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.
Everyone of us who is incarnate and not enlightened suffers from delusion, so please don't take that personally. I'm not implying that you must do anything. What I am implying is that I find it ironic that Buddhists can in all seriousness consider guns anything other than what they truly are.
You say I'm implying that we must make ourselves defenseless. I'm not saying that at all! Quite the opposite in fact. What I am saying is that you are deluded if you truly believe that increasing your ability to violate the 1st. Precept in any way makes you safer. I honestly am constantly amazed at how "safe" people think they are. You DO realize that there is a 100% chance that you and everyone you know WILL die, right? You also know that with very few exceptions, NO ONE knows the time, place or method that this will occur, right? So what makes you think that by increasing your ability to kill others more easily, quickly and with less effort can in any way make you or anyone else safer? This is the part I don't get!
Please consider these words from The Buddha:""There are these five gifts, five great gifts — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. Which five?
"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans..."
Also, why when we are simply discussing something do you come to the (extremely erroneous) conclusion that I want to "toss you out"? I happen to believe that your delusional thinking on this is leading you AWAY from Nibbana, not toward it. I say this because your thoughts and actions are directly counter to what the Buddha teaches us. I cannot "toss you out", only YOU can do that to YOURSELF.
poto wrote: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.
There is not a doubt in my mind that your heart is in the right place and that you believe that you are acting in a good way. Many fine young men and women have joined the military hoping to make a difference and help people. Same with the police, etc., etc. While this is a noble thing, it has been my finding that often the best way to challenge violence isn't with more violence but with less. Obviously, this isn't always true immediately, but I think that if one takes a look at US military action since, say, WWII, one is struck by how much hatred and devastation this has spread vs. peace and help.
Why is this? I attribute it to greed, hatred and, yes, delusion.
poto wrote: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.
Here is where I think the crux of the issue lies. You see, poto, I don't happen to believe that having firearms DOES make anyone safer. Please re-read what the Buddha has to say regarding the 1st. Precept. The Buddha claims that by NOT violating the 1st. Precept, we are helping to provide that safe environment that you so wish to provide. Note that he doesn't say that threatening the violation of the 1st. Precept, either overtly or covertly, helps to provide that safety. I absolutely understand your intention...and your intention I believe is good and wholesome. The problem is, alas, your DELUSION. The delusion of this regarding this matter is the heart of our societies problems, I believe.
Put simply, you don't put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it...you don't even do it be walking near that fire with a can of gasoline