should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby marc108 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:52 pm

jason c wrote:hi marc108,
in a life or death situation, you will simply take action, no thinking will be necessary. if however you have the time to go to your safe, unlock it, load your gun, you will have made a conscious choice to hurt or harm someone. why invite that into ones life?
.


i dont believe that is true, in the context of the type of people you find here. i would like to think all of this Bhavana we do would not go out the window in a violent situation and we would have the ability to choose to put a bullet in someones arm rather than their head.

again, there are no rules, per say, against harming. the 1st precept is about killing. to bring true ahimsa to its final fruition we would all need to starve ourselves to death like the Jains. If you had the chance to use nonlethal violence against an attacker, instead of let him hurt you or your loved ones, this would be the right thing to do. to stand down in passivity and allow the evil people in this world to just do as they please to you, your loved ones, or people in general is, imo, wrong view and a defiled form of ahimsa. this passive, and extreme form of ahimsa is generally something you find to be only supported by lay people, and not something you find taught by the Buddha or by any of the great Buddhist Masters... in fact, in my experience, defending yourself and your loved ones within the context of the precepts is what you find to be echoed by the Great Masters.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:55 pm

Mr Man wrote:Bodhisvasti I find your position to be totally lame - sorry.


Why be sorry? It's your opinion.

But what position? How is it lame?

And I agree, marc108! There is thinking when it comes down to the act, you can choose to maim instead of kill, should you be mindful enough of yourself and the situation. And total passiveness as you said, would lead to people like Hitler destroying everything we love.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:07 pm

Bodhisvasti wrote:

But what position?


That it is okay to own a gun with the idea that it is acceptable to use the gun to cause harm to another human.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:08 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Over at Dharma Wheel (Mahayana) there was a long discussion about guns; it got pretty heated at times and the moderators closed the thread several times (currently it is closed).
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=4884


I think in most western countries this question is a no brainer for a Buddhist, why own a gun unless you plan to kill people or animals?

However in the USA owning a gun is seen as a right, this is the problem, and the greater likelihood criminals being armed means a greater necessity of taking measures to defend ones family.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:10 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Bodhisvasti wrote:

But what position?


That it is okay to own a gun with the idea that it is acceptable to use the gun to cause harm to another human.


I see. So you ignored everything else then? I said 'only when absolutely necessary', many times. That is not lame, it is common sense. A gun is for self defense. You know beforehand that it will most likely be used to 'protect yourself and your family' by causing harm to another human or animal. I'm not seeing what you are saying?
Everything that makes you, you, is the result of your Environment (Society, Culture, Family, Friends, Etc), Genetics/Biology (Your brain which makes the mind possible, Inborn diseases such as Down Syndrome, or even Psociopathy, etc), Thoughts (Everything you think affects your mind, and the person you are), Speech (Same as thoughts, but words affect your environment as well), Actions (Same as Speech), and the Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Space, and Time).
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby jason c » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:12 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
bodom wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello Bodom,

The main purpose of an umbrella is not to wound or kill.

with metta,
Chris


Hi Chris

Nor is the kitchen knife I am using currently too make dinner for myself and the kids. As always it is the intention behind picking these tools up and what use we put them too that is important and what I wished to communicate with the story.

:anjali:

One use for a large kitchen knife:Image To be sure, this is a use I have never put to my large kitchen knife, a tool that I find very useful, but following the logic of some here, it is a tool that should not be owned by good Buddhists because of its potential for easy and proven lethality.


hey tiltbillings, may i call you tilt?

i think your missing the mark, a kitchen knife is designed to cut and prepare food, a bowling ball is used to play a game, a vase is designed to hold flowers, all of these objects could be used to harm another being but it was not their designed function, and society does not force us to keep them under lock and key. a gun however was designed to fire a metal projectile at an object, and because of this regulations have been put in place to protect society from the dangers ie; a gun must be stored under lock and key. owning a gun even if you are the most responsible ethical person on the planet and only use the gun to shoot paper targets, says i support guns and there uses, and generations ahead will say my dad was a buddhist and he had a gun, guns must be OK. and the world will be full of guns. we should be the change in the world that we want to see.

metta,
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:12 pm

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:A kitchen knife is designed for use in the kitchen. What is a Colt 45 designed for? I wonder if inanimate objects have a destiny?
So, every Colt .45 is going to be used for killing people, and every gun owner is a likely -- and according to some here, an inveitable -- killer.

No not every colt is going to be used to kill but that is what it is designed to do. Killing is a gun's intention, That is why guns came to be.

Why do people like guns? I'm sure it is to do with power.
A gun being a piece of steel and a bit of wood or plastic, has no intention. Why guns came to be does not mean that is how any particular gun must be used.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:15 pm

That is a little dramatic, Jason. No, what the son will see is this.

"My father was a Buddhist, who was responsible and never used his gun because there was never a time where it was a necessity. He taught me that you never harm a living being, but in defense of yourself, your family, and society."
Everything that makes you, you, is the result of your Environment (Society, Culture, Family, Friends, Etc), Genetics/Biology (Your brain which makes the mind possible, Inborn diseases such as Down Syndrome, or even Psociopathy, etc), Thoughts (Everything you think affects your mind, and the person you are), Speech (Same as thoughts, but words affect your environment as well), Actions (Same as Speech), and the Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Space, and Time).
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby jason c » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:17 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
jason c wrote:
if i weild a gun at the first sign of trouble i most certainly will be attracting trouble.


That would be a complete misuse, improper use of a firearm, even in self-defense. All gun safety classes that I know of, teach that in self-defense a gun can only be used for the protection of your life or the life of another. It is not used to intimidate another or to settle a score or in response to an insult, etc. For example, if someone comes at you with fists and you are younger, stronger, bigger, you do not respond with a gun, even though the person is coming at you to assault you. If someone is pounding on your car with a club or bat or even a machete, you don't pull your gun (if you have one); you just drive away. The classes teach avoidance of these situations, not confrontation. And in spite of the high rate of gun ownership in the U.S., the misuse rarely occurs among those who legally obtained firearms, possibly due to the beneficial safety courses.


hey david,
if you want your life full of guns carry a gun, if you don't want guns in your life, well your a smart fella!
metta,
jason
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:19 pm

jason c wrote:hey tiltbillings, may i call you tilt?
Sure, or you can call me Esquire.

i think your missing the mark, a kitchen knife is designed to cut and prepare food, a bowling ball is used to play a game, a vase is designed to hold flowers, all of these objects could be used to harm another being but it was not their designed function, and society does not force us to keep them under lock and key. a gun however was designed to fire a metal projectile at an object, and because of this regulations have been put in place to protect society from the dangers ie; a gun must be stored under lock and key. owning a gun even if you are the most responsible ethical person on the planet and only use the gun to shoot paper targets, says i support guns and there uses, and generations ahead will say my dad was a buddhist and he had a gun, guns must be OK. and the world will be full of guns. we should be the change in the world that we want to see.
The world is already full of guns and full of poverty and full of cupidity and full of hate and stupidity.

My having or not having a gun is not going to change that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:19 pm

Just a moderator note: Be polite with each other, please.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby jason c » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:25 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
jason c wrote:hey tiltbillings, may i call you tilt?
Sure, or you cn call me Esquire.

i think your missing the mark, a kitchen knife is designed to cut and prepare food, a bowling ball is used to play a game, a vase is designed to hold flowers, all of these objects could be used to harm another being but it was not their designed function, and society does not force us to keep them under lock and key. a gun however was designed to fire a metal projectile at an object, and because of this regulations have been put in place to protect society from the dangers ie; a gun must be stored under lock and key. owning a gun even if you are the most responsible ethical person on the planet and only use the gun to shoot paper targets, says i support guns and there uses, and generations ahead will say my dad was a buddhist and he had a gun, guns must be OK. and the world will be full of guns. we should be the change in the world that we want to see.
The world is already full of guns and full of poverty and full of cupidity and full of hate and stupidity.

My having or not having a gun is not going to change that.


esquire, i like that,

quite simply, be the change in the world that you want to see.

metta,
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:30 pm

Right. Be the change. But there is just no logic in saying that owning a gun will lead everyone else to become deviants. We will ALWAYS have weapons, to think otherwise is a fairy-tale dream. A nice one, but non-existent. The only change we can impact on our world is responsibility and wisdom when it comes to using them.

Or you could be the lack of change, the 'cause' of oppression and subjugation, because you simply did not have what it takes to pick up that gun, and defend society from a monster such as Hitler.

I say this, truly, with all of the respect that is possible. But if you were in a situation with one of my kids, and I was away, where you could have done something to defend them, and they got killed or injured, I would see you in prison, or branded a coward throughout society as a whole.
Everything that makes you, you, is the result of your Environment (Society, Culture, Family, Friends, Etc), Genetics/Biology (Your brain which makes the mind possible, Inborn diseases such as Down Syndrome, or even Psociopathy, etc), Thoughts (Everything you think affects your mind, and the person you are), Speech (Same as thoughts, but words affect your environment as well), Actions (Same as Speech), and the Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Space, and Time).
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:32 pm

jason c wrote:
quite simply, be the change in the world that you want to see.
But what you asking me to do, is be the change in the world you want to see. I do not buy the necessity of your line of reasoning in regard to my owning a gun.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:38 pm

marc108 wrote:you are painting unlikely extremes and taking what i said out of context. again this boils down to will you protect yourself if you need to, with or without a gun? that's the real issue here.

my understanding of how the Buddha presented Kamma does not include that having the ability to protect oneself will create the conditions that one would be more likely to need to protect oneself.


That's not the real issue. The real issue is: will you kill someone? A simple (real) story: a man went to a gas station and got into a fight with a second man. the second man, having a gun in his trunk, went for it and killed the other man. He imediatly repented and kneeled down crying.

If you don't have a gun, you won't shoot somebody.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:45 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
marc108 wrote:you are painting unlikely extremes and taking what i said out of context. again this boils down to will you protect yourself if you need to, with or without a gun? that's the real issue here.

my understanding of how the Buddha presented Kamma does not include that having the ability to protect oneself will create the conditions that one would be more likely to need to protect oneself.


That's not the real issue. The real issue is: will you kill someone? A simple (real) story: a man went to a gas station and got into a fight with a second man. the second man, having a gun in his trunk, went for it and killed the other man. He imediatly repented and kneeled down crying.

If you don't have a gun, you won't shoot somebody.


That is a perfect example of 'not taking every other option necessary'. The issue here is, if it's okay to own weaponry, in self defense. Obviously as a Practicing Buddhist you will exhaust every other option beforehand, that man, out of anger, shot the other for no reason, but his anger. He also could have had a shovel, a tire iron, etc. Are you going to fail to mention all of the cases where a man is being attacked for his creed, color of skin, etc, and uses his gun simply because he has no other choice but to?
Everything that makes you, you, is the result of your Environment (Society, Culture, Family, Friends, Etc), Genetics/Biology (Your brain which makes the mind possible, Inborn diseases such as Down Syndrome, or even Psociopathy, etc), Thoughts (Everything you think affects your mind, and the person you are), Speech (Same as thoughts, but words affect your environment as well), Actions (Same as Speech), and the Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Space, and Time).
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:46 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Again, you do not address what Ben andI said.

Also, owning a bow or a gun or a knife or a pair of hands is not in and it itself a violation of ahimsa.[/quote]

well I obviously do not know what you are saying. but Ben seamed satisfied, probably disagrees, but that is besides the point.

Also, I am not saying it is, as a Practicing Buddhist I do not feel having or using a weapon (something designed and used as such, not something which is re-purposed, a difference you don't seam to grasp) is appropriate, & I have stated why based on my understanding of the teachings (something you haven't shown).
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:51 pm

You do not need to blindly adhere to teachings, like Christians do the Bible, pick and choose, etc, when everything the Buddha taught was the conclusion of a logical, rational mind.

Logic. Everyone has guns, every nation has weaponry. I want one for myself to defend myself and my family, pure self defense. I will never use it except when all other options are exhausted, only when absolutely necessary.

Where is your logic? Because he said this, I must follow that? I believe the Buddha taught against that...
Everything that makes you, you, is the result of your Environment (Society, Culture, Family, Friends, Etc), Genetics/Biology (Your brain which makes the mind possible, Inborn diseases such as Down Syndrome, or even Psociopathy, etc), Thoughts (Everything you think affects your mind, and the person you are), Speech (Same as thoughts, but words affect your environment as well), Actions (Same as Speech), and the Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Space, and Time).
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby marc108 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:52 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
That's not the real issue. The real issue is: will you kill someone? ...
If you don't have a gun, you won't shoot somebody.



shooting does not equate to killing, and not killing in terms of the 1st precept if your intention is not to kill... one, with mindfulness and discernment, could choose to use a firearm on a nonlethal way. it is not hard to conceive of a situation where choosing to shoot someone would actually cause LESS suffering and total harm than choosing not to.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:59 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Again, you do not address what Ben andI said.

Also, owning a bow or a gun or a knife or a pair of hands is not in and it itself a violation of ahimsa.


well I obviously do not know what you are saying. but Ben seamed satisfied, probably disagrees, but that is besides the point.

Also, I am not saying it is, as a Practicing Buddhist I do not feel having or using a weapon (something designed and used as such, not something which is re-purposed, a difference you don't seam to grasp) is appropriate, & I have stated why based on my understanding of the teachings (something you haven't shown).
Seems, not seams, and I do grasp your point; however, you are expressing your opinion, which is fine, but like every opinion expressed here, it is not the arbiter of what any particular Buddhist other than you must do. As a practicing Buddhist longer than you have been alive, I see things a bit differently.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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