Wednesday, February 27, 2013

guns 'n' Christians

And in the how-do-I-know-what-I-think-till-I-see-what-I-say department, a couple of 'conclusions' popped out of my mind yesterday as I was typing. Christians and guns ....

The first concerned the nagging doubts that Buddhists sometimes have about how to respond to insistent Christians during conversations. Buddhists might dearly love to be compassionate, caring and open, but, when stuck in conversation with someone who alleges openness but does not deliver, they are flummoxed.

And in that department, I wrote on a Buddhist bulletin board:
I guess when I learn to laugh at myself a little better, I will be better able to (not necessarily out loud) laugh at others as well.

I am perfectly willing to have a serious and civil conversation with anyone about spiritual life. I consider it neither serious nor civil when the best anyone can do is try to convert me or insist that I agree with them.
And in the currently-popular debate over gun ownership in America, I wrote a letter to the editor at the local paper:
Hill Boss' Feb. 25 letter to the Gazette rightly points out that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution begins with the words, "A well-regulated militia ...." and goes on to define the federal strictures that may and may not be put on individual gun ownership.

Mr. Boss writes: "... the Founding Fathers recognized the importance of some degree of control over a militia, yet gun advocates continue to oppose even minimal limits on gun ownership.

"Am I missing something?"

I think the answer is, "yes you are."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 (District of Columbia v. Heller) that "The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home." This was followed in 2010 (McDonald v. Chicago) by a ruling that "The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self defense is fully applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment." (Both citations quoted in Wikipedia)

Thus, as much as I agree with Mr. Boss in his implicit horror at the various gun-toting slaughters that have dotted American headlines over time, I think the "militia" argument is out the window. I don't like it much, but I think that an effective counter-attack on guns is forced to concede and deal with in-your-face facts.
None of which is to say I won't change my mind again ....


  1. I recommend having a look at the federalist papers. The right to bear arms as I understand it is for the specific purpose of overthrowing a tyrannical government. Which may be why the government that has been so keen on diminishing our civil rights and liberties since 9-11(and now bombing american citizens, without due process, with drones) is now ramping up all of its propaganda muscle to get the american people too think getting rid of guns for law abiding citizens is a good idea.

    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Ben Franklin

    Sad to observe that it appears we are becoming that nation that deserves neither. And I work for them….

  2. History repeats, no matter who we work for. I think it was Will Durant who said Afghanistan is where empires go to die.