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 SDC » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:36 pm

jason c wrote:it would not be my fault, if someone else harmed a member of my family. and it would not be my fault if i could not prevent this from happening.


But would you do what you could to protect them? You wouldn't just sit back and let it happen? I doubt this is what you mean.

You wouldn't sacrifice yourself for another?
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:49 pm

cooran wrote:Hello Bodom,

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

with metta,
Chris


Because the only purpose of a gun is to wound or kill? That is wrong, illogical. The main purpose for a typical individual, outside of a military service, is for self defense. That man in that case, did not have a gun held to her head, or a sword.

A gun is meant for self defense, that is the main purpose for anyone to get one in the first place. If it were the case that firearms did not exist, we would still need a bow, a blade, a club, etc. Because it is highly likely that the attacker will have one too. You try rushing a man who attacking your family with a gun pointed at you. Lol.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby bodom » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:58 pm

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. This is what I wished to communicate with the story.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:00 pm

Cittasanto wrote:but as you bring up context, the context of what I said regarding laying down the stick and club, is the first precept, I have in my last post corrected the misquote, within that context the Buddhas advise is clear, ahimsa, while being a practical teaching for followers of the Buddha is a big teaching within the teachings.

EDIT - I will add that the question is regarding practicing buddhists and the default here is what the Buddha taught, be that canon, or commentarial, I do not believe any of which say a practicing Buddhist should have weapons.
Again, you do not address what Ben and I 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.
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 Mr Man » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:03 pm

bodom wrote:Sharon Salzberg tells a story about being attacked on a rickshaw in Bodh Gaya and the advice her teacher Anagarika Munindra gave her:


Just as well she didn't have a gun
:P
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:09 pm

Mr Man wrote:
bodom wrote:Sharon Salzberg tells a story about being attacked on a rickshaw in Bodh Gaya and the advice her teacher Anagarika Munindra gave her:


Just as well she didn't have a gun
:P
She should not have whacked the attacker? Having a gun does not mean one is inevitably going to shoot someone, and it does not mean that one is inclined to shoot someone.

But all of this is just covering the same ground over and over. I wonder if anyone here has 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 Mr Man » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:18 pm

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?
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:19 pm

Maybe summarise everything up?

Assuming we are speaking from a Buddhist perspective?

Anything and everything can and has been used as a tool of self defense. A gun, to the commoner, is a tool specifically made for self defense.

Intention is the cause of bad karma/immorality.

It is not immoral to own a gun, because it was purchased for self defense, in the hope of it never being used. The intent to kill is not there. And it is not being used for trading in weapons.

When given no other choice, at all, but to defend yourself with your gun, you shoot. Causing no bad Karma, being with no blame, and without immorality. Just rational.



I don't know. Everything there seems so logical to me. I tried to think from the viewpoint of the other guys, but it simply does not make sense. If your a Buddhist, you may own a gun so long is it is there simply as a tool for the self defense of you and your loved ones. If there is no intent to harm someone with it, then it is not immoral. When you are attacked, you never 'intended' to kill the man, you simply did what you could to defend yourself, and your family.

And to not do everything in your power to defend your family, including violence when no other option is available, makes you a coward, IMO.
Last edited by Truth_Seeker1989 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:21 pm

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.
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 David N. Snyder » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:24 pm

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.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:25 pm

Mr Man wrote:What is a Colt 45 designed for?


Putting a powerful shot downrange. Whether there's a person there or a tin cup is up to the user, not the gun's design paradigm.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:27 pm

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.
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 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:31 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.


There you go! Perfect!
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:41 pm

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.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:42 pm

Mr Man wrote:Killing is a gun's intention


Inanimate objects do not express intent.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:46 pm

daverupa wrote:
Inanimate objects do not express intent.
Yes I know that. It was just a way of talking (see previous post: "I wonder if inanimate objects have a destiny?"). How about purpose?
Last edited by Mr Man on Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:47 pm

Mr Man wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Inanimate objects do not express intent.
Yes I know that. It was just a way of talking. How about purpose?


The purpose of a gun, to a 'commoner', is self defense.
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 10:47 pm

SDC wrote:
jason c wrote:it would not be my fault, if someone else harmed a member of my family. and it would not be my fault if i could not prevent this from happening.


But would you do what you could to protect them? You wouldn't just sit back and let it happen? I doubt this is what you mean.

You wouldn't sacrifice yourself for another?


in a life threatening situation you will simply act, there will be no time for thinking. if i see someone harming another it is my duty to intervene, but it must be done with a balanced mind(equanimity)knowing that the one doing the harming is a sick or ignorant person and they are doing just as much damage to themselves as the other. both individuals must be helped.

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

Postby SDC » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:49 pm

jason c wrote:
SDC wrote:
jason c wrote:it would not be my fault, if someone else harmed a member of my family. and it would not be my fault if i could not prevent this from happening.


But would you do what you could to protect them? You wouldn't just sit back and let it happen? I doubt this is what you mean.

You wouldn't sacrifice yourself for another?


in a life threatening situation you will simply act, there will be no time for thinking. if i see someone harming another it is my duty to intervene, but it must be done with a balanced mind(equanimity)knowing that the one doing the harming is a sick or ignorant person and they are doing just as much damage to themselves as the other. both individuals must be helped.

metta,
jason


I agree 100%.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:50 pm

Bodhisvasti I find your position to be totally lame - sorry.
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