‘Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the bunker,
alarm codes were set;
we were ready to hunker.
The children were nestled
all snug in their cots
and protected by spring guns.
(Each held 17 shots.)
Our holsters were hung
by the bedstead with care,
with hopes that St. LaPierre
soon would be there.
I with my A.K.
and Mama with her Glock
were loaded for bear
with our safeties unlocked.
When out in the street
we heard rat-tat-a-tatta
so we dove ‘neath the window
to avoid being splattered.
The gunfight went on
in the new fallen snow,
until the combatants
all were laid low.
My Armasight scope,
with its laser light glowing,
made it easy to see
even though it was snowing.
And seeing no movement
below by and by,
I swung the scope up
to the moonlit night sky.
When what to my wondering eyes should approach
but a hearse drawn by horses, an old funeral coach.
And the driver up top wildly whipping the steeds,
in order to get to his evening’s vile deeds.
With a clatter of hooves the juggernaut neared,
and the man called his team in a voice that I feared,
“Now Charleston, Now Newtown, Aurora, San Ysidro–
On Columbine, Blacksburg and San Bernardino!”
On the side of the hearse as it barreled on by,
in dripping red letters was scrawled S-L-A-Y.
That struck me as strange, though I can’t give the reason;
is there another conveyance that flies at this season?
One whose driver is bent on a merrier mission,
than that of this homicide obsessed mortician?
As I whiled on such musings I heard a loud “Boom”
and a cloud of gray ashes engulfed the whole room!
I looked toward the hearth and to my surprise,
there stood the hearse driver rubbing soot from his eyes.
He was dressed all in black, as in mourning it seemed;
at his hip a chrome plated Colt .45 gleamed.
The curl of his lip and the twitch of his finger
made me wonder if this was a great place to linger.
He reeked all of cordite and Duraflame log,
then he sneezed out some ashes and asked for a grog.
I brought him a Bushmill’s. He tossed off a double,
but I still had a feeling he might cause me some trouble.
His cheeks were all sunken, his eyes all ablaze,
his nostrils were flaring…He sure did look crazed.
He said, “No one is safe ’til everyone’s armed;
if one person isn’t, we all will be harmed.”
I couldn’t help thinking, “This bozo’s insane!”
Then like lightning it hit me, “Good God, it’s St. Wayne!”
His hair was all tousled, his demeanor intense,
but his next act amazed me and has ever since.
He turned to our holsters and filled them up fine,
Smith & Wesson, Beretta and a shiny Tek-9.
Boxes of ammo and a silencer, too,
plenty of lead for the hardware to spew.
Then he pulled a Sig-Sauer and held it up high,
“That’s the exact one I wanted and was going to buy!”
He said with a chuckle, “St. LaPierre sees all…
It’s cocked, loaded and ready, so go have a ball!”
“But where could I use it at this time of night?”
“Don’t worry,” said Wayne, “I’ve considered your plight!”
“And thanks to the Kochs and the great G.O.P.
we have Stand Your Ground laws!” he announced with great glee.
“So go pick a fight on a dark street, my son,
and when some punk resists you, pull out your new gun!”
“And then what?” I queried incredulously.
“Why, You fill him with bullets, obviously!”
“But I’ll be arrested, indicted, convicted…”
“Relax,” said LaPierre, “I can see you’re conflicted.
These laws protect you when you fire your gun;
unlike under old laws you don’t have to run.
You can fire at will as long as you’re frightened!
See how our right to bear arms has been heightened?”
“But I assure you we do not intend to stop there,
we’ll fight until access to weapons is fair.
The Second Amendment shall not be infringed,
whether we’re black, brown or white… or a little unhinged.
Yes, we want guns, but other arms too,
like planes, tanks and nukes to name but a few.
That’s a citizen’s right as we read the Amendment;
on our success self-defense rights are dependent.”
My jaw dropped in amazement; had I heard him correctly?
Civilians entitled to such arms directly?
It occurred to me St. Wayne just might be mistaken,
and with that my conviction in gun rights was shaken.
With millions of weapons across the whole nation,
it makes sense to have some gun regulation.
When I asked him about it, LaPierre was dismissive,
“I buy only from gun shows. They’re very permissive.”
I thought about Wayne and all he had said,
I thought of mass shootings, the maimed and the dead.
I uncocked the pistol, popped out the clip,
gave them back to the gun lord,
“Man, you wasted a trip.”
He scowled for a moment then bid me adieu,
and back up the chimney the maniac flew.
He leapt to the hearse, I heard his whip crack,
and team, hearse and LaPierre never looked back.
But I heard him exclaim ere’ he drove out of sight,
“Bloody Carnage to All, Have a Great Firefight!”
This poem was first published here a year ago. Martin Walsh lives in Wethersfield and teaches U.S. History in Glastonbury. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army.