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Spiritual analysis of gun control

It's hard for me to tell if Buddhism for beginners or advanced teachings are correct.

But here is the spiritual opinion of my Lama on gun control:
My spiritual teacher said this:

Summary: Precept against killing and a possibility that an aspiring Bodhisattva might actually choose to kill.

A student explains that since he has done military service and is trained in the use of guns, he is concerned that he may be called upon to use them where security is required.

Lama Shenpen:

There is no precept against carrying a gun but of course if you have one on you, then situations may arise where you are called upon to use it.

The way to think about it is to ask yourself what harm will be caused by using it to save lives. If it is that you will have to suffer the karmic consequences in the lower realms, are you prepared to do that for the sake of others?

If you are then you are following the code of conduct of a Bodhisattva. It is a more difficult path than the simple practice of keeping the precept against killing. It means you have to assess the situation and use your own judgement. You have to take the responsibility on yourself and you may make mistakes.

The most important thing in this remains your motivation - if your motive was good then this will mitigate the consequences to a great degree.

However, it is essential to remain humble and recognise that as an unenlightened being you are likely to make mistakes - so make sure you have faith in the power of repentance. It is good to have faith like that in any situation but particularly if you are being called upon to kill.

I hope this answer helps. It is wonderful to give yourself and your life to the service of others - keep praying to the Buddhas and aligning yourself with the Three Jewels. You need their protection and guidance. Remember that it is the good motivation behind what you do in the world that matters. You cannot control the outcome of your deeds in this world but the good karma you make by them and the loving connections you foster will be with you always.



Lama Shenpen Hookham.


I'm not trying to proselytize, but I think there is a spiritual side to everything.

Bodhisattva means an advanced student of meditation and spirituality. They have committed their life in a vow to help others.
matthewmartinNirvana

Comments

  • howhow Veteran
    My answer is?
    does having access to devices that kill as easily as a pointing finger, foster
    compassion or greed, love or hate, wisdom or delusion?
    lobsterKundo
  • I'm not sure I know the answer to that? Are all soldiers greedy, hateful, and fools? I don't think so. I think they are just immature along the spectrum of wisdom.
  • howhow Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Most questions really depend on the circumstances.
    The answer is the questioning of the real circumstances.
    The question itself can not dictate what each circumstance is in real life.
    That is why drugs/ abortion/ sex sales and a number of hot button issues can not be reduced to a blanket yes or no response.
    Kundo
  • The deed accomplished by the use of a tool, is only as good as the intent of the person who uses that tool. If the person is hard of heart, and dead of soul, then the mind will not see what is happening and fail to process the deed accordingly.
    mfranzdorf
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited October 2013
    @lobster I think you agree with my Lama. She says the easier path is to follow the precepts. But if you feel you are creating good with a gun a bodhisattva can risk the lower realms.

    You carry a loaded verbal repertoire! j/k

    The problem with that is that (carrying a gun) as an ignorant bodhisattva you could cause karma that you are not prepared to deal with.

    If you follow the precepts there is no need to carry a gun of course is true. I haven't ever touched a gun, but actually I DID have one pulled on me and not in a robbery.
    lobster
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Actions have consequences. That's all there is to it. If you choose to carry a gun, then you increase the potential of using it. Obviously. If you don't carry a gun then you can't choose to use it. Now, a case can be made that using it to defend your life or the life of someone else is a good consequence. How often would that circumstance come up? The consequence to the action of carrying a gun is much more likely to be you use it against an innocent even if you have good intentions. Are you trained to use lethal force in a split second life and death situation? Experienced police often make mistakes. What sort of ego thinks you're capable of handling a gun better than professionals?
    Kundo
  • ZaylZayl Veteran
    edited October 2013
    @Cinorjer

    Hopefully, that circumstance never, ever comes up, of course. I own my weapons for the target range (I enjoy competitive shooting) and hunting, though I would use them in self defense. Cops are professionals, sure, but I feel we are both being generous with that term. I have witnessed, personally, police see someone holding something small and black in their hand, panic, and just fucking gun them down. My family has some military in it, and I have a few Marine and Army buddies (quick aside, I really want to see them again, it's been years) that I have received my training from. They drilled into my head, over and over and over "Do not fire unless fired upon" Where police seem more concerned about protecting their own lives, I would never fire a shot unless someone shot at me first. You know that here in the U.S. if someone comes across as too intelligent, they won't let them join the police force? They have a uniform and a badge, but they are flesh and blood humans just as we. And we can receive better training than them if we seek it.

    If that gets me killed.. so be it, I'd be dead anyway if I didn't have the gun. But at least, following that simple code, I trust myself entirely to never gun down an innocent. Something the Police are very inept at.

    FFS, people commit suicide by cop all the time by waving around a cell phone or a knife or something. If the police just took cover behind their bullet proofed vehicles and just simply waited, maybe they'd realize the crazy person waving something around was in fact, no danger at all. And no matter how buff someone is, no one is going to be able to kill a group of police officers with a knife. Considering all the less than lethal options a police officer has (tazer, mace, their batons, shooting to wound not kill, etc.) not to mention they usually have numbers on their side as well.

    I'm sorry, but I just do not see the police as professionals. More often than not, they are too jumpy on the trigger, and that leads to innocent deaths. However, I did see one video where a suicidal man was leaning against his truck, his handgun within easy reach, and he kept the police at a distance by threatening to kill himself.

    So, the police called in a SWAT sniper and... well... they shot the suicidal guy's gun off of the truck, rushed in, and tackled him.
  • All along the west coast, fishermen, both commercial and sport, are having to compete with an ever expanding population of sea lions, for our catch. In the commercial sector, many have resorted to shooting sea lions if they become a nuisance.
    Putting aside for a moment the hypocrisy of the fact that I kill fish for a living, I have made the choice not to shoot sea lions. So I don't have a firearm on the boat.
    Frankly, I can't be certain that I wouldn't be provoked to shoot at them if there was a firearm at hand. Sometimes they will follow along for hours picking fish off the gear. When they start to get full, which can take a lot of fish, they will often just pull them off and eat the belly. It is a real test of patience when I'm tired and fishing is slow.
    I am convinced that a cull will have to take place at some point, if the salmon stocks are to be saved even if fishing were permanently closed. But if I were to shoot one it would not be in cold blood with conservation in mind. It would be in frustration and anger which is not what I want for myself. So, no gun, no problem.
    That's as close as I can get to understanding what happens when frustrated people carry handguns. Not everyone can control themselves, and may see a threat where there isn't one, or may have a moment when it makes sense to shoot someone in traffic or whatever.
    VastmindKundolobsterpoptart
  • matthewmartinmatthewmartin Amateur Bodhisattva Suburbs of Mt Meru Veteran
    edited October 2013
    There are two issues here: gun control (the idea that guns shouldn't be freely available to all and that their use in vigilantism is problematic) and Buddhists serving in the military.

    I can't tell if the guy in the story is talking about using a gun for security purposes (say as a soldier or as a police man) or to summarily execute a child who refuses to drop a toy machine gun (better safe than sorry, amiright?) or to shoot a lost tourist knocking at the door (he was clearly Japanese! the man had no choice but to shoot) The last place I want to discuss gun control is on the internet, elsewhere on this forum I've already seen people uncritically replaying American pro-gun ideology without so much as attempting to run it through a Buddhist filter. (Was a sword one of the 8 requisites? probably not.)

    I did see recently--I forget which forum-- the idea of karma-by-proxy (I bear some of that karmic debt for evil deeds done on mybehalf) and it turned upside down my thoughts on Buddhists in the military. If I am King Yama and I am in charge of sentencing myself to the hells for cosmic karmic balance, then karma-by-proxy is a real matter, even if early Buddhist thinkers seemed to only worry about who directly did the deed, i.e. who pulled the trigger, not who benefited, not who would have had to do it themselves if someone else didn't do it for them.

    As a matter of public policy, shutting down the military and assuming that other nations will play nice isn't a viable option. (except Iceland, but really they rely on the US & or Europe to defend them) Historically, undefended countries get annexed and not for the good of the annexed. As long as we live in a world with expansionary warlords, peace requires a military and the citizens will benefit from those who have to pull the trigger.

    So not only should Buddhists serve in the military (at least those that reason the way I do), we ought to have a universal draft here in the US. (which helps deter the state from using a defensive force for useless adventures, but that moves us into another topic)

    But that is just my opinion. I hear King Yama takes bribes and is easily swayed by slick lawyers. And who knows, I work in the military industrial complex, so maybe it's just justifying the status quo. I hope it just means that being in the beast makes you think more about what is ethical and what isn't & what is practical when applied to a large country or planet (instead of interactions between a few individuals)

    If anyone is curious, the US military has 5000+ plus declared Buddhists, about 3 or so Buddhist Chaplains (Shin, Zen and I don't know the others).
    Jeffrey
  • Putting aside for a moment the hypocrisy of the fact that I kill fish for a living, I have made the choice not to shoot sea lions. So I don't have a firearm on the boat.
    On behalf of Minapa the mahasiddhi, sea lions and ceiling cat I thank you. Choices in the real world. Choices in Dharma lala land. Be as kind as circumstances allow and praise the real choices people make.
    May the Merlions protect you.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlion
    robot
  • So recruits sign up to become boddhisattvas? That's a relief. I always thought it was to feel like a big man. I do hope they remember to remain humble before blasting someone's head off.
    Jeffrey
  • @poptart, My lama says to be humble too. :)
    However, it is essential to remain humble and recognise that as an unenlightened being you are likely to make mistakes - so make sure you have faith in the power of repentance. It is good to have faith like that in any situation but particularly if you are being called upon to kill.
    poptartlobstermatthewmartin
  • JohnGJohnG Veteran
    edited October 2013
    matthewmartin , I agree with much of your statement, but to have a universal draft? The draft provided men to fight yes, but not all fit men were drafted; in fact wealth and power of one's family was able to obtain deferments from military service. In fact during the G.W. Bush administration, there were the top hawks who demanded sacrifice and military service, but yet obtained deferments when their dates came up during the Vietnam war. Dick Cheney obtained five deferments, Donald Rumsfeld, seven. G.W. Bush father bought him a commission and a pilots spot in the Texas National guard.

    A compulsory draft won't work, it would just make it easier for the rich to start more war, and the poor to die and suffer for their gain, as exemplified in two wars, that I studied well, Vietnam and Korea.
  • matthewmartinmatthewmartin Amateur Bodhisattva Suburbs of Mt Meru Veteran
    edited October 2013
    @JohnG When it comes to war, all the options are bad, worse and worst.

    The draft during Vietnam made the war unpopular because it was a bad war (an adventure that couldn't be won)-- politicians paid a price for getting into the war. On the otherhand, all subsequent war were fought with professional volunteers, which makes the war not only irrelevant for the fearful elites, but for just about everyone who votes. (and exacts a huge price on the mental health of men deployed over and over and over again) No political price to pay even for what was arguably an adventure in Iraq.

    Anyhow, I draw my analysis in large part from R Maddow's book Drift, which makes a strong case from the left for requiring extremely broad participation in wars (via a draft or requiring all the reserves to participate in foreign adventures)-- participation is the deterant for a (functioning) democracy. She says it better than I can in this small box.

    That and a little story in "Confessions of an Atheist Buddhist", where Batchelor recounts his experience in S Korea, where the draft includes all Buddhist monks & priests, who are expected to practice with rifles (it appears that most serve & don't see a contradiction in doing so, although some mutilate their trigger fingers--setting them on fire like a candle--to avoid service)
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    poptart said:

    So recruits sign up to become boddhisattvas? That's a relief. I always thought it was to feel like a big man. I do hope they remember to remain humble before blasting someone's head off.

    People join the military for all kinds of reasons. I joined the British army for very traditional reasons which were to escape unemployment and poverty.

    Other soldiers I've met joined because they wanted to serve their country, or follow in the family tradition, or for travel, sport and excitement.

    On operations I knew I had a job to do and weapons were very much a part of it. I could bore on about gang rapes and murders in both Bosnia and Kosovo, and how soldiers with guns prevented stuff like this wherever possible, but I'm sure you get the idea.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    @matthewmartin, we don't need a universal draft for the simple reason that we don't need that many men or women.

    You're prescribing chemotherapy for a cold.
    how
  • matthewmartinmatthewmartin Amateur Bodhisattva Suburbs of Mt Meru Veteran
    @vinlyn I don't follow the chemotherapy/cold analogy.

    I am arguing that we need a draft (or more round about requiring the reserves to participate in wars) so that everyone participates. I'm not arguing that the US army is primarily short handed (although if one cares about mental heath after long term deployments, we are short handed, if that is an acceptable cost for Johnny to pay, but certainly not for me to pay, then we certainly are not shorthanded, maybe overstaffed).

    I admit, technology has changed though. With drones, long distance artillery, bombers with global reach, there is a good chance that for the countries that can afford it, war could become politically very cheap because there will be no participation of anyone at risk themselves.

    Back to my original point, if an unbidden lay Buddhist (or a monk for that matter) creates an autonomous machine that butchers meat out of sight, can a monk eat it? If we create autonomous drones that kill on our behalf (maybe its a landmine), clearly there is no bad karma, the machine pulled the trigger, not us. Or not. It depends on what one thinks about karma by proxy.

    And for something I didn't mention in my original response, I need to go look up what the Buddha might have said about freeloading (the modern economic idea that sometimes you have to collectively make people do something because if you wait for them to pay for it individually, everyone will freeload). He must of been cognizant of it. He didn't limit the sangha to breakfast and lunch because they were trying to maintain their sexy figures. I suspect he knew that the renunciants life was something of a free ride on the laity and these were concessions on account of that.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    First, I don't want you to think from what I am going to say that I don't fully realize that chemotherapy and radiation therapy have cured many people of cancer and cancer-related illnesses. My ex was completely cured of a form of "cancer of the blood" through such treatment. And, I know others, as well.

    But I also know some who have died directly because of radiation poisoning due to cancer treatment. And several who have suffered through a great deal of chemotherapy, only to die soon after...and all the time the doctors pretty well knew it was too late to be cured and too late to even have an improvement of life. Their suffering was simply prolonged by them hanging on -- near the edge of death -- through chemo.

    And it seems to me that what you are suggesting is almost the same -- to cure a situation (not that I'm convinced it would) that you don't like, you want to make more people suffer. You want to force more people into combat...instead of allowing volunteers to take on the responsibility they seem to want to accept. You want to tax Americans more to pay for a much larger army, as well as medical care and pensions following military service.

    Now as far as "lay Buddhist (or a monk)...creat[ing] an autonomous machine that butchers meat out of sight", well it's done in Thailand all the time -- although not by machine, but by another group of people whom make up the vast, vast majority of butchers in Thailand -- Muslims (and that's not even considering the number of Buddhist fishermen, etc.).

    And where I think you are most misguided -- in my own humble opinion (and yes, I could be wrong) -- you are trying to manipulate the teachings of Buddha to support your view that (again, in my humble opinion) has nothing to do with Buddhism. If I'm wrong, just cite specific text in the Pali canon that talks about this specific topic (without resorting to stretching Buddhist teachings).

    And so, now back to the chemo analogy. Since the early days of chemo and radiation therapy, doctors have learned of alternative treatments, or lighter doses of radiation/chemo that are more directed. I think you need to look for other ways to accomplish your goal. Not to mention that what you're proposing is simply not going to happen. Period.

  • Tosh said:

    I could bore on about gang rapes and murders in both Bosnia and Kosovo, and how soldiers with guns prevented stuff like this wherever possible, but I'm sure you get the idea.

    I take your point, @Tosh. But soldiers are often responsible for gang rapes and murders too. Guns aren't always used as a force for good.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Not personally pro gun control but I do find it interesting that the tenth of the additional 48 Bodhisattva precepts in the Kwan Um zen schools, that laypersons can voluntarily take, is "Not to possess implements for killing"
  • what i know for sure is,
    making guns is wrong livelihood.
    Jeffrey said:

    It's hard for me to tell if Buddhism for beginners or advanced teachings are correct.

    But here is the spiritual opinion of my Lama on gun control:

    My spiritual teacher said this:

    Summary: Precept against killing and a possibility that an aspiring Bodhisattva might actually choose to kill.

    A student explains that since he has done military service and is trained in the use of guns, he is concerned that he may be called upon to use them where security is required.

    Lama Shenpen:

    There is no precept against carrying a gun but of course if you have one on you, then situations may arise where you are called upon to use it.

    The way to think about it is to ask yourself what harm will be caused by using it to save lives. If it is that you will have to suffer the karmic consequences in the lower realms, are you prepared to do that for the sake of others?

    If you are then you are following the code of conduct of a Bodhisattva. It is a more difficult path than the simple practice of keeping the precept against killing. It means you have to assess the situation and use your own judgement. You have to take the responsibility on yourself and you may make mistakes.

    The most important thing in this remains your motivation - if your motive was good then this will mitigate the consequences to a great degree.

    However, it is essential to remain humble and recognise that as an unenlightened being you are likely to make mistakes - so make sure you have faith in the power of repentance. It is good to have faith like that in any situation but particularly if you are being called upon to kill.

    I hope this answer helps. It is wonderful to give yourself and your life to the service of others - keep praying to the Buddhas and aligning yourself with the Three Jewels. You need their protection and guidance. Remember that it is the good motivation behind what you do in the world that matters. You cannot control the outcome of your deeds in this world but the good karma you make by them and the loving connections you foster will be with you always.



    Lama Shenpen Hookham.


    I'm not trying to proselytize, but I think there is a spiritual side to everything.

    Bodhisattva means an advanced student of meditation and spirituality. They have committed their life in a vow to help others.

  • ToshTosh Veteran


    The draft during Vietnam made the war unpopular because it was a bad war (an adventure that couldn't be won)-- politicians paid a price for getting into the war.

    There's more to it than just that. Training humans to kill other humans isn't an easy task; it really does go against human nature to kill other humans. You may disagree - if you listen to our media - but trust me; killing isn't something that's done lightly.

    So, in the past, governments have attempted - quite successfully - to get their military to dehumanise the enemy. By calling them 'Nips', 'Gooks', 'Nazis', 'the Bosh', by portraying the enemy as animals made it easier to kill them.

    However the subsequent mental health issues suffered by soldiers returning from war was extremely high; so now Western goverments try a different tack. They teach that whatever war we go to is a 'just' war and less emphasis is put on dehumanising the enemy.
    poptart said:

    Tosh said:

    I could bore on about gang rapes and murders in both Bosnia and Kosovo, and how soldiers with guns prevented stuff like this wherever possible, but I'm sure you get the idea.

    I take your point, @Tosh. But soldiers are often responsible for gang rapes and murders too. Guns aren't always used as a force for good.
    You'll find that anything that civilians do, soldiers will do. An army is merely a reflection of the population it recruits from.

    Gross generalisations are rarely accurate; if ever.
    Jeffrey
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    I'm inclined to agree with @hermitwin on this.
    I seriously question the core morality of someone who actually makes it their business to design an implement which is then created purely and simply to inflict serious or fatal harm on another being.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Tosh said:

    ...

    So, in the past, governments have attempted - quite successfully - to get their military to dehumanise the enemy. By calling them 'Nips', 'Gooks', 'Nazis', 'the Bosh', by portraying the enemy as animals made it easier to kill them.

    ...

    Just for the record, "The term Nazi is German and stems from Nationalsozialist" (Wikipedia).

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    I think the teaching is more for people that found Buddhism after guns were already in their lives... Although I would hope the lesson would be aimed at abandoning such things.

    It does concern me that we go to such lengths to excuse killing each other over "limited" resources when we could be working together for the good of all.
  • matthewmartin, I turned 18 at Air Force Basic Training, and served Active Air Force 1979 to 1983, were I was a medical services technician. I worked the Emergency room, and not only saw first hand the effect of war, but treated them as well. I then spent six months in the Air Force Reserve, finally transferring to the Pa. Army National Guard; were I was trained as a forward observer for artillery, mortar, and close air support. I did this for another fifteen years. I was trained by those who both went willingly and drafted for the Vietnam war, (and there is no such thing as a 'good' war.)

    I learned over this time that, the only people who gained from these war's, were the draft existed, were the rich, the politically powerful; and just like these who come back from the middle east, do not bleed for their wealth, but demand 'we' those who are suppose to be the servants do.

    True South Korea has a draft, but they are at war! The Korean war has never been officially ended, only the cessation of hostilities.

    For us, what would the draft do, other then force the poor, unemployed, and those with no political or financial power to go, kill, maime, become maimed and killed for what? Oil? Political power that never reaches the people? Religious dominance? No, my friend, I have seen and grown up with the results of a war populated by drafted people, they become eternal, and eventually, like Vietnam, become nothing more then a place for killing and maiming without end.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    JohnG said:



    ...and there is no such thing as a 'good' war....

    Correct, but there are necessary wars.

  • no war is necessary if you refuse to fight.
    let george w bush and obama go to afghanistan with an M16.
    vinlyn said:

    JohnG said:



    ...and there is no such thing as a 'good' war....

    Correct, but there are necessary wars.

    poptart
  • jlljll Veteran
    What is war?
    War is old men talk and young men die.
    ~Lao-tzu
    poptartEvenThird
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    hermitwin said:

    no war is necessary if you refuse to fight.
    let george w bush and obama go to afghanistan with an M16.


    vinlyn said:

    JohnG said:



    ...and there is no such thing as a 'good' war....

    Correct, but there are necessary wars.

    It's not reasonable to expect a country to simply surrender and cease to exist.

  • howhow Veteran
    I think war today is less popular with the general civilian population because it seems so likely to just be business motivated with few of the proceeds ever reaching the masses.
    vinlyn
  • vinlyn said:


    It's not reasonable to expect a country to simply surrender and cease to exist.

    What's wrong with peaceful coexistence?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    poptart said:

    vinlyn said:


    It's not reasonable to expect a country to simply surrender and cease to exist.

    What's wrong with peaceful coexistence?
    Nothing's wrong with it. It's great. But some countries have not allowed another country to peacefully coexist. That's why I was very specific to say, "to simply surrender and cease to exist".



    matthewmartinTosh
  • My thought on this is the same as on drugs and prostitution.

    If you make something illeagal all you do is create crime. Only criminals (crime inals) break the law, so the more thats illegal the more crime. Not all crimes are equal, but crime is a slippery slope, because criminals do it.

    If prostitution was legal, prostitutes could call cops. They cant so they call a pimp, who kills or assaults what or who ever. The pimp does drugs with the hookers money and gets addicted. Then the hooker wants to quit hooking. But, the pimp says no because he gets his money from her and will have to quit drugs if she leaves. Again the prostitute cant call the cops because its illeagal, so she stays, for fear of beatings. Shes stuck on the bottom.

    If guns are illegal you will have to get them from an arms dealer, who are often pimps and drug dealers as well. Every time you shoot you'll have to buy bullets from the pimp. At first you just shot for fun. "Its fun to go bang and hit the bullseye." But now you hang out with a drug addicted, arms dealing pimp. Instead of johnny law/mr. america like you did.

    Tell me when was the last time you didnt do something you really wanted to because it was illegal? Mind you not reporting tips and burning dvds are illegal, so is downloading music. Just because its illegal doesent mean people wont do it. It just means you cant sell or buy it. Thats not gonna stop anyone, just like dvds.
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    poptart said:

    vinlyn said:


    It's not reasonable to expect a country to simply surrender and cease to exist.

    What's wrong with peaceful coexistence?
    I believe this is possible in a place called Utopia. Here's a picture of some soldiers with weapons (one of 'em is me):

    photo toshprestonpoo.jpg

    Guns don't just kill people; they make good toilet roll holders too.

    Steely-eyed killers eh? :lol:
    JeffreyEvenThirdMaryAnne
  • What is it with you Brits and butts!? :-/
  • How sweet, @Tosh. Looks like you're in your own utopia there.

    And I'm relieved to see shit comes out of the other end too. :p
    Tosh
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited October 2013
    I cannot help thinking about the boy last week in California with the toy gun walking to school and pointing his toy gun at police. Shot dead.

    The OP resonates with me. Carrying a gun (real or toy) is perhaps Right Livlihood/Wrong Livlihood. It may all be in the art of mindfulness, whether right discrimination and pure intent is there.

    Back to the boy in California. On hearing about this, my first thought was that the first thought the police should have had was that it was a toy. I mean, those who shoot in schools conceal their weapons till they get inside. I thought that a good policeman was supposed to be a member of one of the helping professions, not a killing machine. Certainly they hire people from planet Earth to these positions of trust? I mean, boys play with toy guns. Shouldn't this be on the radar?

    So
    Should this boys playing with toy guns now be stopped? If the powers-that-be won't curb real guns, why not begin with the toys? Outlaw Them! Let them use sticks instead!

    I haven't seen a candy cigarette in years!

    Anyone know anything about this? Or do I need to go around to more shops looking?
    matthewmartin
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    Jeffrey said:




    My spiritual teacher said this:

    Summary: Precept against killing and a possibility that an aspiring Bodhisattva might actually choose to kill.

    A student explains that since he has done military service and is trained in the use of guns, he is concerned that he may be called upon to use them where security is required.

    Lama Shenpen:

    There is no precept against carrying a gun but of course if you have one on you, then situations may arise where you are called upon to use it.

    The way to think about it is to ask yourself what harm will be caused by using it to save lives. If it is that you will have to suffer the karmic consequences in the lower realms, are you prepared to do that for the sake of others?

    If you are then you are following the code of conduct of a Bodhisattva. It is a more difficult path than the simple practice of keeping the precept against killing. It means you have to assess the situation and use your own judgement. You have to take the responsibility on yourself and you may make mistakes.

    The most important thing in this remains your motivation - if your motive was good then this will mitigate the consequences to a great degree.

    However, it is essential to remain humble and recognise that as an unenlightened being you are likely to make mistakes - so make sure you have faith in the power of repentance. It is good to have faith like that in any situation but particularly if you are being called upon to kill.

    I hope this answer helps. It is wonderful to give yourself and your life to the service of others - keep praying to the Buddhas and aligning yourself with the Three Jewels. You need their protection and guidance. Remember that it is the good motivation behind what you do in the world that matters. You cannot control the outcome of your deeds in this world but the good karma you make by them and the loving connections you foster will be with you always.



    Lama Shenpen Hookham.






    Essential advice for any person of conscience and good will that is made to carry weapons. Remember the boy in California.

    Does anyone ever see Candy cigarettes?





  • Let's say I have a disagreement with my neighbor.
    We agree to meet and try to resolve our differences.
    I bring my guns to the meeting, just in case, for self-defence, you know.

    I pray that we resolve our differences peacefully.
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    ^ That's incorrigible.
    Nuff Said.
  • Neither said:

    My thought on this is the same as on drugs and prostitution.

    If you make something illeagal all you do is create crime. Only criminals (crime inals) break the law, so the more thats illegal the more crime. Not all crimes are equal, but crime is a slippery slope, because criminals do it.

    If prostitution was legal, prostitutes could call cops. They cant so they call a pimp, who kills or assaults what or who ever. The pimp does drugs with the hookers money and gets addicted. Then the hooker wants to quit hooking. But, the pimp says no because he gets his money from her and will have to quit drugs if she leaves. Again the prostitute cant call the cops because its illeagal, so she stays, for fear of beatings. Shes stuck on the bottom.

    If guns are illegal you will have to get them from an arms dealer, who are often pimps and drug dealers as well. Every time you shoot you'll have to buy bullets from the pimp. At first you just shot for fun. "Its fun to go bang and hit the bullseye." But now you hang out with a drug addicted, arms dealing pimp. Instead of johnny law/mr. america like you did.

    Tell me when was the last time you didnt do something you really wanted to because it was illegal? Mind you not reporting tips and burning dvds are illegal, so is downloading music. Just because its illegal doesent mean people wont do it. It just means you cant sell or buy it. Thats not gonna stop anyone, just like dvds.

    But by this logic, then we should not have laws at all. I think you're making the mistake of dividing the world up into people who obey laws because they're laws, and people who ignore laws entirely. Since there are some people who will always ignore any law, then why have laws at all?

    In fact, countries where it's harder to get a gun have less people murdered by guns. It's that simple. The hard truth is, most gun violence isn't due to criminal activity. Yes, people involved in criminal activity will find a way to get weapons to use mainly on each other. Most gun violence is actually due to simple anger and rage and a gun happens to be available. We're not saying make all guns illegal. We're saying don't hand them out like candy to any idiot.
    Nirvana
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited October 2013
    By the way, I do believe drugs should be treated as a health problem and prostitution should be legalized and licensed.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Neither said:

    ...
    Tell me when was the last time you didnt do something you really wanted to because it was illegal? Mind you not reporting tips and burning dvds are illegal, so is downloading music. Just because its illegal doesent mean people wont do it. It just means you cant sell or buy it. Thats not gonna stop anyone, just like dvds.

    There isn't a week that goes by that I don't do something because it's the law.

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