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 Cittasanto » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:35 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:the simple fact that hearing gun fire can be frightening for people, same way fireworks are frightening to animals when they go off, even if they can't see them.
And this has what to do with what? Some people are fearful of thunder. I have a friend who is terrified of frog and the sounds they make. I shoud not own a gun because there are people out there who are fearful of the sound of a gun?

No because we are walking a path of peace (supposedly)
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 8:40 am

Doshin wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
-So imagine a real life situation: you're a doctor serving in a war, treating a patient inside a tent. You're far from the door. An enemy soldier comes inside with his gun down. Now split this scenario in 3.

1- you have a gun
2- you have a knife
3- you have a rock

In which of these scenarios does the enemy soldier get killed? Can you still equate having a gun to having a rock?
And if I don't have a gun, the enemy soldier kills me and everyone else in the tent. I'll go with Gandhi on this.


Soldiers are trained to instinctively kill every threat. So if he sees you reach for a gun, he would kill you before thinking (that's his training). If he sees doctors uniforms and you with your hands up, he is much less likely to kill you. I don't think you stand a chance against a professional soldier pointing a gun at you, if you are a doctor reaching for a gun.

Even if you get the chance to kill him, he probably just is one in a big group of enemy soldiers; and their next step would probably be to just throw some handgrenades into your tent.
These things such this imagenary stuff are absurd. In the real world there have been 1-AO status individuals who have served for moral/religious reasons as unarmed medics who have in dire situations picked up a weapon to protect their wounded compatriots and themselves against an attacking enemy. The Vietcong was not big on taking prisoners during heavy firefights.
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 8:43 am

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:the simple fact that hearing gun fire can be frightening for people, same way fireworks are frightening to animals when they go off, even if they can't see them.
And this has what to do with what? Some people are fearful of thunder. I have a friend who is terrified of frog and the sounds they make. I shoud not own a gun because there are people out there who are fearful of the sound of a gun?

No because we are walking a path of peace (supposedly)
Again, that is your opinion. I prefer my opinion. Because I own a gun and I use it occasionally to put holes in tin cans does not mean I am not established in walking a path of peace.
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 8:43 am

Ben wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:surely practicing buddhists should be eliminating fear

I agree, but there is a limit to how much one can take responsibility for the mind-states of others.
If one is a member of a gun club and one's gun is locked and only used at the gun club range under the regulations of the gun club then I believe that person is being responsible.
kind regards,

Ben

Yes, there is only so much one can do, and that does sound responcible, however, what is the need to use, or have a devise which only has a destructive purpose as a practicing Buddhist?
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 Ben » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:55 am

Hi Cittasanto,
Cittasanto wrote:
Ben wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:surely practicing buddhists should be eliminating fear

I agree, but there is a limit to how much one can take responsibility for the mind-states of others.
If one is a member of a gun club and one's gun is locked and only used at the gun club range under the regulations of the gun club then I believe that person is being responsible.
kind regards,

Ben

Yes, there is only so much one can do, and that does sound responcible, however, what is the need to use, or have a devise which only has a destructive purpose as a practicing Buddhist?


Target shooting! Target shooting is a wholesome pursuit and Olympic sport!

And here is your Heather Fell (Silver medalist)

fellshooting.jpg
fellshooting.jpg (30.76 KiB) Viewed 315 times


Not very destructive, unless you consider the perforation of paper targets destructive!
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:00 am

Cittasanto. Do you think Buddhism can survive on pacifism alone? If your Sangha is attacked by men bent only on your destruction, where they want nothing but the death of your religion, would you watch your people die? Can Buddhism survive that way? Judaism was under attack by the Nazis, and every jew would have been killed if it weren't for military intervention, do you deny that?

Buddhists are supposed to go beyond Dualistic thought, and see things for what they are. Here is things as they are.

Genocide exists. Terrorism exists. Situations where peaceful resolutions will simply 'not work', exist. Oppression due to the lack of military training/access to weaponry in the masses, exists.

I honestly want your opinion.

Do you deny those circumstances exist?

Do you honestly believe pacifism will solve those problems?

Would you watch your loved ones be hurt by weaponry, when you have access to it yourself, can end it, and choose not to use it?

I really do want your honest answers to all three of those questions.
Last edited by Truth_Seeker1989 on Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:04 am

Ben wrote:
Target shooting! Target shooting is a wholesome pursuit and Olympic sport!

And here is your Heather Fell (Silver medalist)

fellshooting.jpg


Not very destructive, unless you consider the perforation of paper targets destructive!
kind regards,

Ben
I would guess that those folks who have fear as a result of the sound of gun fire would stay far, far away from such an event.
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 9:06 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:No because we are walking a path of peace (supposedly)
Again, that is your opinion. I prefer my opinion. Because I own a gun and I use it occasionally to put holes in tin cans does not mean I am not established in walking a path of peace.

I doubt you know what my opinion is. and I will stick with the Buddhas option not my own preferences
Visakhuposatha Sutta wrote:"'For all their lives the arahants dwell having abandoned killing living beings, refrain from killing living beings, they have laid down their staffs, laid down their weapons, they are conscientious, sympathetic, compassionate for the good of all living beings;
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 Ben » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:11 am

Hi Tilt,

Yes, and I think the arising of fear is probably as a result of hearing a gun shot in an in-congruent context.
It would be normal to hear gun shots around a firing range. Likewise, in a rural location. Certainly where I work, some nights we have a local (licenced) shooter who comes on site controlling feral animals. When I hear him shooting, i have a different affective reaction if I am onsite alone than if he inadvertently happens to turn up to when the site is booked and inhabited by a large group of children.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:14 am

Ben wrote:
Target shooting! Target shooting is a wholesome pursuit and Olympic sport!




Hi Ben
What do you think about the idea of owning a gun like a glock 19 for self defence purposes?
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:15 am

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:No because we are walking a path of peace (supposedly)
Again, that is your opinion. I prefer my opinion. Because I own a gun and I use it occasionally to put holes in tin cans does not mean I am not established in walking a path of peace.

I doubt you know what my opinion is.
You have been repeatedly voicing it here.

and I will stick with the Buddhas option not my own preferences
Your opinion as to what that is.
Visakhuposatha Sutta wrote:"'For all their lives the arahants dwell having abandoned killing living beings, refrain from killing living beings, they have laid down their staffs, laid down their weapons, they are conscientious, sympathetic, compassionate for the good of all living beings;
That certainly would apply if I pointed my gun at living beings with the intent to kill them, but since I do not, it certainly does not apply, and no one here has made a definitive, unassailable argument that it does apply, though you have voiced your opinion on the matter of this text. The context is quite clear, having to to do with killing, which I do not do.
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 rowboat » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:16 am

Visakhuposatha Sutta wrote:
"'For all their lives the arahants dwell having abandoned killing living beings, refrain from killing living beings, they have laid down their staffs, laid down their weapons, they are conscientious, sympathetic, compassionate for the good of all living beings


:goodpost:
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.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby rowboat » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:21 am

Ben wrote:Hi Tilt,

Certainly where I work, some nights we have a local (licenced) shooter who comes on site controlling feral animals.


I think you mean to say he is killing the animals. Please don't employ euphemisms that trivialize or attempt to conceal violence.
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.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Doshin » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Doshin wrote:
-So imagine a real life situation: ...
tiltbillings wrote:And if I don't have a gun, the enemy soldier kills me and everyone else in the tent. I'll go with Gandhi on this.

Soldiers are trained to instinctively kill every threat. So if he sees you reach for a gun, he would kill you before thinking (that's his training). If he sees doctors uniforms and you with your hands up, he is much less likely to kill you. I don't think you stand a chance against a professional soldier pointing a gun at you, if you are a doctor reaching for a gun.

Even if you get the chance to kill him, he probably just is one in a big group of enemy soldiers; and their next step would probably be to just throw some handgrenades into your tent.
These things such this imagenary stuff are absurd. ...


Never the less, you made your point on this imaginary setup.

tiltbillings wrote:... In the real world there have been 1-AO status individuals who have served for moral/religious reasons as unarmed medics who have in dire situations picked up a weapon to protect their wounded compatriots and themselves against an attacking enemy. The Vietcong was not big on taking prisoners during heavy firefights.

I'm not sure what you want to state by this. I only wanted to express my belief that reaching for a gun in the imaginary setup, I find it most likely to bring more killing/harming, then if one where to take a more mindfull approach.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:26 am

Doshin wrote:I'm not sure what you want to state by this. I only wanted to express my belief that reaching for a gun in the imaginary setup, I find it most likely to bring more killing/harming, then if one where to take a more mindfull approach.
Except, you do not know that. You can only hope that that would be so.
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 rowboat » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:26 am

That certainly would apply if I pointed my gun at living beings with the intent to kill them, but since I do not, it certainly does not apply, and no one here has made a definitive, unassailable argument that it does apply, though you have voiced your opinion on the matter of this text. The context is quite clear, having to to do with killing, which I do not do.


You shoot at thin aluminum cans with a .22 rifle. The bullets either strike the cans and pass through them or they fly past the cans. You have no real way of knowing whether the bullets are in fact harming small creatures just beyond the range or your targets.
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.
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:26 am

Hi Mr Man,
Mr Man wrote:
Ben wrote:
Target shooting! Target shooting is a wholesome pursuit and Olympic sport!




Hi Ben
What do you think about the idea of owning a gun like a glock 19 for self defence purposes?


Its not something that I would ever consider, to be honest.
Perhaps for some people gun ownership makes them feel more secure - but does it actually make them more secure?
I don't know - I'm just asking the question.
And, no doubt, there are people who will have a real need for owning a hand-gun for their own protection. Having known some ex-patriot South Africans I have been told of some very scary incidents. I am thankful for living in a country and society where there is a high-degree of gun control.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:29 am

rowboat wrote:
That certainly would apply if I pointed my gun at living beings with the intent to kill them, but since I do not, it certainly does not apply, and no one here has made a definitive, unassailable argument that it does apply, though you have voiced your opinion on the matter of this text. The context is quite clear, having to to do with killing, which I do not do.


You shoot at thin aluminum cans with a .22 rifle. The bullets either strike the cans and pass through them or they fly past the cans. You have no real way of knowing whether the bullets are in fact harming small creatures just beyond the range or your targets.
Not knowing a thing about the set up I use, you have not a clue as to what you are talking about.
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 9:30 am

Ben wrote:Hi Cittasanto,
Cittasanto wrote:Yes, there is only so much one can do, and that does sound responcible, however, what is the need to use, or have a devise which only has a destructive purpose as a practicing Buddhist?


Target shooting! Target shooting is a wholesome pursuit and Olympic sport!

And here is your Heather Fell (Silver medalist)

fellshooting.jpg


Not very destructive, unless you consider the perforation of paper targets destructive!
kind regards,

Ben

so with no modification (of use or power) the gun could not turned on a person and not cause (at least) injury?
although in this case as you are describing on a range, like I said that is (in my opinion) up to the person, but will only point to my earlier post quoted also. for my having a weapon (its design & purpose) while on the path is antithetical.
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 rowboat » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:32 am

tiltbillings: Not knowing a thing about the set up I use, you have not a clue as to what you are talking about.


Do you shoot your .22 rifle at thin aluminum cans indoors? Or do you shoot your .22 rifle at aluminum cans outdoors?
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.
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