Buddhism & Guns?

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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:21 pm

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.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:35 pm

:good:
"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: Gun and Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:36 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:When a person is frightened or worried that something bad will happen,
owning 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,
with a gun.


This has not been my experience. The people I know who own guns, such as others who have worked in law enforcement or other business owners, say that they have peace of mind knowing that they have that protection now whereas previously they were worried if someone came at them with a gun, what would they do if there was no avenue of escape. Previously they were afraid to go to some places or even to their work, place of business, but now they are confident and not afraid. By the way though, I am not advocating that anyone should get a gun. In most nations and most places there is no need for one for self-defense for yourself or your family and they are very dangerous weapons that can be lethal.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:37 pm

having a gun would be frigging scary
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:43 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:The people I know who own guns, such as others who have worked in law enforcement or other business owners, say that they have peace of mind knowing that they have that protection now whereas previously they were worried if someone came at them with a gun, what would they do if there was no avenue of escape. Previously they were afraid to go to some places or even to their work, place of business, but now they are confident and not afraid. By the way though, I am not advocating that anyone should get a gun. In most nations and most places there is no need for one for self-defense for yourself or your family and they are very dangerous weapons that can be lethal.


I am not disputing that they feel safer,
but the basic fear is not gone.
Fear of what would happen without a gun is still there.
With a gun, they now have a confident way of dealing with that fear
but I wouldn't call it peace of mind, exactly.

Even The Dalai Lama & Karmapa has bodyguards.
If I am not mistaken the Indian Government insists on them having armed Bodyguards at some events.
.
.
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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.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:52 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote: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.


To be fair, and to clarify...
If someone were to harm you or your family, and you could not stop them.
this would also lead, no doubt, to incredible mental anguish.
My point was that, by contrast,
having and using a gun wouldn't necessarily alter that fact.
There are some people who think that having a gun will solve their problems
and I meant to imply that this is not always the case.
.
.
.
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.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:06 pm

I agree, not always the case. And I agree that they tend to do more harm than good. But here we are stuck in the U.S. (some of us anyway) with 300 million guns out there, many in the hands of bad people. It would be nice if we could snap our fingers and make all guns disappear but clearly it is not that easy, especially in the U.S.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby TheSpirit » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:29 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote: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.


Sorry, please don't take my comment as offensive but I felt like this statement you made miss the point completely. I dont think people really suffer from fear of someone breaking in, even if it is a fear, it is not that big of deal, no more or less of a big deal than the fear of getting in a car crash or so on, doesn't disable us from functioning normally.

However, I would like to know that I am still alive to see tomorrow in case of a break in, whether or not I am safer today or not than I was yesterday or the same tomorrow. I am not worrying about making fear going away, I am just making sure I take measure that are realistic so in case something happen, my loved one and I are still alive to see tomorrow.....Not dead and no longer have anything left to feel fear.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:15 pm

If you really have to live in fear, get better locks, a security system, a big dog, and some pepper spray.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:46 am

TheSpirit wrote:You might not think it is reasoned but I think it is. But no my perspective is the fact that whether owning gun is wrong livelihood is not based on its pure objective fact of owning the gun but the intention behind it and its uses which determine whether or not it is correct or incorrect livelihood.
Well, your perspective does not concur with scripture, and since this thread is called "Gun and Buddhism"...
"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 Sherab Dorje » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:58 am

Homicides in the USA 2010 - 16,259 (11,078 by firearms)
(Estimated) Cancer deaths in the USA 2013 - 580,350

I would recommend investing your hard earned money in health insurance rather than firearms coz it is 35.69 times more likely that you will die of cancer than homicide.

Car accident deaths? 32,485 in 2011. So maybe look at getting a more secure automobile coz it's 2 times more likely that you will die in a car crash than be murdered.

Seems to me that your fear is misplaced. Completely misplaced.

Looking at death by cause statistics for 2011:

Number of deaths for leading causes of death

Heart disease: 597,689
Cancer: 574,743
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
Diabetes: 69,071
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm

Homicide doesn't even make it into the top 10. Not even in the top 15:
11.Septicemia
12.Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13.Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension)
14.Parkinson’s disease
15.Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids

Actually suicide is more likely than homicide. Funnily enough, the most popular form of suicide is by firearm: 19,392 cases out of 38,364.

So putting firearms into your home will actually increase the probability that one of your family members will be shot!!!
"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 dharmagoat » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:18 am

:good:

This really puts things in perspective.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:20 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:Actually suicide is more likely than homicide. Funnily enough, the most popular form of suicide is by firearm: 19,392 cases out of 38,364.

So putting firearms into your home will actually increase the probability that one of your family members will be shot!!!

So suck on that, gun advocates!
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:13 am

If you want a good deterent to guns that fire bullets at you,try buying body armor
http://www.ar500armor.com/
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:35 am

I forgot to add that of the 120,859 accidents, 31,672 were by accidental shooting, thus you are further increasing the likelihood of one of your family members being shot ot death if you introduce a firearm into your home.

42,197 were by accidental poisoning!
"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 Tara » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:44 am

:focus: "Gun and Buddhism".
Tara

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Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

**********************************************************
from Longchenpa's 30 Pieces of Sincere Advice

Mors certa — hora incerta
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:49 am

It is on topic my dear Tara, I am proving that misplaced fear is the intention/motivation for purchasing a gun. Purchasing a gun is in contradiction with right livelihood, fear (and hope of protection/security) falls into the realm of the eight worldly dharmas. Neither assist in the realisation of enlightenment. Actually, both act as hindrances, both at the level of Dharma activity and mundane activity (since they will lead to an increased probability of violent death).
"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 Tara » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:00 pm

Please note:

A post has been removed as it was submitted by a registered user who, over time, has admitted to creating several accounts which is strictly against the Terms of Service or ... the Rules! of this forum. As a result they are banned from this website.

Apologies for any inconvenience.
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Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

**********************************************************
from Longchenpa's 30 Pieces of Sincere Advice

Mors certa — hora incerta
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:06 pm

Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.” Anguttara Nikaya 5.177

I notice many argue that a Buddhist should not own a gun since it is a weapon and trading in weapons is one of the livelihoods not allowed according to Right Livelihood. That is also some of the same logic that is used by some vegetarians for why meat should not be part of the Buddhist diet; after all purchasing meat or purchasing guns contributes to these businesses, that is business in meat and business in weapons. If they are bad trades, then why would we support them? Even if we are not the butcher, not the slaughter house worker, we would be contributing to their bad karma in the same way a gun purchaser contributes to the gun industry and causes more guns to be made.

So for those that are vegetarian and argue against meat and also against guns, score yourself some 'debate points' and for some consistency in your logic. That is a fair argument to make as long as you are consistent. If however, you advocate that purchasing meat does not have a causal link to animals being killed and at the same time guns should not be owned, then you are not being logically consistent.

Or alternatively one could argue that purchasing meat or guns is not a direct link and both are acceptable, then at least there is some consistency there too.
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Re: Gun and Buddhism

Postby duckfiasco » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:53 pm

Kakacupama Sutta: The Parable of the Saw wrote:"Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching. Monks, even in such a situation you should train yourselves thus: 'Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to those very persons, making them as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.' It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.

"Monks, if you should keep this instruction on the Parable of the Saw constantly in mind, do you see any mode of speech, subtle or gross, that you could not endure?"

"No, Lord."

"Therefore, monks, you should keep this instruction on the Parable of the Saw constantly in mind. That will conduce to your well-being and happiness for long indeed."

That is what the Blessed One said. Delighted, those monks acclaimed the Teaching of the Blessed One.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html

How can you shoot someone you love?
I doubt anyone here can claim to be so realized they could point a gun at a perceived threat with a calm mind full of love.

I hope I'm never in a situation like reddust was in. I don't know how I would react so I won't judge her reaction. We each have different karma and defilements to deal with.
I can make aspirations though and practice love, hoping that in such a situation, I would be able to respond with love.

It may be a tall order, but it's fairly clear to me what our goal is.
It's fine to admit it's difficult and we're not there yet.
But I'm just not sure how violent self-defense is in line with a desire to save all beings.
Consider too that more often than we'd care to admit, deadly force is enshrined as an appropriate response to nonlethal threats, like property theft. Just look at all the US states with stand your ground laws or castle doctrine laws.

I personally refuse to own a gun.
It would just feel like taking an adversarial relationship with the world.
How will I develop a calm mind where love can grow if I harbor the expectation that I'll inflict violence on another being "if I have to"?
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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