Buddhism & Guns?

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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby lobster » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:20 am

steveb1 wrote:Instead, I carry a small canister of pepper spray in a pocket, in case attacked by humans or animals. The idea is to disable the attacker while giving the victim a chance to exit the area. The attacker is not permanently harmed. Are non-lethal self-defense devices, such as pepper spray, "permissible" in Buddhism?


Are you also carrying more than a 'reasonable' amount of fear and intention?

Many of us who have done Buddhist or other martial arts do everything to avoid carrying or using weapons. However I do not know your environment or needs. You do not sound dangerous or aggressive :namaste:
If you wish to do a martial art then a combat based Tai Chi Chuan will give you some health and confidence as will metta practice.

Many Buddhists such as the renowned Shaolin used the discipline of hard physical practice as part of their sadhana. :twothumbsup:
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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:16 am

dude wrote:I would say non-lethal self defense is appropriate.
In the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha noted that in some regions there would be little danger of monks being killed, and prohibited them carrying weapons.
In others, where such threats did exist he said "Carry swords and staves. But never use them to take life."



Second that.
Dont carry the weapon with the intention to kill life only carry the weapon with the intention to perserve life.
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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:37 am

Buddhism does not have action morality. The intention determines the morality of the action.

Look up Ra Lotsawa.

So should you use pepper spray on beings? If you can do it with love and compassion then yes. Otherwise no.

Should you use a gun or your fists on beings? If you can do it with love and compassion then yes. Otherwise no.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby ClearblueSky » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:00 am

I don't think owning a gun in itself is horrible, but like many other gray area things, we have to realize there's karma involved. Bottom line you're purchasing something originally designed with the sole intention to kill. Yes, people shoot targets, and you probably won't ever kill anybody, but the money eventually goes back to gun manufacturers at some point, and eventually some of those guns will kill people. To a degree, guns are necessary- because unfortunately other, more dangerous people have guns. If someone is shooting up a school, police shooting that person is the right thing to do, though not karma-free. There's a story where in one of Buddha's previous lives he killed for similar reasons. As a practitioner we should have extra reason to avoid guns, fact is, they end more lives than save them. Yeah, it's also not good karma for a monk to beat someone up with a stick, but they weren't really contributing to a huge industrial death complex. There is a very different feel behind a wooden bow and a gun, I've used both. If you really want to target shoot so badly then ok, it's not the end of the world, but be aware of what's behind the symbol of a gun and how it conflicts the Buddhist goal, and please, please be careful.
:buddha1: > :guns:
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby muni » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:21 am

TheSpirit wrote:What is Buddhist view on owning and trading gun (as hobby and self defense). I read somewhere online that trading weapons would be consider as wrong livelihood in Buddhism.

having that said, wouldn't martial art like Shaolin monks be too consider wrong livelihood since don't they use a stick as a weapon?

Thank you,


For me the difference lays in deluded state of mind( emotional-cognetive obscurations), and our nature of mind.

It is the right of my deluded state to have a gun, since the other has a gun too. Accepted sad habits!


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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:15 am

TheSpirit wrote:A little background on myself. I live in Oklahoma of United State. It is more rural and it is down south of the United States. So yes guns are almost normal as any other hobby.
Beating ones african slave was also a pretty common hobby down your end of the world too, I am told. Thankfully Americans managed to outgrow that habit. Maybe one day they will also outgrow the gun habit. Until then public space massacres will continue to scar their psyche and Americans will continue to invade foreign lands in an attempt to vent.

Sad situation. Sadder still when Budddhists add to the suffering instead of reducing it.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby shaunc » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:32 am

I live in a semi-rural part of Australia. Up until about 10 years ago a lot of people here owned guns as well. I think what you've got to ask yourself is if you need a gun. I live in town, so the answer for me is no. If you live out of town & run large numbers of stock then you may have need of one. What other people consider normal is neither here nor there. Up until about 2009 cock fighting was still legal in some parts of the U.S. that doesn't make it acceptable behaviour for practising Buddhists.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:35 am

shaunc wrote:I think what you've got to ask yourself is if you need a gun. I live in town, so the answer for me is no. If you live out of town & run large numbers of stock then you may have need of one.
In Australia? Just in case you get savaged by a band of marauding 'roos???
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby shaunc » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:43 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
shaunc wrote:I think what you've got to ask yourself is if you need a gun. I live in town, so the answer for me is no. If you live out of town & run large numbers of stock then you may have need of one.
In Australia? Just in case you get savaged by a band of marauding 'roos???


Greg, foxes & wild dogs take quite a few lambs off graziers every year, not to mention family pet dogs that wander of an evening. Occasionally stock get injured or sick & have to be put down. 'Roos can do a bit of damage too in large numbers & if wildlife & conservation deem that there are too many on your property you may be given some tags to cull their numbers a bit. To a grazier a gun is just a tool of his trade.
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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:03 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Buddhism does not have action morality. The intention determines the morality of the action.

Look up Ra Lotsawa.
Jigten Sumgon would disagree.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby zamotcr » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:28 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Buddhism does not have action morality. The intention determines the morality of the action.

Look up Ra Lotsawa.
Jigten Sumgon would disagree.


Then sutras disagree with Jigten. The intention is what makes karma. The action itself is nothing, volition is what makes karma.

Bhikkhu Bodhi said:
http://www.beyondthenet.net/dhamma/kamma.htm

"Monks it is volition that I call kamma. For having willed, one then acts by body, speech or mind". What really lies behind all action, the essence of all action, is volition, the power of the will. It is this volition expressing itself as action of body, speech and mind that the Buddha calls kamma
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby TheSpirit » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:57 pm

reddust wrote:I grew up in rural America when even city folk, flat landers had firearms for protection here in America. Our second amendment wasn't just for protection against common criminals and hunting. Our second amendment is and was for protection against rogue governments, which are alive and well today. I will kill to protect my family and country. If I can run or figure a way out of the fix without violence, I will take this first. I've had a rifle since I was six years old, hunting license since I was twelve. The only things I have killed as a farm girl are chickens and that's with a very sharp knife. Where I grew up people knew how to use guns were trained up proper, no gun accidents. Most accidents and death were from farming equipment. But I've butchered ever single farm animal you can think of, wrapped, frozen, canned, and smoked most as well. I'm not proud or ashamed, this is how I grew up. My family on both sides of my lineage suffered genocide and theft of our lands. We grew up very aware of abusive authority. Call me what you want, I still practice and will continue to practice the Dharma.

EDIT: I've also faced an intruder with four young kids behind me and a shotgun. My oldest girl ran and got the shotgun for me …. my husband was a shift worker and not home that evening, the guy left real fast after wanting to know what we had in our barn and if he could hunt through our land and I had asked him to leave 3 times prior to grabbing the firearm.


I think this is what most people here don't seem to understand. There is a difference between someone owning guns in order to protect themselves and their loved one as compared to someone who owns gun to do harm, steal, and kill.

I have friend who was broken into and killed with no means of self defense. The sad fact is, if someone have the intention to kill or rob, they will find a gun either way legal or not. This leave the innocence defenseless. And you are right, not only do you need guns to defend yourself from criminals but also corrupted officials if necessary. I own a shot gun and a rifle. My partner have pistols, other than going target shooting at an open gunrange, we don't go around swinging guns at people like some people seem to think, infact I never even talk about it unless it came up in a conversation.

Isn't Buddhism all about the intention that produce the karma? For example, one of the precepts of an upasaka is no false speech. However I think lying in order to save an innocent life is not exactly the same as lying to harm people though both are false speech.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby TheSpirit » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:02 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
TheSpirit wrote:A little background on myself. I live in Oklahoma of United State. It is more rural and it is down south of the United States. So yes guns are almost normal as any other hobby.
Beating ones african slave was also a pretty common hobby down your end of the world too, I am told. Thankfully Americans managed to outgrow that habit. Maybe one day they will also outgrow the gun habit. Until then public space massacres will continue to scar their psyche and Americans will continue to invade foreign lands in an attempt to vent.

Sad situation. Sadder still when Budddhists add to the suffering instead of reducing it.


Sherab, I find this to be a poor comparison. It is like compare stabbing someone with a knife and using a knife to cut vegetables as the same thing. That is how irrelevant I see the comparison you made.

Guns as a hobby focus on target shooting and self defense when necessary and that is all, that is its use, it use is not to provoke or harm random people. (not to be confused with guns used to intentionally kill in revenge or robbing, the intention here between the two uses is day and night, just as a knife used to stab people and cutting vegetables, day and night.) I don't quite see how that is the same as enjoy beating up another innocent person.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:05 pm

TheSpirit wrote:
reddust wrote:I grew up in rural America when even city folk, flat landers had firearms for protection here in America. Our second amendment wasn't just for protection against common criminals and hunting. Our second amendment is and was for protection against rogue governments, which are alive and well today. I will kill to protect my family and country. If I can run or figure a way out of the fix without violence, I will take this first. I've had a rifle since I was six years old, hunting license since I was twelve. The only things I have killed as a farm girl are chickens and that's with a very sharp knife. Where I grew up people knew how to use guns were trained up proper, no gun accidents. Most accidents and death were from farming equipment. But I've butchered ever single farm animal you can think of, wrapped, frozen, canned, and smoked most as well. I'm not proud or ashamed, this is how I grew up. My family on both sides of my lineage suffered genocide and theft of our lands. We grew up very aware of abusive authority. Call me what you want, I still practice and will continue to practice the Dharma.

EDIT: I've also faced an intruder with four young kids behind me and a shotgun. My oldest girl ran and got the shotgun for me …. my husband was a shift worker and not home that evening, the guy left real fast after wanting to know what we had in our barn and if he could hunt through our land and I had asked him to leave 3 times prior to grabbing the firearm.


I think this is what most people here don't seem to understand. There is a difference between someone owning guns in order to protect themselves and their loved one as compared to someone who owns gun to do harm, steal, and kill.

I have friend who was broken into and killed with no means of self defense. The sad fact is, if someone have the intention to kill or rob, they will find a gun either way legal or not. This leave the innocence defenseless. And you are right, not only do you need guns to defend yourself from criminals but also corrupted officials if necessary. I own a shot gun and a rifle. My partner have pistols, other than going target shooting at an open gunrange, we don't go around swinging guns at people like some people seem to think, infact I never even talk about it unless it came up in a conversation.

Isn't Buddhism all about the intention that produce the karma? For example, one of the precepts of an upasaka is no false speech. However I think lying in order to save an innocent life is not exactly the same as lying to harm people though both are false speech.


Who has said anything about going around swinging guns at people? P.S. I also have done some target shooting, and a big chunk of my family are "gun people", as are plenty of friends. I still think a portion of them are basically deluded about their priorities as far as self-defense goes, because once again, owning a gun is one (possible) part of a much larger puzzle if you are concerned with ensuring your safety and that of your loved ones.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:21 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Buddhism does not have action morality. The intention determines the morality of the action.

Look up Ra Lotsawa.
Jigten Sumgon would disagree.
Citation please
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:27 pm

TheSpirit wrote:Sherab, I find this to be a poor comparison. It is like compare stabbing someone with a knife and using a knife to cut vegetables as the same thing. That is how irrelevant I see the comparison you made.

Guns as a hobby focus on target shooting and self defense when necessary and that is all, that is its use, it use is not to provoke or harm random people. (not to be confused with guns used to intentionally kill in revenge or robbing, the intention here between the two uses is day and night, just as a knife used to stab people and cutting vegetables, day and night.) I don't quite see how that is the same as enjoy beating up another innocent person.
Well, if you cannot see the relvance of my comparison (maybe I should have just talked about slave ownership rather than beating one's slave, but actually, I think you would not see the validity of the comparison there either) and consider guns on par with kitchen knives, then I guess this conversation is over.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Silent Bob » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:47 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Why don't you try this 22 page thread on the very same topic. I am sure you will find any number of answers from both sides of the argument in the thread.


That was one of the stupider threads ever to stain this forum and I would hate to see it resurrected.
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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:08 pm

10. The fruit of virtue and non-virtue appears seperately.
...
Captain Mahakaruna, for example, was exchanging himself with others,
As he intended to kill a person, intriguing against him and others, for the benefit of the other young merchant.
The intention was virtuous, the act of killing the miscreant non-virtuous.
Furthermore, because he exchanged himself for others,
He gathered the [positive] accumulations of many kalpas,
but due to the negative act, he was pierced by an acacia thorn.

Jigten Sumgon Gonchig commentary by Rigdzin Chokyi Dragpa The Lamp Dispelling the Darkness
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby dude » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:12 pm

Isn't Buddhism all about the intention that produce the karma? For example, one of the precepts of an upasaka is no false speech. However I think lying in order to save an innocent life is not exactly the same as lying to harm people though both are false speech.[/quote]

I agree with that line of reasoning.
What's a bad cause in one situation may be a good cause in another.
When I make decisions based on "principle," as an either/or, I usually find that no matter what I do it's wrong.
It can take a lot of pondering to come up with the best solution, which is often neither the one nor the other.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:21 pm

Another thing, i grew up in a really poor area, with lots of guns incidentally, it was a semi-regular thing to have to get under the able when shots rang out, just to be safe. The thing that kept people from breaking into your house was a big dog, that is really pretty much still the best home security there is, if one is worried about their home. In addition, you get a nifty pet, most of the time.

It's actually more likely (probably) for most of us to get killed or maimed by cars than anything, quite a bit more likely to the best of my knowledge.

So, if you're really worried about personal safety, you should prioritize based what is a real threat, right? Which means owning a gun or not, while certainly an important question, actually likely has much less to do with your safety than you relationship to cars and driving.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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