Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • johnny
    Member
    • Feb 2008
    • 39

    Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

    I'm trying to reconcile my thoughts about owning a gun for home protection with my spiritual practice.

    I've been reading about emergency preparedness and survival recently, and I've decided that it would be prudent of me to get prepared with the usual items....water, canned food, crank radio, etc. Most articles also recommend some type of home protection in case the sh*t really hits the fan and people become desperate enough to harm others to get what they need/want. Therefore, I've been considering purchasing a shotgun for home protection and simply keeping it locked in a safe place in my home for the incredibly unlikely event of an emergency.

    I also read a lot about politics and now that I'm older and understand more about the country I live in (USA), I feel as though it's my duty to exercise my 2nd Amendment right to bear arms (perhaps before this right is taken away by our own government).

    When reading about gun ownership in general, you'll come across a common piece of advice that says, "never point a gun at anything you're not willing to kill". I've been wondering if I would ever really be able to do that, even if I were the victim in a home invasion type of scenario where my life and my wife's life was truly threatened.

    I'm wondering if there are any gun owners in this Sangha or if anyone has any thoughts about this issue?
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39419

    #2
    Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

    Johnny,

    Might I ask you to hold this question, and raise it again next week in our Precepts study course? We will be talking about the Precept of avoiding the taking of life, and "self defense" is a major dilemna of that. Would you please wait with this question, and ask again there next week?

    Gassho, Jundo


    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Longdog
      Member
      • Nov 2007
      • 448

      #3
      Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

      Hi Johnny,

      The USA is obviously very different from the UK, gun ownership if extremely restricted and heavily licenced other than air weapons.

      Is there really a need for a gun for home security and all the other survivalist/end of the world type preparations? I guess if you live in a hurricane/earth quake area may be, but otherwise?

      May be I'm just naive, but over here where ever I've lived I just close the curtains, lock the door (if I remember). Some people have burglar alarms but not all and people I know who have them rarely seem to use them anyway.

      Be interesting to discuss it in the precepts thread when it comes up.

      As for recreational use of guns, i.e target shooting etc, that doesn't bother me, neither does genuine hunting for food. Hunting for the sake of bagging things does bother me though.

      In gassho, Kev
      [url:x8wstd0h]http://moder-dye.blogspot.com/[/url:x8wstd0h]

      Comment

      • johnny
        Member
        • Feb 2008
        • 39

        #4
        Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

        I'll remember to bring this up again next week per Jundo's request.

        Thanks!

        John

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39419

          #5
          Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

          And I promise no jokes about "Johnny from Joysey packin a piece" :shock:
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • johnny
            Member
            • Feb 2008
            • 39

            #6
            Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

            Comment

            • disastermouse

              #7
              Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

              Originally posted by Longdog
              Hi Johnny,

              The USA is obviously very different from the UK, gun ownership if extremely restricted and heavily licenced other than air weapons.

              Is there really a need for a gun for home security and all the other survivalist/end of the world type preparations? I guess if you live in a hurricane/earth quake area may be, but otherwise?

              May be I'm just naive, but over here where ever I've lived I just close the curtains, lock the door (if I remember). Some people have burglar alarms but not all and people I know who have them rarely seem to use them anyway.

              Be interesting to discuss it in the precepts thread when it comes up.

              As for recreational use of guns, i.e target shooting etc, that doesn't bother me, neither does genuine hunting for food. Hunting for the sake of bagging things does bother me though.

              In gassho, Kev
              But then what do you do when the zombies attack?

              Comment

              • Longdog
                Member
                • Nov 2007
                • 448

                #8
                Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

                :lol: Haven't they already :lol:
                [url:x8wstd0h]http://moder-dye.blogspot.com/[/url:x8wstd0h]

                Comment

                • Aswini
                  Member
                  • Apr 2008
                  • 108

                  #9
                  Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

                  It's an interesting conundrum for America.

                  Higer rates of homicide than other developed nations, i'm sure that the ease of access to guns is a contributing factor. Living in Australia, gun shooting rampages at schools and universities are unheard of.

                  So in totality restricting gun ownership would be better for everyone's safety. But if gun ownership is widely accepted and what other option would you have for security other than to own one yourself. In saying that, if someone shoots you in surprise, having a gun on hand won't necessarily be of any use. So, the rate at which others can intervene and stop attacks would be high (once someone is shot), but does nothing for the rate of surprise attacks especially if the victim is isolated (as gun ownership is high).

                  Oh well. Thanks goodness I live in Australia.

                  Comment

                  • johnny
                    Member
                    • Feb 2008
                    • 39

                    #10
                    Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

                    US Constitution

                    Amendment II

                    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

                    Comment

                    • Dosho
                      Member
                      • Jun 2008
                      • 5784

                      #11
                      Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

                      For years people have interpreted that amendment to mean that everyone can own a gun. I've always interpreted it that if you are in the militia, you can have a gun. I'm not in the armed forces, so I shouldn't have a gun. I'm not trying to start a philisophical debate here, just giving a different perspective.

                      Comment

                      • anodyne777
                        Member
                        • May 2008
                        • 13

                        #12
                        Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

                        Originally posted by disastermouse
                        But then what do you do when the zombies attack?
                        Here in St. Louis we have a group called the Zombie Squad, who educate the public on survivalism in the case of this scenario. They do it to raise charity money, and people attend seminars, camping trips and generally have some fun going over the "what-ifs" of total disaster scenarios (the zombie part is just for fun... at least I think).

                        Seriously though, personally I have no problem with gun ownership. I don't own one and probably never will (my wife hates guns so I don't push the issue), but I really enjoy targetshooting, even taking the weapon apart and cleaning it afterward (many of my family and some of my friends do own guns). It's an enjoyable hobby that doesn't have to be inherently violent, and when it comes to self defense, you need not shoot to kill if you even shoot at all. There are other practical considerations: in a total disaster scenario, hunting animals (at least in the short term) could be necessary. And although I'm not a hunter either, game populations (at least here in the midwest) are managed through hunting. We've eliminated all of certain species' natural predators, leaving them free to multiply beyond environmentally sustainable numbers. Among other problems, if there were no population control we'd have far higher numbers of traffic collisions with animals, for one thing... and the list goes on. I'm not an ecologist so I'm not aware of any alternatives aside from a complete paradigm shift in terms of how our society operates, and that's not practical or even possible at this point in time - which is also relevant to the self-defense issue.

                        In the U.S., we can argue until we're blue in the face as to whether or not guns are good or bad and if they should be banned or not etc... but the fact is, the right to own them is guaranteed by law, firearms are already dispersed throughout the population, and this right also extends to people who have no business owning them as well. That's how it is here, so make of it what you will.

                        Firearms may facilitate quick and easy violence, but the responsibility remains ours. Bear in mind that steak knives, your bare hands or even words can be just as deadly with the operative intention.

                        Comment

                        • chicanobudista
                          Member
                          • Mar 2008
                          • 864

                          #13
                          Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

                          Originally posted by johnny
                          US Constitution

                          Amendment II

                          A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
                          I agree also that interpretation of that particular amendment has fluctuated in the SCOTUS. Personally, I don't believe in gun banning, but I also don't agree with the NRA's take that it's just a tool like a hammer.
                          paz,
                          Erik


                          Flor de Nopal Sangha

                          Comment

                          • disastermouse

                            #14
                            Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

                            I come from a region of the country where gun use is high, and homicide rates are very low. Tragically, there was a 'whacked out crazy-guy' shooting a couple months back, but such incidents are so low as to render such events as highly unusual.

                            Where I'm from, guns are a symbol and tool of rugged self-sufficiency and pride in proficiency. The yearly firearm deer season's first week is practically a religious holiday, and I was raised as a (rather poor) hunter. The very thought of using a gun on a human being was truly terrifying - as we'd witnessed first-hand the power of guns. We knew it wasn't like on TV or in videogames.

                            Part of me thinks that it's a failure on our part as a culture that we might think that proscribing gun ownership would be a 'short-cut' to reduced violence in the society. The truth is, such violence is cultural - and its cure is also cultural.

                            Chet

                            Comment

                            • Fuken
                              Member
                              • Sep 2006
                              • 435

                              #15
                              Re: Gun Ownership Buddhism ?

                              Australian Gun Law Update

                              Here's a thought to warm some of your hearts...
                              From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia
                              Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real
                              figures from Down Under.
                              It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were
                              forced
                              by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be
                              destroyed by
                              our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers
                              more than $500 million dollars.
                              The first year results are now in:
                              Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,
                              Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent ;
                              Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes,
                              44 percent)!
                              In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms
                              are now up 300 percent.
                              (Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in,
                              the criminals did not and criminals still possess their guns!)
                              While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady
                              decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically
                              upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed
                              that their prey is unarmed.
                              There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and
                              assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.
                              Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how
                              public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense
                              was expended in "successfully ridding Australian society of guns." You
                              won't see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or
                              members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.
                              The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the
                              hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control
                              laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.
                              Not sure about the quote above, but it resembles things I have seen elsewhere.
                              If you take the guns away from law abiding citizens, only the criminals have guns.

                              This is interesting and related: - RULE #1 Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

                              - RULE #2 never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.

                              - RULE #3 Keep finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

                              - RULE #4 Keep weapon on safe until you intend to fire.

                              I do not like guns, I have been witness to not only what they do to the person shot, but also the effect on the shooter. However I do feel that until we have a more polite society, it is a good idea to have good people who know how to use guns effectively.

                              Consider the sheep, without the Shepard being vigilant, they fall prey to the wolf.

                              Sorry if that seems all deep in stuff, but I think this situation is highly complicated and that sweeping generalizations like "Guns are Bad, we should ban them" are not realistic.
                              Perhaps we should just ban crime and try and stick to that.

                              In gassho,
                              Jordan
                              Yours in practice,
                              Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

                              Comment

                              Working...