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Mark Olival-Bartley teaches English, tutors composition, trains teachers, and advises a literary circle. He studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson’s sonnets for his dissertation at LMU Munich’s Department of English and American Studies, where also he edits a poetry weekly. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor of Review of International American Studies.


Enact gun control now.

15 December 2012

Dear Mr. President:

I am an American citizen (who, incidentally, was born in Honolulu and raised in Kailua) now living in Germany as an English teacher and writer.

Yesterday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, has left the nation reeling in sadness and despair. Especially in the wake of the shootings in the theater in Colorado and the mall in Oregon--to say nothing of the shadow of Columbine--Americans are demanding an end to this violence; the means by which to do this are singular: Effective gun-control laws must be passed through Congress.

Now is the time to do this, and it would be an extraordinary legacy of your time in office; just think of the thousands of lives that would be saved. As with gay marriage, the pendulum has swung to the left on this issue. True, the Constitution protects one's right to bear arms--but it also once enshrined racism and misogyny. I implore you to act with political courage and harness the momentum from your recent victory in the election: Enact gun control now.

Thank you.

Mark Olival

P.S. Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

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