Photography © Lauren Shear


Another Mass Shooting

Another mass shooting.
This time a young white man
shoots nine black people
in a South Carolina church
during a Bible study.

At trial, defense attorneys
will try to prove
the shooter was insane
as the defense in Denver
tried to prove after
the shootings in
the movie theater;
as the defense
at Sandy Hook
would have tried had
the shooter survived.

Don’t execute the shooters.
That would be inhumane.
They had to be insane.
Instead, let them roam
among strangers
in the penitentiary.
Peers will decide what
punishment fits the crime.


Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He writes poetry and fiction.

Lauren Shear is a museum professional, public historian, and lifelong resident of Massachusetts. She has been working with activist groups since college and has been seeking ways to support communities under attack ever since.