One of the contradictions in the pro/anti gun argument is that
(and I am speaking mainly from my experiences in the United States)
on the one hand, yes, having a gun with you would probably (but might possibly not)
give you an advantage over an attacker,
which could turn out to be a good thing.
On the other hand,
if we are discussing whether, overall, having more guns in a society
makes that society safer as a whole,I think the answer is probably not,
and my own opinion, which may not be backed up by statistics, is that
having more guns in a society does not reduce the amount of gun violence,
but increases it, and increases the amount of violence in general,
because guns are convenient, and, unlike anything else that is as easily accessible,
can be used effectively at a distance.
So, in general, having more guns creates the need for more guns,
because it increases the number of people with guns that you then need to protect yourself from,
with a gun.
In the U.S., about 80% of the guns seized in criminal arrests (whether actually used or not in the crime itself)
are stolen guns. In other words, guns stolen from people who bought them for hunting, sport, or protection.
So, if you have a gun, if it isn't securely locked away when it is not in your possession,
it might get stolen, and then be used to harm another person.
So, regardless of your opinions on guns,
from a buddhist perspective (aside from self-defense at this point),
if you own one, you need to make sure that your actions
do not allow it to fall into the hands of someone who might use it to cause harm
either to themselves or to others, either intentionally or accidentally
because then, even though it is not your intention,
for example, by leaving a gun where someone in your home can easily find it,
you are creating a situation from which that harm can occur.
One other thing I would like to mention,
even if you have to shoot someone (fatally or not) in self-defense,
this doesn't mean your problems will be solved
or that tomorrow, that you will be any safer than today.
more than likely, your life will become even more complicated,
your mind will experience even less peace,
and it will be much more difficult to practice meditation,
much less any other dharma activity effectively.
When a person is frightened or worried that something bad will happen,
holding a gun does not make that fear or worry go away.
Instead, what you have is a frightened or worried person,
who feels a little more secure,
holding a gun.
I would not own a gun, but i do not criticize or pass judgement over those who do.
And even if i did, what difference would it make? none.
But what the Buddha pointed out is that,
while all beings strive, ultimately, for happiness and to be free from suffering,
and most mental suffering is fear,fear of losing what we don't want to lose,
fear of experiencing what we don't want to experience
while this is everyone's motive,
while it is clearly the motive for wanting a gun,
most beings do not go to the root of suffering, of fear,
which is within the mind itself.
So, while owning or using a gun will not solve the problems that Buddhism addresses,
it will definitely create many of the problems that buddhism addresses.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba
on Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth. Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.