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 tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:01 am

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.
If you do not have hands, you will not hold a gun, a knife, a club, or use your hands themselves to kill someone.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:16 am

tiltbillings wrote: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.

Thank-you for correcting my spelling!

Have I said everyone should follow suit? I am sure I have mentioned misrepresenting before?
but you are not saying why you see things differently, not that length of time practicing is relevant, gray hair & all.

Can you say why you see things differently?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:21 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Can you say why you see things differently?
Life experiences.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Reductor » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:28 am

Geewizz, it seems that the possible use of guns in violent acts is enough to make them taboo for Buddhists. I'd like to point out this famous homicide case from the U.S.

Over broad reasoning from this case would have strange consequence. But walking's good for you, so don't worry. And in case you think it's an isolated incident, google "woman runs over husband".

As for "the manufacturer's intended use" somehow making it inproper to own or use a gun, I'd point to a counter example, like oxycontin. Oxycontin was not intended to be used for recreation like a 'hill-billy heroin,' yet that is what happened, leading to the discontinuation of that drug. Likewise, guns may be intended by manufacturers as an implement of death, but that says little of how they can be, and often are, used in the world. A gun can also be used for purely recreational purposes.
Last edited by Reductor on Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby jason c » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:
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.


hey tilt,

i grew up with guns in my life, my dad would pay me a dollar for every box of shotgun shells i would make. endless hours in the basement playing with gunpowder and shot, i loved it! later i took my hunting licence test, got my firearms aquisition permit and bought some guns. took up skeet shooting. and started hunting. i never took to the hunting, loved being out in nature but didn't have any desire to kill anything. in my house there was no gun safe and my brother and i would play with my dads shotguns growing up. we use to point them out the window and pretend to shoot things.
target shooting with my friends, and time spent at the gun club led me to understand that these guns are not toys, many of my friends were injured playing with guns, one member even got killed when his shotgun exploded.
i do not want to force my beliefs on others or tell you what you can or cannot do, i simply wish to create a dialogue where we can debate this issue, many people seem to have hardened views on this subject and if discussing them softens them a little great, if one less person takes to playing with guns great, if one person puts down their gun great, as long as the choices we make are informed and come from as much wisdom as possible, this is the purpose of these debates to spread our own personal insights on this matter.
so, yes i will be the change that i want to see, but i have no power over what you ultimately decide to do.
metta,
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:42 am

Jason,

I'm sorry to hear about that. Accidents happen. Kids should never play with guns. Teens the same, without adult supervision.

There can not be any real dialogue unless people accept the fact that guns, weapons, are a necessity. I see, myself, and I could be wrong, pure pacifism. That is not what the Buddha taught. There will always be a use for them, guns. War is ever a shadow looming over every nation. And so long as it is possible for commonfolk, scum, to have them, we will need them to fight back. And even then, the question of, what about those who get them illegally? Like say in the UK.

Guns will always exist, the only change we can hope for, is proper training for their uses. To show people all other ways of self defense, so that they can exhaust all other options before being forced to use it on another life.

Guns are not going to go away so long as the world is divided by many nations.

Guns are in the hands of deviants, throughout the entire world. Fists cannot stop a bullet.

Pure and total pacifism will only lead to tyranny and oppression. And is an excuse for cowardice.

Not everyone is a Buddhist.

Islamic Terrorists are real. They do not care for peace talks, only the death of the Kafoor. I do not need to cite evidence for that. And it is not only Islamic, there are people like this everywhere. To deny the use of guns, is to deny logic.
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 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:44 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Can you say why you see things differently?
Life experiences.


Nothing substantial from a practical standpoint of the Theravada position then?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:45 am

jason c wrote: i simply wish to create a dialogue where we can debate this issue, many people seem to have hardened views on this subject and if discussing them softens them a little great, if one less person takes to playing with guns great, if one person puts down their gun great, as long as the choices we make are informed and come from as much wisdom as possible, this is the purpose of these debates to spread our own personal insights on this matter.
so, yes i will be the change that i want to see, but i have no power over what you ultimately decide to do.
Dialogue is good, but in reading in what you just wrote here it seems that the only acceptable "softening" of positions is to come from the side of the gun owner. That is not really dialogue.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:48 am

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Can you say why you see things differently?
Life experiences.


Nothing substantial from a practical standpoint of the Theravada position then?
Yes. A gun is simply inanimate object, lacking a "self," and how they are used is dependent upon the user's motivation. All of this has already been stated in various ways at length.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:51 am

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Can you say why you see things differently?
Life experiences.


Nothing substantial from a practical standpoint of the Theravada position then?


He has life experience. With long years, seeing suffering in many different forms, comes wisdom. I am not sticking up for him, persay. But for the fact that the Buddha said himself not to follow his teachings like a strict doctrine, with no room for play. You want something that the Tipitaka cannot give you. Because only being logical and rational in your thinking, in your deep looking at this particular case, will bring the true answer.
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 pilgrim » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:54 am

tiltbillings wrote: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.

Going by this rationale, you would not have any objections if all Buddhist households own a dirty nuclear bomb with a 10 second timer. It would look good as a living room ornament right?
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:58 am

pilgrim wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: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.

Going by this rationale, you would not have any objections if all Buddhist households own a dirty nuclear bomb with a 10 second timer. It would look good as a living room ornament right?


Wow... Just... Wow...
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 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:58 am

Hi Bodhisvasti
I will decide what I want thank-you
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:59 am

pilgrim wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: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.

Going by this rationale, you would not have any objections if all Buddhist households own a dirty nuclear bomb with a 10 second timer. It would look good as a living room ornament right?
When you have an actual equivalent comparison, we can talk.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby SDC » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:08 am

pilgrim wrote:Going by this rationale, you would not have any objections if all Buddhist households own a dirty nuclear bomb with a 10 second timer. It would look good as a living room ornament right?


Image

We may have jumped the shark.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Viscid » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:14 am

I think there's a law of the Internet that states when any discussion about gun control arises, it always degrades into squabbling.
Regardless, my small opinion:

Sometimes the world is scary and you need to defend yourself. Generally people who own guns are responsible, and there isn't sufficient evidence to declare that gun availability is a significant factor in rates of violence and homicide. Buddhists who have taken the first precept, however, shouldn't own a gun with the intent of using it to protect themselves.
Last edited by Viscid on Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:18 am

SDC wrote:
pilgrim wrote:Going by this rationale, you would not have any objections if all Buddhist households own a dirty nuclear bomb with a 10 second timer. It would look good as a living room ornament right?


Image

We may have jumped the shark.
Well, it has long been a:


Image

Other than going over the same ground repeatedly, do we have anything new to say here?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby SDC » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:Other than going over the same ground repeatedly, do we have anything new to say here?


Practicing Buddhists shouldn't talk about guns. :D
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:25 am

tiltbillings wrote:Yes. A gun is simply inanimate object, lacking a "self," and how they are used is dependent upon the user's motivation. All of this has already been stated in various ways at length.

well as already pointed out, a gun does have related perceptions, and fear of harm & death is aroused by a gun, due to its intended and used purpose, as already pointed out punishment & harm is included in what I said earlier, and as we don't live in a world free from others and their perceptions having something which would arouse (by its design) fear in another (even if they were only near enough to hear it) having a sense of hiri-ottapa would be the prudent thing, from my perspective, so find your argument for a practising Buddhist to have a gun, unconvincing.

but that is where I will leave it, it is still an individual choice as to what is appropriate.

also you may find Bodhi's footnote 36 to the MN interesting as your post reminded me of it.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:27 am

SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Other than going over the same ground repeatedly, do we have anything new to say here?


Practicing Buddhists shouldn't talk about guns. :D
Gets them all wound up.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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