jason c wrote:in an age where most of us live close to a grocery store, and not isolated in the back country, is there any reason a practicing buddhist should own a gun? just purchasing a gun seems to be a breech of morality, ie; supporting those who manufacture weapons.
I do not see any reason for it even for a non practicing person. I guess it's a very American appearance, conquering, defending and endless fear (out of bad conscience).
The most effective gun is "letting go", it defends the enemy so effectively that he never returns.
I thought it's maybe also a good place to show gratitude to my brother, who brought a very dhammic teaching into my mind, when I was a young boy of 12. It was nearly normal that very boy used to carry a weapon (mostly a knife) because there has been gangs and the social standard of the people around have been very low.
He was a young policeman (not religious at all) at this time and one day he told me (I guess he was informed by my mother) that it is not good to carry a weapon because people fear you and they do not like to fear. Even at a time a crime, people who carry weapons are easier victims or acting wrong as those who do not. If somebody like to have something or steal something, let him. If you think that you need to defend it, you might lose much more (and life is just the smaller lose, than you could lose your innocence).
Even having the biggest weapons, its just a question of time, till one is conquered in return. Its very important to give others not the feeling of fear.