute a rational comparison. Of course these countries have loser "gun crime" – of course they do – they have less guns. BUT they have FAR, FAR higher rates of robbery, violent crime, assaults, and rapes. The U.K. is one of the MOST dangerous country in the E.U. – it's violent crime rate is 4 TIMES higher than the U.S.

        2) FALSE, FALSE, FALSE. There is ZERO data to support that statement. Many of the guns used in gun crime were purchased either illegally, or legally first and then through a straw purchase (which is illegal).

        3) Yes, there are accidental deaths – we should have none, but those are the fault of the gun owner not being responsible. However, multiple studies have shown that stringent gun-control laws have no effect on accidental deaths from firearms. Do you realize how many accidents are caused by people who are under the influence of alcohol? Do you realize how many children die from NON-firearm related accidents? I'll give you a hint – the numbers are on orders of magnitude higher than firearm deaths, and yet, there is nor public outcry to ban pools where drownings take place, or to ban cars and alcohol.

        4) The USA has more people in prison because unlike those countries you listed we actually prosecute in and incarcerate people for breaking the law, and keep them there. The majority of prison inmates are there due to drug-related crimes. NO they do not have ready access to guns – once you are a convicted felon you cannot purchase a firearm legally. Will they? Sure – but they also do in every other country.

        4) This argument is among one of the most widely misunderstood regarding the 2nd Amendment. Multiple court cases (and even a reading of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the views of the Founding Fathers) show, unequivocally and without doubt that the 2nd Amendment was meant for the INDIVIDUAL to bear arms. It was not "for when the British return" – there's nothing, not even a hint in any historical writing that backs up your claim. The militia at the time consisted of the common-man, everyone was a citizen soldier. True we do have a large military today – but the common citizen still bears just as much responsibility to fight for his country should the need arise. The fact alone that the individual can bear arms PREVENTED the land invasion of the U.S. by imperial Japan.

        5) Nice try- but there's actually over 300 million guns in the U.S. – and yes, they would make a difference – look at the thousands of times throughout history where a small force dominated a superior one – heck even our own Revolution was won by farm boys with muskets. The Soviet Union and Alexander the Great were brought to their knees because of small bands of fighters in Afghanistan – history is replete with case after case of a small force defeating a large one. It's called guerrilla warfare. Heaven forbid something like that happens the military would not follow that kind of mandate – since a vast majority of them are all strong 2nd Amendment supporters. The threat of tyranny is no less today than it was in the 1700's, the 1800's or the 1900's. Look at the overwhelming number of instances in the history of the world where a government has become tyrannical, or when the citizens of a nation became the victims of evil people. To even remotely deny this would be intellectual dishonesty of the highest degree. It is an absolute folly to assume that it cannot happen in our day and time.

        Evil people are pernicious – not guns. Knives, hammers, baseball bats and cars are all pernicious. Apparently you've never been in situation where a gun saved your life. I HAVE – as have members of my family. I would not be here if it were not for a firearm – and there are literally millions of stories just like mine.

        If you want to be the victim of a robbery that turned deadly, a home invasion, or having a loved one killed or harmed or raped, then go right ahead. Personally, I'll make sure that I, nor my loved ones are kept safe because I took responsibility for myself and protected myself and my family. Could there be a tyrannical government in the U.S.? Not likely – at least for the time-being, but then again I'm sure the people of Egypt, Syria, Sarajevo, Polish Jews, etc. etc. would all agree with me, and not you. ;)

        At least understand the purposes behind the 2nd Amendment before attempting to argue it. You accuse us of paranoia? How is ensuring my safety and my families safety being paranoid? Your comment is the same as me saying: "Do you carry a spare tire in your car? You haven't had a flat tire in years – you are so paranoid!"

        A firearm is no different. I'd rather have it, and never need it – then be in desperate need and not have it.

        January 28, 2013 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Auggie Doggy

    Are you kidding? Where do you news people come up with this stuff. Obviously, there's a mushroom/joint/hash break at 10am and 2pm built into your work schedulesd

    January 26, 2013 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. NC2012

    So many ideas in this column... It appears many do not want to improve our society but go back in time. 2nd Amend? at the time we did not have a Military but rather citizens fighting to protect our country. OK everyone keep your guns what ever you wish but you must have a HUGE insruance policy for every single gun you own. That way if someone is killed by your firearm you pay the price ~ FELONY for not having insurance and FELONY for selling to someone without a background check ACCOUNTABILITY is the key here ~ you want a firearm pay the price ... this will create more jobs in the insurance industry and for all those law abiding citizens whose children have access to their guns? well they will think twice about where they stash their guns..accidents? Insurance has to pay for accidents when someones kid shots the neighbor accidently.. By the way for those who did not understand the poem ~ it is called education and creative thinking ~

    January 26, 2013 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • GLK20c

      We didn't have a military in the 18th century? How exactly did we defeat the largest, most well organized military on earth? With our citizens. Who do you think is serving in today's military? Our citizens, many of whom personally own the kind of rifles they are issued upon enlistment. Your ideas, and those of people like you, are not correlated with living in free society, and why you, and people like you, are losing this battle.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Elliot

        The writers of the Constitution did not want a peacetime military. Following a declaration of war, Congress calls up the militia (article 1, section 8) and the militia bring their own firearms with them. The firearms in the 18th century were single shot pistols and 50 caliber muzzle loading rifles. The navy made wooden ships. The technology and manufacture of revolvers and ships made of metal, tanks and all the rest came later. A military in peacetime came later.

        January 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
        • NC2012

          Elliot,
          Thank you ~ that was my point in stating we did not have a Military at the time of the Second Amend. As you said we had citizens fighting wiht thier own weapons. It is a little different now as you pointed out many do not unerstand that point.
          To Dagobert II and others I did not see any reponse to the insurance idea? I said keep your guns just pay to insure them ~ and no I do not need anyone to fight for me I was in the USN Reserves for 8 years :) did you serve? or just play with your guns LOL

          January 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dagobert II

      And what do you propose for those of us who refuse to comply with your request, seeing as you don't have any arms to back you up? Oh, that's right, you expect mercenaries to do what you yourself are afraid to do.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Auggie Doggy

        Gungrabbers (Dems, Libs GLBT) always worry about their backsides, since they don't own them, unless it suits their little agenda (Feinstein, O'Donnell, Michael Moore). More Socialism elitist attitudes, so fight back hard on this, because it will always be "Don't do as we do – do as we say...." or else"

        January 26, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Auggie Doggy

      Great ideas. Now, down to business. Simply enforce/beef up the laws already on the books, those addressing gun violence, rather than ownership. STOP attacking owners, start attacking criminals.

      -Use a gun in the commission of a crime? Automatic five years, federal time (no time off).
      – Injure someone, causing grieveous damage/injuries? Automatic life sentence for grievous bodily injuries, and 5-20 years for damage to property during the commission of a crime against others – running consecutively. No time off.
      -Murder someone in the commission of a crime – forfeit your life – that means the death penalty, and you get one (1) uno, eins appeal. Public execution – bring the kids. "See what happens when you shoot nice people? They shoot you...."
      -llegals using guns/weapons to assault/rob/steal from citizens in this country.? Twenty years to life. Murder? That should be easy. Waltz them down to the border, put a cap in them, dump them on the other side of the border, in full view of the rats that sleeze around near the fences.

      No parole, no time off. Shoot someone breaking into your home or while being assaulted by an armed suspect? You get a Governor's citation and full restitution from the Federal Government, along with a Presidential apology for allowing this gun ban edict to interfere with your rights to defend yourself, family and homestead.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
      • NC2012

        Auggie Doggie,
        You are correct we need to beef up the laws on the books and punish rather than turn them loose. BUT Mexico is hoping we pass bans saying somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% of their guns come from the US.. Does Mexico mftg. semi automatics? Second the "mass shootings" that have occured were law abiding citizens who either purchased or borrowed the guns from a family member. The recent Newtown shooter? well his Mother encouraged him to learn how to shoot the semi auto. The only reason more were not killed in CO because the gun jammed. Third the homicide numbers show just that they do not include all the numbers of people hit by flying bullets. Fourth I have yet to hear a valid reason to own a semi automatic. If you can not protect your home and family with a revolver or regular old shotgun in my opionion you should not be shooting. PLEASE do not go there with the what happens if there is more than one intruder If someone pulls out a 357 or shotgun and starts shooting tell me ~ who is going to rush you? they are going to run like @#!$% WHO needs a 30 round clip? as many have stated these bullets are intended to do the most damage possible. MAYBE if people were present at the morgue to see the actual damage and the families grief they would have a different thought process. If anyone is keeping these weapons to prevent tyranny they really need to look elsewhere for a place to live. Personally I do not want anyone in the private citizen arena protecting me or my family while I am at the mall or anywhere in public ~ That is why we have a police force and our Great Military for bigger things. The only reason people have an assualt rifle is because it is really easy to shoot when you have 30 rounds to hit one object and two they are light weight. Just like many other areas "we the people" are lazy and look for the easiest way out. It is too difficult to learn how to properly shoot so pick up an AK or Glock and have numerous mags to back you up. Myself I only need one shot :) and I would identify my target as I have been taught. Oh yea and no accidents because you treat every gun as loaded and never leave them around for little kids to pick up and play with.

        January 27, 2013 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
        • NorseDog99

          Banning all Semi-Autos would effectively remove all firearms using 100+ yr old technology. Including Hunting riffles, many shotguns and all non-revolver pistols. And everyone saying that these rounds are designed for "maximum damage" please read up on the .223/5.56 round. It was designed to maim enemy soldiers as one wounded soldier removes 2 more from the field to tend to him and get him to safety(all bullets can kill, but on average it takes multiple .233/5.56 to drop an enemy). This is why Sniper riffles in the Military use a much larger round because they are designed for one-shot one-kill. Here is a video showing different rounds and the damage they do (the video is from Hanitiy who is an a-hole, but Jesse Duff does the best comparison I've seen on a video)

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjeL8d_7XV0&w=640&h=390]

          Also you mentioned a shotgun, you do know that a single trigger pull from a 12ga shotgun loaded with 00buckshot is the equivalent of 10 shots fired from an AR-15. So a 6shot shot gun is the equivalent of 2 60rnd mags when in close quarters like a classroom or a movie theater. (the Aurora shooters AR-15 100rd mag jammed and most of the damage was from his 12ga (5 shots) and .40 pistol that he reloaded 4x (60 shots)

          January 27, 2013 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
        • NorseDog99

          here is the youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjeL8d_7XV0

          January 27, 2013 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
        • Jimjam77887

          NC2012 You know so little and write so much. A 12g shotgun is a far more devastating weapon than an AR. There were fewer than 400 killed last year by ANY rifle, yet you want to ban AR's? 10,228 killed by drunk drivers and you want to ban AR's? This is a free country, and I can choose the weapon I wish to use for self defense. The AR is a great platform and is easily repaired by novice gun owners.

          January 27, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
        • NC2012

          Norsedog99,

          Look at your numbers 12 Ga 5 shots ~ pistol reloaded 4 x 60 SHOTS or 100 for the AK...
          357 6 shots reloaded 4x would be? 24 shots vs 60? or a 12 GA vs 100 rounds? PLEASE or rather Thank you as you are making the point for banning large clips :) Oh and bet the 357 is a little harder to aim for the average person rather than spraying the crowd from the hip. Guess that world champion shooter was not at the scene of Newton to see what damage those bullets can inflict on little people. Or the damage done at VA or CO or those kids in wheel chairs due to being hit by those little tiny bullets.

          One partciular Army General stated the AK was designed to inflict max damage. DId you happen to see the video of the guy shooting out of the back of his van fleeing from police? the Cop got shot in the head, arm and I could not even imagine this criminal being able to shot a shotgun or revolver in that manner because ? OH he would have to aim rather than just shooting.

          Jimjam you siad it all 'great platform for novice shooters' You again made my point people are to lazy to learn how to properly handle a weapon ~ go for easy LOL So when are you purchasing your new tank as you seem to think you can have anything you want? Got news for you the majority of the population want to ban large clips and have universial background checks :)

          January 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
        • NC2012

          Norsedog,

          Great video of competition shooting demo. What material is being used for the target? and what about the exit hole? or what happens when shot into human bodies?

          Now see how an AK can shoot through metal

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrXEjw8Vdh8&w=640&h=390]

          AK 47 vs Steel

          January 28, 2013 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • TC

      Well put, both points. Wish I knew how to "follow" this person (NC2012) like one can on another news site. Regards.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimjam77887

      Good luck with that.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Dondi Cook

      The Second Amendment establishes The Right of the CITIZENRY to KEEP and BEAR ARMS, The Third Amendment further Establishes The Militia and makes it very clear that this is more than a RIGHT, it is a Constitutional Obligatuion of the Citizens at LARGE. Bottom line You are Constitutionally Required to Keep and Bear Arms that are of the Type Currently possesed by Any Standing Army our government Mantains... I wish some people would Actually Read some History on this subject and what the founders possition was By thier own words.

      As for forcing insurance upon Law abiding Citizens for Practicing something that is not only A Right, BUT a Legal Obligation this would be a communistic way of tryng to Circumvent the Law.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Felix

        The 3rd ammendment doesnt define the militia – it specifically makes it illegal to force home owners to house soildiers during peace time. Further the 2nd ammendment doesnt require anyone to do anything – it merely says that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

        In no way does either ammendment say that "the people" are required to do anything. Rather they seem to refer to the government and refering to what the government is constitutionally banned from doing.

        The reason I said "seem" is because the ammendments are all up to interpretation. Some are easier to read than others and the second ammendment is notorious for being interpreted in many different ways. If indeed the second ammendment says that all able bodied citizens are part of the militia, then that means they fall under the orders of the POTUS during times of war.

        On the other hand, many interpret that the consitution is arguing that the militia is an essential part of the government but insists that "the people," in contrast to the "militia," should not be restricted in their right to own a weapon.

        This issue has been argued, I would say, since its inception. I wonder if the founding fathers agreed on what the second ammendment meant upon its writing. I wonder if they would have an opinion on today's issues and whether or not they would change anything about the constitution having this knowledge of how the country turned out over 200 years later. These are all questions we can and should ask ourselves and bring to open civil debate.

        One thing I can say though. While the founding fathers certainly wanted their fellow colonials to take up arms against their current rulers in hopes of breaking free from what they felt was nothing less than tyranny and oppression, I very much doubt that they would have wanted to force anyone to fight if they did not wish to. Certainly those within the revolutionary army might have had different standards but I just dont see General Washington ordering commonfolk arested or worse simply because they refused to pick up their rifle to kill another human being – especially if said individual was content with their life as it was under a monarch's rule.

        Dondi, upon reading your comments, I immediatly brought up the constitution to verify your information and so far I havnt found much to support your stance. Perhaps with a more thorough reading I will find the information that supports your opinion but if not that is fine. Just be wary that you are not misleading others into believing opinion as fact. Words have power and more often than not, the consequences of misusing such power prove to be unpredictable – and not always so benevolent.

        Ref: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html

        January 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Malado Swithymuffins (an assumed name - just like US FF Ben Franklin used to do)!

    For the record, I dig the author's approach and what Carl said – even if he's – you know. On the other hand, "time," involving changing levels of personal gun ownership rights from waayyyyy back in time – like – 1776 AD – is an odd thing, sometimes – when it comes to the gun issue. The 21st century could use a few bright thoughts like – where does one place a sign saying "No Guns with barrels over 21 inches long permitted in this City" or "Guns permitted only in holsters in this CIty" and stuff like that, that gun owners, I presume, might have to learn all over again while travelling throughout the great US countryside. (A cautious update),

    January 26, 2013 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Oscar1

      I BUY ALMOST EVERYTHING EXCEPT FOOD AND CLOTHING FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS. MOST PEOPLE AREN'T AWARE OF THE ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE DEALS THAT THEY CAN GET FROM ONLINE AUCTION SITES. THE SITE THAT HAS THE BEST DEALS IS saveBangCom
      and i checked with the better business bureau and was told that it is all legit. how they can sell gift
      cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies1 that we all want for 50-90% off, i don't know. i do
      know that i bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 loews gift
      cards for $48. why would i even think about shopping anyplace else?

      January 26, 2013 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. movarth

    Apparently being a poet makes your opinion matter more than others?

    Yeah sure thing CNN .

    January 26, 2013 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joe36

    Leave the 2nd Amendment alone. You can't control the masses and masses don't want control. Just leave them be.

    January 26, 2013 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. GW HAMER

    AKA-Gent,
    Thank-You, I somewhat disagree whit your preception of THE BATTLE OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION (LOL), however, thank-you again. I do understand how people are upset over the mis-use of "assult" ? weapons but I'm not clear on what anti gun people are calling assult weapons, to my understanding they are lumping anything with more than two bullets into an assult rifle.The mass murder of any people youge or old should not be tolerated.

    January 26, 2013 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  16. Jackson

    This is such a great story. CNN needs to run stories like this more often!!!

    January 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Oh, and, top notch writing and reporting. Thank you, Mr. Safo.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Mark Barnes

    Carl Sandburg knew a thing or two about weapons. He was a member of Company C, 6th Illinois that invaded Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

    January 25, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Moose1

    As for the poem....Your Rock Carl!!

    As for the other stuff: If Obama was serious about his executive orders with regard to gun control he would make it a FELONY (not a misdemeanor) to lie on Federal form 4473 when purchasing a firearm. Also, please explain how someone LIES on a background check?? An individuals background is what it is. Nothing can be done to change the records except by the government!!

    January 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  19. JUST SHUT UP

    Funny people think commenting on news threads will change anything, wannabe politicians...

    January 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • TopView20

      Shut up, also to those crying that they will lose their weapons. There is no legislation aimed at removing guns from responsible owners. We should be worried about those who are reacting hysterically to something that does not exist!

      January 25, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alex

        Agreed. The assault weapons ban for example, is about banning the sale of them. Honestly, people don't need them for recreation OR self defense. This has nothing to do with the average gun owner.

        January 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
        • STEVE

          We dont NEED sports cars as they are designed to speed and that is illegal and car wrecks kill far more children than guns. We dont NEED alcohol..again its designed to make you inebreated and drunk people kill far more children than guns. Cellphones via txting kill more kids than guns..we dont NEED cellphones. Should we simply ban everything we dont "need"? As for your "need" comment..who are you to dictate what people do and do not need comrade? If you prefer totalitarianism there are other countries in the world that suit your NEEDS.

          January 26, 2013 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
        • Dagobert II

          Rosa Parks didn't NEED to sit at the front of the bus either. Rights aren't about need, dummy.

          January 26, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Darh Jedi

        Read the feinstein bill. what happens when the original owner dies? you can't transfer, sell or give away. what are they going to do then? Take them.
        M0r0n.

        January 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Victor

    The same way a terrorist can justify killing innocent people using the koranto explain his action, the same way you are using the second ammendment to justify gun posession. Where is the difference you would say, which is not surprising. Mass killing is mass killing, no matter how it happend.
    if one more mass killing occur in the states, you are very much as responsible as the person who did it because of your support for the means. You would say why is that? You are part of the problem not the solution. Please hide you ignorance because its very shameful to see coming from a person living in a developed country.
    Em

    January 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve- Illinois

      When laws are made to punish the law abiding, for the acts of criminals, this country is in big trouble!

      January 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • TopView20

        Wow, so powerfully true today!

        January 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alex

        This is not punishment it's protection. It's not unlike banning junk food in schools. It's not punishing the children who are NOT fat, it is just protecting them.

        January 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Yep. 100% agreed.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darh Jedi

      Speak intelligently or shut up.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • STEVE

      Ah Victor what about alcohol? How many multiple children deaths have there been do to drinking? Should Alcohol be banned as well? Or because you like to have a beer now and then that would be "too far!". It easy to tell someone else to give up what you dont like. What will you sacrifice? Think of all the things that you probably enjoy that are "dangerous" to children. Cellphones, alcohol, any car that can go faster than 65mph, fast food etc etc. Ban them all? If you do ban guns are we going to close down the southern boarder? We have drug cartels walking into our country with landmines, rpgs and full auto rifles...or what that upset the latino community so we cant do that.

      January 26, 2013 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  21. Oscar Pitchfork

    I don't think anyone should worry about losing your guns. The proposed legislation will never make it thru Congress.I don;t really believe Obama (whom I voted for, and I'm pro-2nd Amend) thinks it will pass, nor am I convinced he thinks it will do any good; because nothing will do any good.He's just trying to mollify the freaked-out masses who now know, for certain, that innocent school kids aren't safe anywhere, ANYWHERE, if someone is willing to die to harm them.Hell, JFK said the same thing 50 years ago, and he turned out, sadly, to be right. When they even DISCUSS outlawing certain guns with "military appearances", you know they're clutching at straws. And magazines? The nut who's preparing to go on a spree right now, is saying "Nuts-now I gotta carry more magazines!" When absolutely NOTHING can be done, and NO ONE wants to hear that fact, hollow measures MUST be taken, to mollify those who can't face the fact that youy can't change reality at all...

    January 25, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Victor

    Second ammendment this, scenod ammendment that. Stop using it to hide your ignorance. Live by the gun, you shall perrish by the gun. Mathew 26:52
    The sign are there for you to see, usually when you see you are going the wrong way, you stop and think or turn back notkeep going like a fool.

    January 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."
      - Luke 22:36

      Maybe you should keep reading the book...
      A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. Proverbs27:12

      January 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Why don't you all quit using a book of fairy tales to make a point.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        Brad,

        I'm simply using his own material to disagree with him!

        January 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • schapkj

      I didn't know the Bible mentioned guns.
      What translation are you using?

      January 27, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. cleareye1

    All of this hoopla is created to increase gun sales, that's all. The Supreme Court has made it clear that reasonable limitations on the 2nd Amendment are allowed. The debate is where to draw the line, no more.

    Too many people have allowed their guns to define them asa person and need to free themselves of the affliction.

    However, there is a solution that meets the demands of both sides of this debate;
    Make it illegal to own a gun that is not painted hot pink or fluorescent yellow. There would be no other limitation on ownership. The romance will soon fade and guns will be only a tool necessary for defense. And for hunters, maybe they will decide to go mano-a-mano with the wildlife instead of playing a Cheney.

    January 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • chiefy

      you're an idiot.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carl

        Indeed he is. I actually own 3 pink guns.

        January 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Roger

    Very well done poem.

    Sandburg could always make a point stick, and that poem is an arrow to the chest.

    January 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • smako

      An arrow, yes. One can hit you from one hundred yards away and nobody would hear it.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  25. professorroush

    Are we now so desperate that we're turning to dead poets to make our case?

    January 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      He may be dead, but his words live on.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  26. James

    The Founding Fathers words speak louder than this anti-gun dribble ever could.

    January 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • germanhumor

      Sure, about the time they felt certain people could own other people.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I don't think this current interpretation of the second amendment was what they had intended... Do you seriously think the Founding Fathers wanted to make sure everyone could own a machine gun? They had absolutely no way of foreseeing the world today, and all of the new technologies we have. When the Constitution was written, guns were single-shot. You had to reload them one-by-one, and pack the gunpowder before you could even put the bullet in. It took soldiers at least thirty seconds to reload their guns for a single shot.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        Alex,

        I don't think this current interpretation of the first amendment was what they had intended... Do you seriously think the Founding Fathers wanted to make sure everyone could own the ability to mass communicate? They had absolutely no way of foreseeing the world today, and all of the new technologies we have. When the Constitution was written, paper could only be printed a sheet at a time. You had to reload them one-by-one, and re-ink before you could even put the paper in. It took printers at least thirty seconds to reload their presses for a single sheet.
        Also, individuals should be limited to ten words in print at a time. Why would anyone need more than 10 words to get their point across?

        January 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • aka_Gent

        I wish in these discussions regarding gun-control and the Second Amendment that we would stick to the reasons the Founders wrote it in the first place. It was not written so that people could shoot squirrels out of trees. It was not primarily written so people could defend themselves. In short it was written so that the government would not be able to even conceive of oppressing the people of the United States. After all, it is hard to oppress any people when they have weapons. This is the point of the Second Amendment. If you do not believe me, please Wikipedia 'Second Amendment' for a brief synopsis of the Founders thoughts during the ratification of the Amendment.

        For those of you who would ask, 'Why does anyone need these weapons?' The answer is simple. When you look at any well-equipped soldier in the world, what are they carrying? They are not chugging around a nuclear bomb, an F-15 fighter jet, or an M-1 tank. Chances are that they are carrying a semi-automatic pistol and a fully automatic weapon, which is a step up from an AR15, AK47 look-a-like, or any number of the so-called 'assault' rifles that one can legally buy today. I hope this clarifies why some of us would want something better than a flintlock musket (which was the 'assault' weapon of the Founders' day, I might add).

        In my opinion, the Founders would have had NO problem with good citizen’s possessing these weapons. In fact, if they had realized that the technology of these weapons would have advanced to such a degree AND that the United States military issued such weapons to their soldiers, they would have insisted on it (and they did, by way of the Second Amendment).

        Some gun-control advocates have also been painting some in the pro-gun camp as people who long to overthrow the government. I am certain that the Founders would not have advocated the violent overthrow of the government by using these weapons (nor do I). Their intention as far as their discussions went, centered on the ability of the people to REPEL a tyrannical government – not to overthrow it. Note the defensive posture of the word 'repel'.

        I would also like to add that the Second Amendment enabled the North to subdue a secessionist Southern faction during the Civil War by means of a volunteer militia which brought its own munitions. It can be argued that without these volunteers and their weapons, we might very well be singing 'Dixie Land' instead of the 'Stars Spangled Banner'. In this case, the United States remains whole today BECAUSE of the Second Amendment.

        The most disturbing part regarding this discussion however, is the complete disregard by the gun-control crowd for a RIGHT which we possess and the reason we possess it. The Founders themselves, among the greatest students of human behavior ever assembled at a given time and place, were extremely distrustful of government...especially of the one they were creating. Hence, the Bill of Rights is as much a definition of the limits of government, as well as what license you have to do certain things.

        To restrict a right we possess only serves to weaken us as individuals, as well as a whole ...and we do so at our own peril.

        Long Live the Republic!

        January 25, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dondi Cook

        You obviously have watched too many movies, or were you aware of the origins of the contained cartridge?
        The Continental Army spent countless hours making tubes from LARD Lubricated Parchment pouring powder and shot into them and sizing them so that the would slide down the barrel with relative ease, so that the 30+seconds you refere to was actually about 5.5-15 seconds depending on the amount of Fouling residue in said barrel from the Black Powder. Thus a good Riflleman in those days had more than sufficient time to reload while temporarily obscured by the LARGE CLOUD of SMOKE emitting from the Flash from His FLINT-LOCK MUSKET.

        And You overlook the Fact that that WAS The MILITARY ARM OF THE DAY...
        The Type of Military Arm that is issued to our Current Troops is the very EXACT TYPE of ARM that is Constitutionally Mandated to Be possesed by the Militia,

        Q:Who Are The Militia?

        A:If You are an Abled Bodied United States Citizen Above the Age of 17, You Are.

        And in case You did not cover the word Mandate in the school You attended, when something is mandated, it means that it was made MANDATORY.

        man·da·to·ry
        /ˈmandəˌtôrē/Adjective
        1.Required by law or rules; compulsory: "wearing helmets is mandatory".
        2.Of or conveying a command: "he did not want the guidelines to be mandatory".

        Synonyms
        compulsory – obligatory – binding – imperative

        January 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  27. TJ

    I have a poem called Knife.....says the same thing.

    January 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Joe

    Always thought he was a lousy poet. Must be a member of the tribe too.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  29. victoretafo

    what is the value of life in the United State? Is it Priceless, 1 million or 1,000. For any body to die at age 10, that person has lived for 87,600 hours on this earth with loved family, loved ones, friend and contributing to what we call life. There are alot of ignorance and stupidity quoting the second ammendment as a way to justify this gun issue and repitition of that law and interpretation does not make it right. If 1/10 of the people killed by guns in the states is killed by any other country, that is war, still yet they let prople die like flies. One quote from the bible Mattew 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. If you have a gun, iIcan guaranttee you there is serious issue of ignorance with you weather you believe it or not. Goodluck and educuate yourself.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Vic,

      He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."
      - Luke 22:36

      January 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Nova Safo

    A lot of interesting comments on this story. Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts. I'll add to my reporting by saying that, in fact, the university believes the poem was written either during the period that Sandburg was contemplating the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (though that is considered less likely) or during the period in which he witnessed a lot of mob-fueled violence as a journalist (considered more likely). I hope that helps provide some context.

    On a personal note, I found the poem interesting insofar as a glimpse into history, the historical context in provides for our relationship with guns past and present.

    I think the spirited debate brought on here on the comment section suggests that the poem achieved what great works of literature and art strive to achieve: to spark thought, debate, conversation and consideration.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  31. bribarian

    Another disarm America article by Obama News Network, King of state-run propaganda.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • CW

      Way to go, the dumbest, most off-topic, absurd comment so far. @$$.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • TopView20

        YES!

        January 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jroth420

      Tool.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  32. TAJ

    So now the lib activists are dredging up dead people to push their anti-gun agenda. I don't know which is worse digging up dead people or standing on the graves of murdered children...but leave it to CNN. Nothing is too despicable for them. What a joke. At least this guy is dead and you can bury his words w/ him. Get a life.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      AND they are going after revolvers. So much for their claim that they just want "reasonable" bans on super rambo-looking stuff.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • CW

        Get paranoid and over-react much, you two?

        January 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
        • Carl

          Typical dishonest behavior. You always accuse us of being "paranoid" even as you are pushing to do the very thing we were previously accused of being paranoid over.

          January 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
        • Brad

          of course we are paranoid, when you have senators being caught on tape telling people their ultimate goal is confiscation wouldn't you be. kinda like whenever you hear people talking about taking away your crack.

          January 26, 2013 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  33. Cbass

    "When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution come in and interfere with the original purpose."

    I would prefer not to wait for the police, a lawyer, the courts or any other party to decide if its ok for me to fire when I am in the midst of a life and death struggle. When all criminals and governments have been disarmed I will follow suit. So yes it is the final word, but that may be a good thing depending on the context. Arms are not soley the tool of criminals as this poem would have you believe...

    January 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Zeke

    Here ya go attacking guns again. It's not the gun but who's standing behind it. Someone looking for "Revenge, Robbery". The very people we need to protect ourselves from.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  35. ajgalt

    Oh, I have a poem too...

    Hammer

    Here is a hammer
    It speaks several languages.
    It can thump out a beat that turns action into magnificent buildings.
    it can also speak a barbaric tongue that sounds of smashing skulls.
    The simple cantilever action of the human forearm can direct its language.
    Buildings, creativity, and honest labor can be produced from it.
    Savage brutality can also follow in its wake as well.
    Once it has spoken you are left with either something or nothing.
    And nothing can help you if it were turned against you.... Except, perhaps, if you had a revolver.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nova Safo

      When I reported this story, I certainly did not expect it to inspire NEW poetry. That was very creative. Thank you for sharing!

      January 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moogly

      good rebuttal poem! bravo!

      January 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judy

      Love the poem.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  36. OfCourseYouSay

    Sandburg never served in our military, never had a real job after he gave up farm labor, and he leaned on his commie wife for ongoing support in his senility. Nobody even knows where he ended up ( he mysteriously showed up for a school dedication ceremony several years ago and then faded away into the mist). I like his poetry but I do not respect his socialist dogma.

    January 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carnac

      Oh, go join a hillbilly militia. You know you want to.

      January 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • bbrooker88

      The same Carl Sandburg who died in 1967 showed up at a school ceremony several years ago? You mean decades ago??

      January 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • CW

      I'd be amazed if you could actually define much less give a coherent explanation as to what "dogma" is. This poem contained nothing even approaching dogma; not that such ignorance has stopped you right wing nutters yet...

      January 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  37. OfCourseYouSay

    Carl Sandburg was a devout card carrying communist. Need I say more ?

    January 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carnac

      Yes, you need. A communist society can either allow or not allow the right to bear arms. That the means of production are taken out of the hands of the bourgeoisie and turned over to the working class is wholly unrelated to the issue of gun control.

      January 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • bernardmarxx

        Name one one Communist state in which people were or are free to leave or stay, speak or write the truth about thier "leaders"without fear of retribution, vote for a meaningful opposition party or own personal firearms. Confiscating the fruits of on person's labor for the benefit of another is a good definition of both slavery and Communism.

        January 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
        • Carnac

          bernardmarxx.. you need to read some KarlMarxx.. since you are confusing totalitarianism with communism.

          January 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Eye4Eye

    Huh?...So I guess if no one accepts you in society you become a poet...lol....The analogy can be applied when taking a hammer to someones head as well. What is his issue with guns? For or Against ? This just looks like an observation to "swift justice".

    January 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Erik

    This poem is a perfect example of why the citizens need guns. The government isnt going to just give them up, so why in gods name would you not want to have one when you have the right to? you just want to give that up? a gun is an object it cant hurt you or anyone else unless your careless or that is your intent. Therefore if its someone else intent to hurt you, your just going to lay down and die? all living creatures defend themselves. and your right to defend yourself didn't come from the constitution, its your right as much as breathing or eating or whatever else preserves your life. Also, by banning something it doesn't simply disappear, the gun will still be there forever, so just buy one for yourself.

    January 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Erik

    I hope you realize you don't have to fight the government in actual combat. If 330 million americans had guns they wouldn't try to rule by the sword, they would have to serve us or cease to exist. Defend the constitution with the second amendment, not with actual bullets. Anyone who says "you cant fight the us military with a rifle" is a complete fool. If you have to kill everyone you hoped to control what would be the point?

    January 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Erik – We better hope we don't have to fight the government in actual combat because there are a lot of crazy people out there who think its possible. I hear comments from many gun owners saying things like "They'll take my rifle out of my cold, dead hands" & " The government is trying to eliminate the 2nd Amendment so they can control us, so we'll fight back"....Do I think the government needs force to control us? Heck no. Financial & Idealogical control is far more powerful. I was merely pointing out the foolishness that some of these jackwagons try to justify as their support of the 2nd amendment.

      January 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve- Illinois

        Ryan, the point you think you were making is completely senseless. An old saying "Only a fool refuses to believe what his own eyes see!" Unless you can explain how a small country in the Middle East is 2-0 against the two largest, most powerfull military's in the world, in the last 30 years, then the saying fits you perfectly.
        Can you spell A-F-G-H-A-N-I-S-T-A-N?

        January 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Matt in UT

    Except for one thing, Paul. George Washington never said that. Do a little research, the "liberty's teeth" quote has no factual references.

    January 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Paul

    Enlightening poem, this founding father quote is also enlightening: "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.”
    ~George Washington

    January 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Ahhh yes, guns are needed for liberty against a tyrannical government right? As if the American public could stand up to the US military, a laughable concept. This is not the 1700's. The Army has tanks, the Navy has warships, the Air force has bombers. They have satellites watching you and drones ready to fire...... You can have all the guns you want, you wouldn't stand a chance against the military in any capacity, period. All guns are good for is home and self defense and to uphold the principle of Constitutional rights.

      January 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • SirSean

        You do know that it is possible to take over airfields right? I also hope you understand the military could split. Ever heard of The Civil War?!?

        January 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
        • Ryan

          The Civil War....another archaic war that is completely irrelevant with todays technology. They would charge at each other from 100 YD's away for christ sakes ... Even the technology from the Vietnam war is irrelevant now. Of course its possible to take over airfields....except the 10 + giant floating air fields we have called air craft carriers. Both yours and Jakes comments suggest the military would split... over what is the question. Certainly not north vs south anymore. Rich vs. Poor? Have vs. Have nots? What about drones? They certainly have no loyalty except to the government or those who control them. What about nuclear weapons? They could annihilate a city of rebels with the touch of a button.... Its just not the same ball game anymore, resistance is almost truly futile. Civil war must never happen, or this country would be reduced to ashes. I own guns (semi-auto pistols and shotguns) and I strongly support the 2nd Amendment, but I would be foolish to think they make me powerful. Its a different time.

          January 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
        • Pig in a Poke

          But then again civil war may not be such a bad idea, it would certainly thin out the "back woods militia" herd.
          Our political system was designed to be challenged and changed by anyone caring enough to do so. If someone doesn't like it either move to a different country or stand up and make a difference, but stop with the "I'm going to defend my rights with a pistol" talk.

          January 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • jake

        Not many soldiers would turn thier guns on the citizens they are sworn to protect. Soldiers are citizens, controlled by we the people.

        January 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
        • Pig in a Poke

          I would beg to differ, our soldiers are sworn by oath to defend our country from enemies both foreign and domestic.

          January 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
        • no one

          That's where you are wrong pig, soldiers are sworn to defend the constitution and reserve the right to refuse any orders that are illegal or morally wrong.

          January 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Erik

        I hope you realize you don't have to fight the government in actual combat. If 330 million Americans had guns they wouldn't try to rule by the sword, they would have to serve us or cease to exist. Defend the constitution with the second amendment, not with actual bullets. Anyone who says "you cant fight the us military with a rifle" is a complete fool (ryan). If you have to kill everyone you hoped to control what would be the point? I got a good laugh out of "airfield takeover guy" lol.

        January 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eye4Eye

        Ahh...But you assume the US military "is" the government. What makes you think they would not uphold their sworn oath to the US Constitution to protect the civil liberties and rights of the People and fight against a tyrannical government? Even if the president is the supreme commander in chief.

        January 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
        • Juan

          The fact that there are oath keepers disturbs me because it means there are those who would not keep their oat. By the way, the President and all politicians swear an oath to defend the constitution from enemies at home and abroad. How well is that going with draconian laws?

          January 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe42

        Apparently, the Taliban and Vietcong didn't get that memo.

        January 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brad

        I have spent 20 years active duty. I have never met a soldier who would follow that order nor an officer that would give it. If the US govt told us to attack Americans on American soil those tanks and airplanes would sit empty.

        January 26, 2013 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
        • Douglas Allchin

          To those who argue that the American military would not follow through on an order to attack Americans I would remind you of the National Guard and the 1968 university protests at places like Berkeley and Kent State!

          The provision of the 2nd Ammendment was clearly written (as documents discussing the matter at the time show) as a protection against an invading power, or the native Americans. The baby USA had no money for a standing army nor any wish to see one, as feelings were still running high, and there were many hundreds of thousands of 'newly minted' citizens who were not, and never had been, in favor of the revolution. Arming them might have led to counter revolution.

          The USA now has the largest military in the world – it has no need for a militia, and if you wish to believe that a few thousand asault rifles will protect you from your own elected government then why did you elect them and what use is your military? None of these arguments makes any sort of consistent sense. The largest source of guns for bad guys is stealing them from good guys! There are many thousands of accidental shootings of good guys by other good guys, indeed hundreds die from their own weapon!

          The USA is a criminal place, after all it locks up more people that ANY other country... the UK with 62 million people (about 1/5th of the US population) crammed into a tiny island, even manages with a mainly unarmed police force! What America might seek to address is WHY so many of its citizens feel the need to commit crimes? Saying one needs a gun to defend oneself is a bit like saying one needs an airbag to save one's like oin a car wreck.. why not PREVENT the wreck by installing decent tires and brakes, driving at a safe speed, and looking where you are going? Guns are a symptom of what is wrong with the USA not a cure. No other developed country comes close to the American love affair with the gun. It seems almost a symbol for 'rugged individualism' which might have worked in 1804 but in 2013? Not so much!

          January 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
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