Buddhism & Guns?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:21 am

I thought about making a humorously witty and intelligently sarcastic post but then thought better of it. Witty humor and sarcasm is a dangerous activity to engage in when the other person is holding a gun.
"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 Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:05 pm

zamotcr wrote:
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
Then the Suttas/Sutras disagree with the Sutta/Sutras. If intention is everything then why did the Buddha stop Angulimala? He was one finger away from liberation according to your theory. Why did Angulimala have to undergo the ripening of his karma if his intention was pure? What about Yodhajiva the warrior? Talaputa the actor? Kukkuravatika the dog-duty ascetic? etc... Surely, given their intentions, they didn't need a lesson from the Buddha, right?
"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 muni » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:26 pm

About ripening karma, I had this copied in my mail box:
"Although they are now free of the circle of life and death, the body is
still subject to the results of past events.
This may be why when the body of a being who is accepted as enlightened gets
ill, the being does not cure it, but just lets the phenomenon play out -
often resulting in what we call death".

This shows the body is not merely our being/our nature and that's it.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Nemo » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:49 pm

I often consider getting a civilian AR version of my old army rifle. But other than plinking and shooting your enemy in the eye at 200 metres it isn't very useful.

You can be a Buddhist and own a gun. You are probably a shitty Buddhist though :cheers:
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:17 pm

A Koan I love.

In Tokyo in the Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of opposite characteristics. One, Unsho, an instructor in Shingon, kept Buddha’s precepts scrupulously. He never drank intoxicants, nor did he eat after eleven o’clock in the morning. The other teacher, Tanzan, a professor of philosophy at the Imperial University, never observed the precepts. When he felt like eating, he ate, and when he felt like sleeping in the daytime, he slept. One day Unsho visited Tanzan, who was drinking wine at the time, not even a drop of which is supposed to touch the tongue of a Buddhist.
"Hello, brother," Tanzan greeted him. "Won’t you have a drink?"
"I never drink!" exclaimed Unsho solemnly.
"One who does not drink is not even human," said Tanzan.
"Do you mean to call me inhuman just because I do not indulge in intoxicating liquids!" exclaimed Unsho in anger. "Then if I am not human, what am I?"
"A Buddha," answered Tanzan.


I believe the Dharma is not that of a rigid tree trunk but that of a willow which dances among the wind, not an immovable mountain but a river bending along the turns.

What does it matters if one is a shitty Buddhist, I hardly find there is a standard of measurement for that. :smile:
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:52 pm

All of these opinions about guns are very interesting, I'm sure.
But they don't have much to do with the original post:
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,


Of course, guns were not in use during the Buddha's time, but people had weapons.
being engaged in the sale or trade of weapons connects one, not too remotely
to the results of actions used with that weapon.
in other words, in providing someone with weapons,
one's actions can be considered as a somewhat direct cause if harm occurs,
even if it is not the immediate cause.
But we have to regard this in the light of the interconnectedness of all things,
keeping in mind that some things are more closely connected than others.
It is similar to the situation of eating meat.
Today, we might call it "so many degrees of separation".
So, even if you sell a weapon to someone, but you have no intention of causing harm,
if that person uses the weapon to harm someone,
your connection, as part of the cause of that harm is still there,
maybe just a tiny bit remotely.
The problem is, you can't ignore this fact, otherwise you negate interconnectedness and thus sunyata
but neither can you hold the connection up as some sort of absolute.
It's a very fuzzy area.

The point is, it is better to avoid that kind of business,
so that you are not closely connected to the cause of a being's suffering,
because the more you contribute, in one way or another,
even unintentionally, to the suffering of beings,
the more it contradicts your aspiration for all beings to be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
It's pretty simple, really.
Thus, a weapon used in self defense might protect you from suffering
and might prevent the attacker from causing suffering.
If you can prevent another being from causing suffering, you do that person a great service.
So, in self defense, two good things can result.
naturally, then, the less suffering you need to inflict in disabling an attacker, the better.
.
.
.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:04 pm

reddust wrote:I think cities are like factory animal farms, horribly unnatural. You know you can take the worlds population and give them all 1/4 acre each in Australia? I have to find citation, I can't remember where I read or heard that bit of data. Cramming folk into tight communities with manufactured scarcity and you have a wonderful money maker called poverty. I think we are just domestic livestock being managed and not very well managed at that. Only slaves are not allowed to defend themselves. I think we have lost all our common sense and our true history regarding what kind of world we have always lived in. Do you all think the police or government are going to protect you with their guns? The police are not there to protect you or keep the peace, they are there to gather revenue and make sure you behave. The government is the biggest mass murderer in the history of man kind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide

Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981) is an oft-quoted[2] District of Columbia Court of Appeals (equivalent to a state supreme court) case that held police do not have a duty to provide police services to individuals, even if a dispatcher promises help to be on the way, except when police develop a special duty to particular individuals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia

It all sounds so nice, lets not own guns and all the worlds problems will go away. Look at what happens to people who have lost their ability to defend themselves. It's called genocide…..


Who said anything about no one owning guns? The question was about Buddhism and guns, not these larger questions. Might be worth considering what people have actually written, rather than projecting some kind of ideological or political agenda onto things where it doesn't exist.

The Spirit wrote:you also have to understand the place/environment. A dog can easily be put down by an intelligent person if they have intention to harm.


An intelligent person can also put you down before you are armed, or taken whatever counter-measure, so that doesn't really mean much. Crime is also not normally a particularly intelligent act...there are exceptions naturally, but seriously..if you're around crime enough, one constant you notice is that crime is not exactly acts of genius typically. Look, people who want to hurt or otherwise take advantage don't want a challenge, this is pretty much fact..ask anyone who has worked in a prison or around violent criminals, no one ever wants a fair fight. What that means is that deterrent is the best thing, anything that would make you not worth the trouble. Unless you constantly brandish your gun or make it really clear you're armed (which obviously has it's own issues), they have no way of knowing UNTIL they've already decided to try to break in or whatever.

Anyway, the bottom line from a Buddhist perspective is, do you actually need it, not whether or not you can justify it.

I'm not some anti-gun ideologue, and I don't care much about gun control, but you are asking about guns from a Buddhist perspective, and frankly from a Buddhist perspective, I think it takes some real mental gymnastics to justify most Buddhistsas having any need whatsoever of one, particularly if they haven't bothered making a realistic assessment of what the actual threat(s) might be to their safety. A vague "anything could happen" can be used to justify nearly any behavior, so it seems to me that's not good reasoning for a decision like that, from a Buddhist perspective.

sure I agree we can die from anything. I can step out of the shower, slip, fall, hit my head and die. However that doesn't mean we shouldn't take precautions to minimize and reduce the risk. I mean that is like saying dont wear a seat belt because a snake bite can kill us or dont have a tornado shelter in Oklahoma(tornadoes are normal here) because an earthquake can happen and kill you.


I'm just talking about viewing safety in terms of what's likely, rather than fantasy about crime etc. Despite what the media is constantly saying, first worlders actually live in a lot of safety outside certain areas, with the violent crime level on a steady decline for years in America. Go compare the stats for how likely you are to die in a car crash vs. how likely you are tyo die in a home invasion.

Also, i don't know what your socio economic background is, but I will let anyone who is interested in on a little secret that you get to learn if you 1) live in a bad area, or 2) work around crime or justice: Usually, when things like home invasions happen, it is usually someone you know. Most violent crimes are done by people you know, they are not random. Again not an argument against guns, but it is an argument for not basing decisions about guns on some fantasy that involves armies of strangers coming to get you with no premeditation.

The Spirit wrote:its immediate action that can mean life and death.


You have a deep, fundamental misunderstanding of what self defense entails if you think that it has more to do with immediate action, than with everything surrounding and leading up to immediate action. Again, i'm not trying to tell you don't buy a gun, in the end your circumstances will dictate that, I am saying that your reasoning for owning one doesn't seem sound, and seems based more on highly theoretical proximity to danger that i'm guessing doesn't really exist. I could be wrong though, i don't know you and maybe you really DO need a gun, in which case, hey..question answered. Everyone most definitely has a right to defend themselves in my book, including gun ownership the question is just what is most effective, and to me a sober assessment of what the actual threats to you are, and what they require is the place to start...not justification of what is basically a political or social position about guns.

So if you ask about Buddhism and guns, you are setting a different standard of mindfulness for your own behavior and interaction with others, that makes most of the normal justifications kind of moot.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:44 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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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: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:25 pm

reddust wrote:It all sounds so nice, lets not own guns and all the worlds problems will go away.
So let's all own guns and threaten each other with them and blow each other away. Sounds really Buddhist to me!
"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 Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:52 pm

Nighthawk wrote:Self defense is a good thing. I would rather burn in hell for 100 years than see me and my family get hurt in a violent attack.
No self-centred grasping there, no siree...
Relatives and friends are like a seductive illusion which the mind desires,
Cut of attachment and entanglement, O people of Tingri.
...
Those who meet in the market place part company when the selling is over,
You will also be parted from your dear ones, O people of Tingri.
...
The best son to have is the heir of knowledge,
Not subject to birth and death, O people of Tingri."
Padampa Sangye The Hundred Verses of Advice
"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 Carabosse » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:15 pm

Hi, I've been reading this forum for a while and not posted, so I thought I would add this message from the Dalai Lama (2009)to this thread.
I am honoured to have been invited to address members of the Buddhist community serving in the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force on the occasion of your annual conference.
I have always admired those who are prepared to act in the defense of others for their courage and determination. In fact, it may surprise you to know that I think that monks and soldiers, sailors and airmen have more in common than at first meets the eye. Strict discipline is important to us all, we all wear a uniform and we rely on the companionship and support of our comrades.
Although the public may think that physical strength is what is most important, I believe that what makes a good soldier, sailor or airman, just as what makes a good monk, is inner strength. And inner strength depends on having a firm postive motivation. The difference lies in whether ultimately you want to ensure others’ well being or whether you wantonly wish to do them harm.
Naturally, there are some times when we need to take what on the surface appears to be harsh or tough action, but if our motivation is good our action is actually non-violent in nature. On the other hand if we use sweet words and gestures to deceive, exploit and take advantage of others, our conduct may appear agreeable, while we are actually engaged in quite unacceptable violence.
The ultimate purpose of Buddhism is to serve and benefit humanity, therefore I believe that what is important for Buddhists is the contribution we can make to human society according to our own ideas and values. The key to overcoming suffering and ensuring happiness is inner peace. If we have that we can face difficulties with calmness and reason, while our inner happiness remains undisturbed. The teachings of love, kindness and tolerance, the conduct of non-violence as I have explained above, and especially the Buddhist theory that all things are relative are a source of that inner peace.
It is my prayer that all of you may be able to do your duty and fulfill your mission and in due course when that is done to return to your homes and families.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:23 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
reddust wrote:It all sounds so nice, lets not own guns and all the worlds problems will go away.
So let's all own guns and threaten each other with them and blow each other away. Sounds really Buddhist to me!


That's immature. You obviously didn't notice what we have been saying all a long. In your mind anyone who owns gun is equivalent to a thug running around with one threatening each others.

It is interesting to see the clash of two set of values here. Rather fascinating. I guess there is really no definite answer and I know there isn't one. I am just asking the question just to see the general Buddhist's view on it. However I think it might have a lot more to do with where the members are from geographically that influence their stance on this issue. I bet most people from Europe is completely against it.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:54 pm

TheSpirit wrote:However I think it might have a lot more to do with where the members are from geographically that influence their stance on this issue. I bet most people from Europe is completely against it.

The rest of the western world recognises that America has an obsession with guns. It seems to be part of your national identity.

We want nothing of it, because we see the harm it causes.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:58 pm

TheSpirit wrote:That's immature. You obviously didn't notice what we have been saying all a long. In your mind anyone who owns gun is equivalent to a thug running around with one threatening each others.
I was talking to reddust (who has confessed to threatening somebody with a shotgun) and seems to to subscribe to "peace through equal firepower".

Guns, like poison, are made for killing . It's that simple. Except (it seems) to the simple minded.
"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 reddust » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:08 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
TheSpirit wrote:That's immature. You obviously didn't notice what we have been saying all a long. In your mind anyone who owns gun is equivalent to a thug running around with one threatening each others.
I was talking to reddust (who has confessed to threatening somebody with a shotgun) and seems to to subscribe to "peace through equal firepower".

Guns, like poison, are made for killing . It's that simple. Except (it seems) to the simple minded.


The man was holding a gun, he wanted to hunt through our property, he wanted to see what was in our barn, and would not leave my property after I asked him 3 times to do so and I will say again. If my family and self are threatened I will defend myself including killing.

I will not be posting on this thread again, it's getting really mean spirited. I am a "lay" Buddhist and that does not mean I will enable others to harm me or my family. Guns are not poison for a little woman like me against a big man who also had a big 30.06 strapped to his shoulder.

Edit: I remember one of my first breakthroughs regarding understanding emptiness with my first Dharma teacher Sunim. I told him I understand words are just like soap bubbles they are empty, a lot of my suffering was caused by my harsh reaction to others words, I also caused others much suffering as well when I reacted. He said, yes that is true, but other people don't know that. I have trouble remembering that simple lesson, sometimes it's best to walk away, thank you Sherab Dorje for reminding me :anjali:
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:26 pm

reddust wrote:I will not be posting on this thread again, it's getting really mean spirited. I am a "lay" Buddhist and that does not mean I will enable others to harm me or my family.
From the Self-Defence in Buddhism thread:
Relatives and friends are like a seductive illusion which the mind desires,
Cut of attachment and entanglement, O people of Tingri.
...
Those who meet in the market place part company when the selling is over,
You will also be parted from your dear ones, O people of Tingri.
...
The best son to have is the heir of knowledge,
Not subject to birth and death, O people of Tingri."
Padampa Sangye
Guns are not poison for a little woman like me against a big man who also had a big 30.06 strapped to his shoulder.
Yes they are, you just happen to be describing a situation where the mouse poisons the human. It's still a poison.

PS "Challenging" and "mean spirited" are synonymous?
"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 Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:28 pm

Speech is like soap bubbles, sure... but it's also very powerful, people react provocatively to provocation, especially those of us who already tends towards provocation!! It's a cycle...so IMO the edit button is our friend lol!
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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 Nighthawk » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:32 pm

No self-centred grasping there, no siree...


No self centered grasping as in the full acceptance of our inability to produce Buddhahood by ourselves in this lifetime (by meditation, precepts etc.) not the other way around.

Nice quote though.
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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:01 pm

Nighthawk wrote:No self centered grasping as in the full acceptance of our inability to produce Buddhahood by ourselves in this lifetime (by meditation, precepts etc.) not the other way around.
Like completely irrelevant...
"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 Lhug-Pa » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:07 pm

So a woman defending her children from an armed intruder automatically means that she has attachment to her children?

It could, but how could you know whether she has attachement to them or not unless either you're clairvoyant or her words have betrayed her attachment to them? (I've not seen anything in Reddust's posts that necessarily indicate said attachment).

Now I personally find the U.S.'s obsession with guns and violence as disgusting as any gun-grabbing leftist supposedly does; it's just that if the 'powers-that-be' thugs are allowed to carry arms, then the people—whether Buddhist or not—should also be allowed to.

One might could argue that Buddhists have powerful enough means for karma purification that they could remove themselves from ever having to deal with a situation of armed henchmen invading their homes; but we also have infinite lifetimes of karmic accumulations, and we never know how many human rebirths we might have left....

Like I said, I dislike guns, and wish they were never invented. And I also dislike the attitude of PC gun-grabbing statists.
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Re: Self-Defense in Buddhism

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:14 pm

Carabosse, I also like the following quotes of H.H. the Dalai Lama courtesy of Ron Paul:



http://ronpaulracistimpossible.blogspot ... l.html?m=1

Mr. PAUL: Mr. Speaker, with great sadness I must rise to oppose this measure granting a congressional gold medal to the 14th Dalai Lama. While I greatly admire and respect His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and fully recognize his tremendous status both as a Buddhist leader and international advocate for peace, I must object to the manner in which this body chooses to honor him.
I wonder if my colleagues see the irony in honoring a devout Buddhist monk with a material gift of gold. The Buddhist tradition, of course, eschews worldly possessions in favor of purity of thought and action. Buddhism urges its practitioners to alleviate the suffering of others whenever possible. I'm sure His Holiness the Dalai Lama would rather see $30,000 spent to help those less fortunate, rather than for a feel-good congressional gesture.
We cannot forget that Congress has no authority under the Constitution to spend taxpayer money on medals and awards, no matter how richly deserved. And I reiterate my offer of $100 from my own pocket to pay for this medal--if members wish to honor the Dalai Lama, all we need to do is pay for it ourselves. If all 435 of us contribute, the cost will be roughly $70 each. So while a gold medal sounds like a great idea, it becomes a bit strange when we see the actual cost.

If Congress truly wishes to honor the Dalai Lama, it could instead start by showing more respect for his views in the areas of foreign policy, war, and terrorism. The bellicosity often demonstrated on the floor of this institution toward entire nations and their people conflicts sharply with the peaceful teachings of the Dalai Lama.

Consider the following words of His Holiness:

‘‘When September 11 happened, the next day I wrote a letter to President Bush as a friend—because I know him personally. I wrote this letter and expressed, besides my condolences and sadness, a countermeasure to this tragedy: a nonviolent response because that would have been more effective. So this is my stance. And then just before the Iraq crisis started, millions of people from countries like Australia and America expressed their opposition to violence. I really admired and appreciated this.’’

‘‘When the war started, some people immediately asked me if it was justified or not, whether it was right or wrong. In principle, any resort to violence is wrong.’’


Consider also these thoughts from the Dalai Lama regarding the terrible pointlessness of war:

‘We have seen that we cannot solve human problems by fighting. Problems resulting from differences in opinion must be resolved through the gradual process of dialogue. Undoubtedly, wars produce victors and losers; but only temporarily. Victory or defeat resulting from wars cannot be long-lasting. Secondly, our world has become so interdependent that the defeat of one country must impact the rest of the world, or cause all of us to suffer losses either directly or indirectly.’’

‘Today, the world is so small and so interdependent that the concept of war has become anachronistic, an outmoded approach. As a rule, we always talk about reform and changes. Among the old traditions, there are many aspects that are either ill-suited to our present reality or are counterproductive due to their shortsightedness. These, we have consigned to the dustbin of history. War too should be relegated to the dustbin of history.’’

‘‘Of course, the militaristic tradition may not end easily. But, let us think of this. If there were bloodshed, people in positions of power, or those who are responsible, will find safe places; they will escape the consequent hardship. They will find safety for themselves, one way or the other. But what about the poor people, the defenseless people, the children, the old and infirm. They are the ones who will have to bear the brunt of devastation. When weapons are fired, the result will be death and destruction. Weapons will not discriminate between the innocent and guilty. A missile, once fired, will show no respect to the innocent, poor, defenseless, or those worthy of compassion. Therefore, the real losers will be the poor and defenseless, ones who are completely innocent, and those who lead a hand-to-mouth existence.’’


Mr. Speaker, in closing let me join my colleagues in stating my tremendous respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. While I cannot agree with forcible taxation to pay for gold medals, I certainly hope Congress takes the teaching of His Holiness to heart and begins to rethink our aggressive, interventionist foreign policy."
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