Newtown Shootings

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Reductor » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:33 am

:goodpost:

Good posting, Jesse Smith.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:31 pm

Jesse Smith wrote:If you had a room full of mentally unstable people in a room with the floor covered with guns, you'd want to remove the guns before moving on to address each individuals mental illness.


That's true; but the United States is hardly a room full of mentally unstable people and guns, despite the easy joke which could be made.

In an interesting followup,

Questions asked about the source of the weapons and ammunition Adam Lanza used in his killing spree has led to the revelation that his mother, Nancy Lanza, was a survivalist who stockpiled food, water, guns and ammunition in fear of "global collapse."


Any allowable guns would have been stockpiled in this scenario; barring an all-out ban, gun laws simply don't address this sort of underlying issue.

So what of an all-out ban? Ultimately, that's going to require a Constitutional Amendment; the United States Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.

Expediency seems to dictate we increase available mental health tools before/while we tackle that. Probably we'd need to overhaul the educational system in this country and wait at least a generation before attempts to change the Second Amendment even have a snowball's chance.
    "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: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:17 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I support the right to bear arms in limited cases, but I have to agree with our Aussie friends on this one. It is an anachronism. If the U.S. were attacked in today's modern warfare, pistols and shotguns are going to be of little use; even assault weapons. The modern warfare is in the skies with missiles and nuclear warheads. It is a much different world from 1776.


If another nation or power was bent on pure genocide, using weapons of mass destruction, then you would be correct. However, a quick look at every modern conflict shows a need for boots on the ground. If you can show me a single war in all of history that was fought and won without the use of ground troops then I will cede that point to you.

Also, comparing Australian gun violence with the US is disingenuous. The population of Australia is roughly 22 million, the US is over 300 million. Just a bit of back-of-the-envelop math here... if you have a once-a-year school shooting event in the US, that works out to a 1 in 300 million event. Based on that, Australia could expect to see a similar event once every 13 years or so. Being that these events are random and statistical anomalies, it could be much longer or you could have 2 or 3 within days of each other.

The US is also a wealthy developed nation. With that greater wealth our citizens possess comes greater power and easier access to tools and materials.

I tend to agree with others that have pointed out that guns are merely tools. Remove one tool and people will find or make another. Anybody with a basic knowledge of chemistry can make explosives that have greater potential to kill than a suicide-killing spree with firearms. Take away guns and a possible unintended consequence may be a rise in suicide bombings or something worse. Well intentioned actions sometimes create greater problems.

As I have pointed out, violence in society is on a downward trend. If violence were trending upwards and it could be shown that restricting firearms would in fact cause a reduction in overall violence, then I would be more inclined to support some anti-gun positions. On that note, I remember reading crime statistics that showed significant spikes in violent crime in both Australia and the UK after they passed their gun bans, although, I believe those rates have leveled off since then.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:26 pm

poto wrote:
If another nation or power was bent on pure genocide, using weapons of mass destruction, then you would be correct. However, a quick look at every modern conflict shows a need for boots on the ground. If you can show me a single war in all of history that was fought and won without the use of ground troops then I will cede that point to you.

Also, comparing Australian gun violence with the US is disingenuous. The population of Australia is roughly 22 million, the US is over 300 million. Just a bit of back-of-the-envelop math here... if you have a once-a-year school shooting event in the US, that works out to a 1 in 300 million event. Based on that, Australia could expect to see a similar event once every 13 years or so. Being that these events are random and statistical anomalies, it could be much longer or you could have 2 or 3 within days of each other.

The US is also a wealthy developed nation. With that greater wealth our citizens possess comes greater power and easier access to tools and materials.

I tend to agree with others that have pointed out that guns are merely tools. Remove one tool and people will find or make another. Anybody with a basic knowledge of chemistry can make explosives that have greater potential to kill than a suicide-killing spree with firearms. Take away guns and a possible unintended consequence may be a rise in suicide bombings or something worse. Well intentioned actions sometimes create greater problems.

As I have pointed out, violence in society is on a downward trend. If violence were trending upwards and it could be shown that restricting firearms would in fact cause a reduction in overall violence, then I would be more inclined to support some anti-gun positions. On that note, I remember reading crime statistics that showed significant spikes in violent crime in both Australia and the UK after they passed their gun bans, although, I believe those rates have leveled off since then.


There is absolutly no reason for you average citizen to have a gun. All your talk is just nonsense.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:39 pm

poto wrote:If another nation or power was bent on pure genocide, using weapons of mass destruction, then you would be correct. However, a quick look at every modern conflict shows a need for boots on the ground. If you can show me a single war in all of history that was fought and won without the use of ground troops then I will cede that point to you.


WWII in the Pacific was won with WMD. The U.S. dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima. When Emperor Hirohito didn't surrender, the U.S. dropped another one on Nagasaki and then the Emperor surrendered; no ground troops going into Tokyo, no raising of arms by the Japanese citizenry could have stopped those bombs. That was almost 100 years ago. Future wars are likely to be more dependent on missiles and less on ground warfare.

(This is not a good thing, just pointing out that small arms are of little use in modern warfare.)
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:14 pm

Mr Man wrote:There is absolutly no reason for you average citizen to have a gun. All your talk is just nonsense.


Well, it might be unknown to you, but I grew up in poverty and have lived in poverty most of my life. Fortunately, I'm able to live in the countryside now in a fairly peaceful area, but this wasn't always the case. I'm not proud of it, but I have had several incidents when I was younger living in 'the ghetto' that I had to resort to pulling a gun on somebody. Luckily I was able to ward them off without having to shoot them. Words can often be as dissuading as weapons, yet sometimes words have to be backed up with a least the threat of force.

I hope I never have to shoot somebody, and I think I'm at a stage in my life where I'm old and wise enough to avoid putting myself in situations where I might have to. Of course, I have family that as a man I feel responsible to protect, so if need be I will use what tools are available to me to protect them.

David N. Snyder wrote:
poto wrote:If another nation or power was bent on pure genocide, using weapons of mass destruction, then you would be correct. However, a quick look at every modern conflict shows a need for boots on the ground. If you can show me a single war in all of history that was fought and won without the use of ground troops then I will cede that point to you.


WWII in the Pacific was won with WMD. The U.S. dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima. When Emperor Hirohito didn't surrender, the U.S. dropped another one on Nagasaki and then the Emperor surrendered; no ground troops going into Tokyo, no raising of arms by the Japanese citizenry could have stopped those bombs. That was almost 100 years ago. Future wars are likely to be more dependent on missiles and less on ground warfare.

(This is not a good thing, just pointing out that small arms are of little use in modern warfare.)


Ah, but ground troops were used to take the islands that got us close enough to drop bombs on Japan.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby imagemarie » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:30 pm

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:31 pm

poto wrote:if you have a once-a-year school shooting event in the US, that works out to a 1 in 300 million event.

But you haven't. Newtown was the second mass shooting in a week. How many mass-shootings have you had just this year? Let me tell you: eight mass shootings in 2012.
31 school shootings since Colombine.

Where did you get a 1 in 300 million event? How on earth did you arrive at that fanciful figure?

poto wrote:The US is also a wealthy developed nation.

And so is Australia.

poto wrote:With that greater wealth our citizens possess comes greater power and easier access to tools and materials.

You mean the US is a country which, in some estimates, has a population with access to from 270 million to 300 million weapons with another four million weapons entering the market each year, very little gun control regulation.

As one of your countrymen said recently, the young (of the united states) are paying for the price of a freedom their elders enjoy.
What you don't see is that you are a country that is at war with itself.
Time to wake up and smell the cordite.
"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: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:33 pm

poto wrote:
Well, it might be unknown to you, but I grew up in poverty and have lived in poverty most of my life. Fortunately, I'm able to live in the countryside now in a fairly peaceful area, but this wasn't always the case. I'm not proud of it, but I have had several incidents when I was younger living in 'the ghetto' that I had to resort to pulling a gun on somebody. Luckily I was able to ward them off without having to shoot them. Words can often be as dissuading as weapons, yet sometimes words have to be backed up with a least the threat of force.

I hope I never have to shoot somebody, and I think I'm at a stage in my life where I'm old and wise enough to avoid putting myself in situations where I might have to. Of course, I have family that as a man I feel responsible to protect, so if need be I will use what tools are available to me to protect them.




I'm not interested in your gun justification nonsense. Why you want to bring it to this thread is beyond me.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:06 pm

Ben wrote:Where did you get a 1 in 300 million event? How on earth did you arrive at that fanciful figure?


That was just some back-of-the-envelop done to compare size of the nations. I didn't bother to look up actual stats.

Ben wrote:As one of your countrymen said recently, the young (of the united states) are paying for the price of a freedom their elders enjoy.
What you don't see is that you are a country that is at war with itself.
Time to wake up and smell the cordite.


It's not a war, not even close to a war. Far more people die every year from many other things. You're far more likely to die in a car accident than a mass shooting, maybe we should ban cars instead?

There are other ways to address this issue rather than trying to disarm citizens. Like expanded mental health care, and requiring schools to be more secure. Maybe at least having the principals trained and armed to stop these events more quickly. We put air marshals on planes, so why do we herd children into buildings where nobody is armed or equipped to protect them?

Mr Man wrote:I'm not interested in your gun justification nonsense. Why you want to bring it to this thread is beyond me.


Mostly I was responding to others calls for gun bans... seemed relevant to the conversation. If you don't have anything to add besides calling my words 'nonsense' then I think I'm done talking to you.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Sambojjhanga » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:49 pm

How can any Buddhist possibly argue for the existence, never mind the right to own any device which is SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to violate the most important precept in Buddhism, the one to which if it's violated, all else is meaningless, that being the 1st. precept?

Does it strike anyone else as odd except me that the 1st. precept says: I undertake the training to abstain from killing...and yet that is PRECISELY what a gun is for? It exists for NO OTHER PURPOSE despite the special variants created to perfect the ability at the primary purpose.

I think we're dealing with some serious issues regarding delusion here, folks.

Regarding Newtown, nothing I or anyone else can say can ease the painful sting that all are feeling now. Nothing, save nibbana itself will end the various forms of suffering countless beings will go through. But let us at least not be hypocritical. These ghastly devices are venerated far too much and too often as is.

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:59 pm

:goodpost:
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: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:18 am

Sambojjhanga wrote:How can any Buddhist possibly argue for the existence, never mind the right to own any device which is SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to violate the most important precept in Buddhism, the one to which if it's violated, all else is meaningless, that being the 1st. precept?

Does it strike anyone else as odd except me that the 1st. precept says: I undertake the training to abstain from killing...and yet that is PRECISELY what a gun is for? It exists for NO OTHER PURPOSE despite the special variants created to perfect the ability at the primary purpose.

I think we're dealing with some serious issues regarding delusion here, folks.

Regarding Newtown, nothing I or anyone else can say can ease the painful sting that all are feeling now. Nothing, save nibbana itself will end the various forms of suffering countless beings will go through. But let us at least not be hypocritical. These ghastly devices are venerated far too much and too often as is.

Metta

:anjali:


I find the notion that merely having a gun or supporting gun rights makes one delusional to be rather insulting. Implying that we must make ourselves defenseless in order to be a lay Buddhist disturbs me. I'm glad that you're not deciding who can and can not be Buddhist, because you'd probably toss me right out.

Many times throughout my life I've been responsible for the safeguarding of countless other lives. After my time in the military I took work as a security guard. One of those jobs I had was as a guard at a bank. That was probably the most stressful job I ever had, but it was also rewarding because I felt like I was actually making a difference there. My intention on that job and many others was to protect, not to kill or bring harm. That intention is something that has spilled over to my home life as well.

I don't know if some of you have a hard time understanding that intention, or if you're just emotional and stuck on anti-gun thinking. For me, I don't feel that having firearms makes me somehow unable to follow the Buddha's teachings. If I was to ordain it would be a different matter, but as a mere householder, I feel I have a duty to provide a safe environment.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Alex123 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:37 am

Yana wrote:I don't understand America's gun culture.
Does this look like a weapon "civilians" purchase for "self defense"?


It is all for profit! Money! This is what this is about. Guns and ammo brings lots of money.


Why weren't there any armed policemen in school? When I was in school and Columbine occurred, we had a 6'6 policeman wearing body armor and a gun in school. And this was in Canada. In US the government has more money and can afford more police.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Justsit » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:39 am

poto wrote:...as a mere householder, I feel I have a duty to provide a safe environment.


Interesting point, Poto, got me thinking. I, too, am a householder - only, I am the only one in the household. Or perhaps that makes me a solitary yogi? :tongue: In any case, if a bad guy comes through the door, do I have a duty to provide a safe environment for myself? or does that only apply to others? Not being a wise-ass here, genuinely curious about your statement.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:30 am

Justsit wrote:
poto wrote:...as a mere householder, I feel I have a duty to provide a safe environment.


Interesting point, Poto, got me thinking. I, too, am a householder - only, I am the only one in the household. Or perhaps that makes me a solitary yogi? :tongue: In any case, if a bad guy comes through the door, do I have a duty to provide a safe environment for myself? or does that only apply to others? Not being a wise-ass here, genuinely curious about your statement.


It is something that I have given a lot of thought to. I figured I would do my best to safeguard my own life as I may not have another opportunity to encounter the Dhamma in the next life. Certainly if I was to be robbed, it would only be the loss of material possessions, but if I was to be murdered that would be a problem, since I have not achieved liberation yet.

I have spent a number of years living alone too, except that I had a dog and probably at those times would have done more to defend my dog from harm than myself.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:34 am

poto wrote:I feel I have a duty to provide a safe environment.


If this is your justification then you are unwittingly perpetuating the cycle of violence.

Just in:
A Utah sixth-grader caught with a gun at school told administrators he brought the weapon to defend himself in case of an attack similar to last week's mass shooting at a Connecticut school, officials said Tuesday.

The 11-year-old was being held in juvenile detention on suspicion of possessing a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault after other students at the suburban Salt Lake City elementary school told police he threatened them with the handgun.

Teachers and administrators at West Kearns Elementary School confronted the boy in class Monday after students reported the weapon, said Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley. The boy had an unloaded gun and ammunition in his backpack, Horsley said.

The boy waved the gun at others during a morning recess, school officials said. Other students, however, didn't report the threat until classes were nearly finished for the day. There was no immediate explanation for the delay, authorities said...

The child made statements to administrators and mentioned the shooting rampage last week in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children dead, authorities said.

The boy told others his parents sent him to school with the gun for protection, which his parents adamantly deny, Horsley said.


3. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.

4. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.

5. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.
Dhp
"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: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:46 am

Ben wrote:
poto wrote:I feel I have a duty to provide a safe environment.


If this is your justification then you are unwittingly perpetuating the cycle of violence.

Just in:
A Utah sixth-grader caught with a gun at school told administrators he brought the weapon to defend himself in case of an attack similar to last week's mass shooting at a Connecticut school, officials said Tuesday.

The 11-year-old was being held in juvenile detention on suspicion of possessing a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault after other students at the suburban Salt Lake City elementary school told police he threatened them with the handgun.

Teachers and administrators at West Kearns Elementary School confronted the boy in class Monday after students reported the weapon, said Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley. The boy had an unloaded gun and ammunition in his backpack, Horsley said.

The boy waved the gun at others during a morning recess, school officials said. Other students, however, didn't report the threat until classes were nearly finished for the day. There was no immediate explanation for the delay, authorities said...

The child made statements to administrators and mentioned the shooting rampage last week in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children dead, authorities said.

The boy told others his parents sent him to school with the gun for protection, which his parents adamantly deny, Horsley said.


3. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.

4. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.

5. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.
Dhp


I don't understand you Ben. Are you trying to compare me to a sixth grader? Or were you just posting the news article?

Also, the quote you posted is not aptly applied to me. I harbor no hatred for anybody who attacks me. If anything I try to feel compassion for them. But like when a child acts out and throws a tantrum, I would try to stop them from causing harm.

I have had to deal with angry violent people many times in both my professional and personal life. I am not perpetuating the cycle of violence, I am stopping it. It is always important to be calm and clear of mind in those situations so that you maintain control. Without being in control, you run the risk of succumbing to emotions and being dragged into the chaos. Maybe you have been lucky enough to not had to deal with such things...
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:11 am

poto wrote:I don't understand you Ben. Are you trying to compare me to a sixth grader? Or were you just posting the news article?

I'm sorry you don't understand me, poto, that is my fault.
I am attempting to point out that behaviour breeds behaviour. I linked the article on the sixth grader from Salt Lake City as an example how that arming oneself in a bid to defend oneself, perpetuates the vicious circle of hate, fear, paranoia and mass killings.
I was appalled to read yesterday that the Principal of the primary school in Conneticut was criticised by one of your politicans who said that she should have kept an M4 in her closet. The answer isn't in more weapons.

Also, the quote you posted is not aptly applied to me. I harbor no hatred for anybody who attacks me. If anything I try to feel compassion for them. But like when a child acts out and throws a tantrum, I would try to stop them from causing harm.
No doubt, poto. I am not questioning your compassion. What I am questioning is the justification for having arms in the community. Please don't take it personally. From the perspective of some of us outsiders, there will continue to be these mass shootings until your nation does something drastic, which should include, but not limited to, getting guns out of the hands of those who will do you harm.

poto wrote:I have had to deal with angry violent people many times in both my professional and personal life. I am not perpetuating the cycle of violence, I am stopping it. It is always important to be calm and clear of mind in those situations so that you maintain control. Without being in control, you run the risk of succumbing to emotions and being dragged into the chaos. Maybe you have been lucky enough to not had to deal with such things...
I am very glad that is so. It takes a wise and very disciplined person to do that. I've had my fair share of dealing with difficult situations though I am sure they pale in comparison to what you and others have had to go through.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:26 am

poto wrote:It's not a war, not even close to a war. Far more people die every year from many other things. You're far more likely to die in a car accident than a mass shooting, maybe we should ban cars instead?

Cars exist for a purpose other than killing people, whereas guns do not. Our society does not in any way benefit from the presence of guns in the way it does cars.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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