David N. Snyder wrote:That is an association logical fallacy. Simply because someone bad or evil makes some point, does not invalidate the whole point. He is wrong on many issues, but that doesn't make him wrong on everything. He may even believe that the world is round or that the U.S. has a larger population than Monaco, but simply because he is a member of the KKK does not mean that the world is not round and that the U.S. is smaller than Monaco.
Dear Mr Snyder,
The point I am trying to make is the following: Americans are so steeped in this logic of my fire power + your fire power = democracy, it is so much a part of their culture and logic, that they have a hard time seperating it from other elements of their personal belief systems. This is why on the issue of gun ownership and use (and the concept of self-defence with firearms) many American Buddhists and all White Power activists take recourse in the same clause of the constitution to justify their beliefs.
This does not mean (of course) that all American Buddhists are neo-Nazis (though, of course, some are), what this means though is that both rely on a flawed interpretation of this clause. Now in the case of neo-Nazis it is logical that they would interpret things in this manner, I mean they are neo-Nazis after all. But in the case of Buddhists, where there are a huge number of teachings both in the Pali Canon and the Mahayana Sutras regarding harmlessness, proscriptions on the ownership, carrying and selling of weapons, non-retaliation against physical attacks, sacrifice of one body to save beings, boundless compassion, etc... well...???
I, personally, am not a pacifist, I even own a gun. But I am not going to kid myself about Buddhisms take on weapons and violence. I too am a hypocrite. I too am overcome, at times, by a fear (paranoia) regarding personal safety and the (apparent) need for the protection of weapons. I purchased my gun ten years ago when I was at the peak of my "paranoia". I now see quite clearly that the time has come to dispose of it. This is one of the lessons that Buddhism (Buddhists) has taught me: what exactly am I protecting and from who? Thank you Tara for your account, incredibly inspirational (a decisive source for my decision)! I sincerely wish that you are permanently freed from all the causes of your suffering.
As for this
...including the ad hom and emotional ones against me or others.
As I explained earlier, my statements were about the graphic (poster) you posted, the content of the graphic (poster) and the intentions of those that designed it (emotional blackmail). The only part of my statements that was directed at you was (a question) regarding your intentions behind posting the graphic, this is not an ad hom. Sorry if my language was not clear enough.
In closing (and in again in reference to the graphic) I would say that the right to bear arms is not a human right, the right to live in a world free of arms is a human right and, as Buddhists, I believe that this is what we should be aiming for: to aim for a reduction in arms ownership and use, not to become a part of the problem.
With the eye of wisdom we discover a lot of anger in us, any amount of jealousy, resentment, ignorance, desire - mountains of emotion whose existence we would never have suspected in ourselves... We recognize that most of the faults we perceive in others are only the mirror of our own negativity, the reflection of our own disturbed feelings... At the same time, we relieve the world around us of the burden of our own negative judgements."
Gendun Rinpoche Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master