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It Started In Columbine, When Will It End?

When a tragedy happens, especially in our public schools, it heightens my desire to write.


It Seems To Me That Our Government Should Make School Shootings A top Priority, And Take Action!

The designated city was Denver

Terror running ramped everywhere

School children trapped

Running and screaming

The two shooters mission, tare

mothers and fathers holding each other tight

Hoping and praying

Their children were all right

Policemen's guns drawn

And in mid-air

Searching the school

With torturous care

Two shooters on the loose

Hiding behind closed doors

Teacher covering children

Screaming soars

Shooters running

Shooting at shadows on the wall

A child wounded

Lying in the cafeteria hall

Shooters wounded

Wrists handcuffed

Blood crimson red

The scene will live on in children's dreams

Afraid to lie in their once safety bed.



Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on February 26, 2020:

I agree Peggy. Just when we think it has stopped, it happens again. You have been spending some time reading my older hubs, and I appreciate you doing that. Thank you.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 26, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

You have so aptly illustrated the horror of these mass shootings which seemingly have no end. Some measures could be taken to slow the scourge of this madness. It will take some bipartisan efforts by caring lawmakers to get it done. I hope that happens sooner rather than later!

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on October 11, 2019:

I am so glad you are getting a reconnection to poetry. It is my passion. Thank you again.

Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on October 11, 2019:

Rivetting. I relived the experience, though I have only witnessed it in movies. The raw connection these experiences bring to memory what has happened before. That is why nursery rhymes, poems, are so great.

They remind us the London Bridge once was falling down. They remind us of the pockets full of posies that accompanied the Black Death as the stench of the remains of lost souls filled the air. I think, because of your poem that I am getting a connection to poetry again.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 23, 2019:

Hello R Talloni, I totally agree with your take on connecting the dots. Many do not believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and all who believe will be saved and go to heaven when this life on earth is over. That is the hope that sustains me. I have lost so many loved ones and if I did not believe I would see them again, I would be sad, " For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ever-lasting life. " That is a promise that I believe. We are all sinners, but we strive to do God's will. Thank you again for visiting my page. Blessings.

RTalloni on May 22, 2019:

Yes, I understand what you are saying about people who do not believe that Jesus is the Christ. Many people believe there is a god, perhaps even accept that God is Who He says He is in His Word, but they deny the Christ. Sadly, cultures before ours thought that banning citizens from having guns, adding more government programs, etc. would meet their need. Today, the history lessons are ignored. People refuse to connect the dots.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 22, 2019:

Hello R Talloni, There are nonbelievers and they must teach their children God is a myth. How anyone could believe there is no God is beyond me. I look up and see the stars, the moon, the clouds and I feel God in my heart. Where did we come from, who formed the world? I had a friend who was so goodhearted, yet he couldn't believe in Jesus, he said that there might be a God, but no women could produce a child without a man, and I fear many believe the same. Thanks again for visiting my page.

RTalloni on May 21, 2019:

Have had your poem come to mind more than once since reading it. We teach children that they are nothing but bits of nothing to be aborted on demand if mothers so wish, but those that live in the culture are told that humans are nothing more than animals. Are we seeing the effects of ditching God? We want a solution, but not His, though no other will do the job. If governments, psychologists, or social programs were the answer things would have changed by now. People cry out for someone to do more, but are unwilling to look at the real cause and effect. It's a lot to ponder, and sad that the solution is rejected.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 21, 2019:

Hello Nithya, you are correct, only God knows when the shootings will end. All schools must be worried and the children fearful. Thank you so much.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 21, 2019:

You have brought out the tragic happening effectively in your poem. It is heart rending to think of the parents who of lost their children in the shootings. Children will be scared to go to school and parents scared to send them, God knows when all this will end.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 21, 2019:

Hello Verlie. isn't it sad that this is thought of as normal? I have no solutions except to write about it. congress could enact a bill that would allow guards at every school, but they're so busy with the upcoming election their priority is not for the children. Thank you.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 21, 2019:

Hello Mike, The Denver shooting brought my muse out again, little was said about it, the news treated it like a normal occurrence. How sad that is! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on May 18, 2019:

Hi Ruby, Yes, Kudos for writing this piece. I don't know what I could possibly add, I have nothing to add, it's just so sad, and frightening, that this is the new normal.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on May 18, 2019:

Hello Ruby - I am so glad that you are addressing social issues of such importance. You have expressed yourself well. We can stop the culture of terror.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 17, 2019:

Thank you Hari. I agree completely. Why the officials can't see we need gun control is beyond me...

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on May 16, 2019:

Gun control and making compulsory social work for all is the need of this generation. Effective poem Ruby.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 16, 2019:

Hello Audrey. I'm so glad I don't have a child that is school age. I know I would home school. I think many are doing that now. Children must be confused and terribly afraid. Thank you so much...

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on May 15, 2019:

I have asked myself this same question "When will it end?" These killings are heart-wrenching. Your poetic rendition of this devastation in Columbine produces such fear. If I were a young mother again, I'm not sure I would ever send my child back to school.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 15, 2019:

Hello Dana. Just what are they doing with our taxes? Trying to get elected again I suppose. We will wait and see if this last shooting will shock them to act. Thanks again. I appreciate your input.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on May 14, 2019:

Your welcoming Ruby, and thank you for sharing and bringing awareness. Metal detectors and armed guards is a good start. After all, aren't the children worth it? They are the future and what are they doing with our tax dollars?

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 14, 2019:

Hello Dana. I think you are on to something we haven't talked a about, copycats. I guess a mentally ill person would copy to get attention. Whatever, we've got to do something, the way it looks now, no one is making this a priority. I still say that an armed guard at every entrance door, plus a metal detector where every person must walk through it. Thank you for coming to address this problem.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on May 14, 2019:

In a world where people want to be famous or infamous they're doing anything to get attention. People who are hurting need to seek help. Hurting people hurt others and in cases like these innocent people.

This "copycat" crime is happening too much and other copycat crimes where cowards are doing the same crimes someone else has done trying to get attention.

I don't know what the answer is maybe homeschooling or on-line schooling but then the kids will be sacrificing human interactions. I think finding a solution needs to be top priority before we become desensitized like we've become to all the other tragedies we see over and over.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 14, 2019:

Hello William. I believe every American is scared. The mass shootings, the threat of war, the attack on ships off of Iran, who knows what is around the bend? Thanks for coming.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 14, 2019:

Very thought-provoking, Ruby. When will it end? The answer scares me.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 13, 2019:

Hello Shauna. I often wonder the same. Is it drugs, is it fear, is it bullying? I really do not know. Some of these kids supposedly came from stable homes. The whole world seems to be in a state of terror, maybe the kids are just reacting. I wish I knew. Thank you for coming by. I appreciate you.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 13, 2019:

Ruby, the whole world has gone to Hell in a hand basket. Nowhere is safe anymore. What do we do? How do we stop it? Even if guns were outlawed, people who really want them will find a way to get them.

I don't know what the answer is. Why have so many people gotten broken and mean?

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 13, 2019:

Hello Clive. I agree. People in the government are so busy trying to get elected, they put the real problems on the back burner. ( Both sides ) Thanks. Cheers.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on May 12, 2019:

Don't know what to say. Sometimes the government are real illusionist.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 12, 2019:

Hello Doris. I agree with your comment 100% When the school officials are warned and are late acting, it should be a crime. I feel so sorry for the children today. The only thing I had to fear was a strap if I misbehaved. Aha the good ole days. Thank you much...

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 12, 2019:

Hello Patricia. So nice to see you. I too have hope that somehow we can stop the shootings at schools. Thanks for the angels. God knows we need them more than ever before.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 12, 2019:

Hello Manatita, I would love to visit the poetry Café in London. I am so glad you liked the video. Thank you much..

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 12, 2019:

Hello James, I do not know about the families of the school shooters, whether they were taught about God or not. I do agree that drugs are a major factor in many young people. The bible teaches us that in the last days many will leave the church and follow evil teachings. I believe we are living in the last days. Thank you for reading and commenting

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 12, 2019:

Ruby, your poem is heart-rendering. It does a good job of expressing our emotions. I don’t have any answers either. Even if any of us did, would the powers-that-be listen and act? In many of these shootings, school officials were forewarned before the episodes occurred. Had they acted to do something about bullies and other mentally ill shooters, maybe nobody would have died. Due to their inaction, the children are having to defend themselves and fellow students, and they are dying in the process. The latest one to die was Kendrick Castillo, who tackled one of the two shooters. His friend, Joshua Jones and two other students also tackled a shooter. Joshua was shot, but survived. These kids, like Riley, are true heroes, unlike the authorities who are true wimps.

When are the authorities, like the police and school officials, going to stop being such chicken s__ts and stand up and do their jobs?

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 12, 2019:

Heartbreaking and so very frightening----and the answers to how to make it stop are seeming to escape us No easy answers await take care of you Please know Angels are headed your way and that I a hoping Angels can help us find answers ps

RTalloni on May 12, 2019:

Indeed, “Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. A study of what God says to nations in His Word gives history lessons now long dismissed, but they can still take us to the root of the problem.

manatita44 from london on May 12, 2019:

You will be at home in Poetry Café London, Ruby. A great and most impactful piece! That video with Simon Cowell was so heart-rending!

We hear your weeping Heart, let's hope the others hear it too. Happy Mothering Sunday.

James A Watkins from Chicago on May 11, 2019:

“Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Maybe it will help to stop putting boys on Ritalin and psychosomatic drugs as well.

RTalloni on May 11, 2019:

Socialization, or that children miss interaction with those their age, is one of the biggest fallacies re home education. It is actually one of the best ways for children to interact with others because it reduces age segregation, which is a terrible injustice to any age group, and it permits children to more often interact with people who are a little younger or older than they are if they fit in better with a different age group, which many children do but are stuck in public schools pushing them too fast or holding them back.

Why Riley Howell, and the others who have defended students? That sort of question is bigger than we are, for sure, but he chose to try to protect others because his training taught him that's what people are supposed to do for each other. That he was prevented from defending himself because he was prevented from having his weapon is the question we can and should be exploring.

Perhaps we should hire ROTC cadets to protect classrooms so children can feel safer. Though things are changing in Alaska, partly because of drug activity, it has been an open carry state. I always felt safer when visiting there because I knew if a crazy person tried to harm others plenty of people were prepared to defend against him/her. There is no way police can cover it all and we have a lot to be thankful for in everyday heroes who step up when danger raises its ugly head.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 11, 2019:

Hello R Talloni, I read your article and he was a hero, but why him? He gave his life when there should have been an armed officer there. Some are home schooling their children, which is ok, but it seems to me they miss out on the interaction with others their age. At one time I thought guns should be banned, but not anymore. Every school should be armed at every entrance door. Children are afraid to go to school, and that's a shame. Thank you for valuable input.

RTalloni on May 11, 2019:

I recently heard an interview with a man who said he and his wife decided to become part of the homeschool community because they came to realize that schools are not putting students first. They are very happy with the progress their children are making, and in light of how undefended children are in schools they are glad to have removed them from the vulnerability of that setting.

Heart wrenching events like this need to stop. It seems so clear that if someone in the settings had been armed all would have had a better chance of being defended. People unfamiliar with guns do not understand this, though, and here we are again.

Educating people about guns so they can use them wisely is no different than educating them about driving so they can drive wisely, that's why MADD was started. There are countless stories of guns being used to protect people, but those events are ignored. It breaks my heart that the Riley Howell, ROTC cadet, was not allowed to defend himself. He died a hero, but not a word in the news about how he was capable of defending himself too, had he been armed. https://taskandpurpose.com/unc-charlotte-shooting-...

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 11, 2019:

Hello Bill. I do think there is a solvable solution to this insanity. People must act and put our children first and realize we can't change people, but we can enact laws that will protect them while in school, such as, make it impossible to enter a school with a weapon. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 11, 2019:

Hello Genna. I too think about my grandchildren's safety. How much longer can we tolerate the uncaring officials who make the rules, even the children are afraid. Thank you Dear one. Hugs.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 11, 2019:

Dear Mar, always so nice to see you on my page, I guess it is going to take a grass-root effort to protect our children. We used to just walk in our courthouse here, but not anymore, an armed guard is at the door and we must walk through a metal detector. Our children deserve the same. Thank you. Love you too. Hugs.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 11, 2019:

Hello Pamela. The banks, courthouses, white house etc. are protected, why not schools? It is time to arm officers in all schools. Thank you so much.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 11, 2019:

Hello Lorna, nice to meet you. You growing up in the middle of a civil war tells me you know the aftermath for a child. I bet you have a story to write? Thank you much.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 11, 2019:

I truly do not have the answer to all of this violence, but at some point in time the government does have to step up its efforts to stop all this insanity. I'm with you all the way, Ruby; I just don't have a practical solution.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on May 11, 2019:

Hello Ruby. I was just Colorado, and returned yesterday after a few days visiting family. They live about twenty minutes outside of Denver. Everyone was asking the very same question. When will this insanity end?!? I watched my two grandchildren -- ages 3 and 6 -- and felt a fear rising in my heart of the risks they may face. Can it happen to them?

Your stunning words give voice to the truth. There are not enough padded rooms or cells to house the crazies that seem to increase with each passing day. Thank you, Ruby, for this poem which is a must read for everyone. The time to act is now! Hugs, dear friend.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on May 11, 2019:

Dear Ruby,

It is hard to believe that twenty years later, so many continue to turn a blind eye to the plague of mass shootings - anywhere, everywhere, in places we used to consider safe havens for worship, education, entertainment and work.

Awareness, education of what to look for / how to get help, working policies on violence prevention - some beginning steps to what seems to be an insurmountable epidemic of violence.

Your writing says this so much better. Love you and big hugs, mar

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 11, 2019:

These school shootings are so tragic, and soething needs to be done to keep all children safe. I am glad you wrote this poem that shines some light on this serious problem Ruby. I think there are some schools protected, but we have a long way to go.

Lorna Lamon on May 11, 2019:

Thank you for drawing awareness to this terrible tragedy Ruby and in particular the suffering of those involved, especially the children. I grew up in the middle of a civil war, and I know exactly how these innocent children feel. Thank you for sharing.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on May 10, 2019:

Thank you Chris. It is difficult for me to understand why the schools are not protected, so many crazies out there. Happy you think I wrote this piece effectively.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on May 10, 2019:

Ruby, Thank you for helping us not to forget. You've brought it back vividly and effectively.

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