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should a practicing buddhist own a gun? - Dhamma Wheel

should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
jason c
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should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby jason c » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:50 pm

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.
metta ,
jason

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manas
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby manas » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:08 pm

If I was living in an outlying area, with my kids, I would want a weapon in case I needed to defend them from attack. But in a built up suburban area, I agree that it seems unneccessary to own one. But afaik, while it is wrong livelihood to earn one's living by selling weapons, owning one for personal use in an emergency isn't the same thing as trading in them. Just as Buddhists are allowed to purchase meat from a butcher, but aren't allowed to earn their living by being one. As for what the suttas say about a layman owning a weapon - I can't answer that one, and would be interested to hear if anyone knows.

_/I\_
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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David N. Snyder
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:30 pm

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

My view is sort of in the middle:

Though I am a gun owner, I do not support the wide proliferation of firearms. Guns are not for everyone. There are some gun-nuts who believe everyone should be armed. There are a number of people who should not own guns, including those with mental health issues, ex-convicts, felons, those prone to marital strife, short-tempers, etc., and of course those who simply don't have a need or interest. I do not advocate that everyone should have a gun. But for some there may be an interest and necessity or simply a sport to shoot at paper targets.
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Modus.Ponens
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:46 pm

No.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Ben
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Ben » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:41 am

I went through a similar quandary some years ago when taking up target shooting (archery). My intention was to participate in the sport of target shooting - not arming myself for defence, offence or hunting.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Reductor
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Reductor » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:06 am

This is my position too, Ben.

People primarily buy guns either to kill or to target shoot (much more seldom is the bare desire to collect). Unless you have the second firmly in mind, don't buy a gun. Don't buy a gun with some vague notion about what you'll be doing with it.

For example, my father is a target shooter. He loads his own ammunition, and tracks loads and their accuracy with great care and precision. For him, each firearm has a personality and this collection of firearms is impressive. His knowledge is extensive. It is the exercising and expanding of this knowledge that gives him pleasure.

Yet even with so many firearms and so much skill, he very seldom kills anything; not on moral principals, but because it's to much bother for him, since he finds it inconvenient to clean carcasses, and doesn't care much for the meat anyway.

So, can a practising Buddhist own a firearm? Sure, if it's acceptable for him to own anything at all, since owning and shooting firearms doesn't necessitate a violent intent, nor even the intent to form such an intent in the future.

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daverupa
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:39 am

Lay down the rod; just so all armament, yes?

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Hanzze
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:29 am

Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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pilgrim
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby pilgrim » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:04 am

There were Buddhist soldiers and warriors even during the Buddha's time, no? Eg General Siha,
Owning a gun and using it irresponsibly are separate issues. If the answer to your question was a plain No, the police and army of several nations might just as well be disbanded.
edit...having said that, I do not like guns and would not encourge ownership or possession unless there is a real good reason for self protection.

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tiltbillings
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:27 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:45 am

Lay down the stick & club.
Owning a gun? what it the intention behind its ownership?
if it is to intimidate, harm or kill then, no.

appart from collecting, the only reason to have one is if the military required supply of own weapons for service due to be done, and as that is not the case anywhere....


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Ben
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Ben » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:55 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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tiltbillings
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:57 am


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Hanzze
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:01 am

Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Hanzze
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:23 am

Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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rowboat
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby rowboat » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:26 am

Image

:candle:

The weapons industry is an unsupportable evil. In the holy life there is no place for a gun.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

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Cittasanto
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:31 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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tiltbillings
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:33 am


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reflection
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby reflection » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:33 am

There is not really a "should" or "should not". It's up to you. And as said, it is all about the intention.

If you have it with the reason of possibly hurting someone, even if it is an intruder, the intention may be partly out of ill will towards that intruder. That wouldn't be a wise thing to do. A Buddha wouldn't act that way out of self defense.

And let alone all the troubles it may cause if the intruder himself also had a gun.


But again, you make the choice.
But I must say I feel lucky people in my country do not have that choice (generally).

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pilgrim
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby pilgrim » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:36 am



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