This poem about America has taken on new meaning after the Orlando shooting

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Tuesday 14 June 2016 18:00
Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The LGBT community the world over is mourning the deaths of 49 people in a mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, this weekend.

That the attack was carried out using legally purchased weapons has added to the anger and sorrow felt by victims' families.

In the aftermath of the tragedy a poem by Brian Bilston titled 'America is a Gun' from earlier this year has resurfaced.

While the poem is making many people reflect on the US' obsessive gun culture, Bilston told indy100 that he originally wrote it after Jeb Bush tweeted a picture of his handgun, along with the caption 'America'.

Various people on Twitter then lampooned Bush's tweet with stupid pictures, often clichéd, about other countries as a way of illustrating a) how stupid it is to sum up a country with one image and b) if you're going to choose an image, why would any right-minded person choose a gun.

It's true. They did.

But sadly, in the wake of yet another mass shooting of innocents, the poem has been shared with new significance thousands and thousands of times on social media.

America is a Gun

England is a cup of tea.
France, a wheel of ripened brie.
Greece, a short, squat olive tree.
America is a gun.

Brazil is football on the sand.
Argentina, Maradona's hand.
Germany, an oompah band.
America is a gun.

Holland is a wooden shoe.
Hungary, a goulash stew.
Australia, a kangaroo.
America is a gun.

Japan is a thermal spring.
Scotland is a highland fling.
Oh, better to be anything
than America as a gun.

  • Brian Bilston

You can check out more of Bilston's work at his website here.

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