Newtown Shootings

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:06 am

Alex123 wrote:And lets think, if one can kill someone without thinking about it, how "wholesome" is that?


This is the dhamma of the Niganthas
"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."

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:09 am

Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Can one pull a trigger without intention (dosa) to harm someone?


Its an intersting assumption you have here.
I suggest you look at it and whether it is consistent with the Buddhadhamma.


I see only two options: Either there is, or there isn't intention to kill.

1) If one has intention to kill, then it is akusala kamma.
2) If one has no intention and yet can kill someone automatically, and reflexively, then one has to be some sort of psycho and/or trained killer to do that, and that is not good. In the long run, this is probably even worse than 1st option. I also wonder about the sort of practice this person was doing. What intention was present, when buying a gun, at gun range, carrying a gun etc?

Somewhere I think the Buddha has said:

    The Killer begets a killer,
    One who conquers, a conqueror,
    The abuser begets abuse,
    The reviler, one who reviles.
    Thus by the unfolding of kamma
    The plunderer is plundered
    http://www.metta.lk/english/killer.htm
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:05 am

The Buddha allowed kings (governments) to have armies to defend the kingdom and deter enemies. Obviously for monastics they are not allowed to possess weapons of any kind, but in the implied references, lay people are allowed to defend themselves. It is possible to have a gun without any intention of killing, for example, for self-defense without intending to kill, such as for wounding, incapacitating the perpetrator until law enforcement arrives. And then of course there are many who have target type pistols that are designed solely for target shooting at paper targets.

Assault weapons, automatic weapons, high capacity magazine clips are another thing altogether and where some sort of limits would not be a bad idea.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:12 am

I agree David , but I think the 'assault rifle is bad' refrain is a red herring. A good hunting rifle is still semi-automatic, producing roughly the same rate of fire as an assault rifle, and is more accurate than an assault rifle. Reducing the clip size merely means that the shooter will have to carry extra clips - which take only a few seconds to replace.

I listened to the speech by Obama where he said they would ensure that 'this never happens again" ; and he spoke about restricting assault rifles and making sure only the right type of people can get gun licences. In the Newtown shooting of course , the guns came from the shooters highly respectable mother - so obviously his solution wouldn't have any effect.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Reductor » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:21 am

Sambojjhanga wrote:I said how can any Buddhist ARGUE FOR....I never asked for you, or anyone else, to "turn in their meditation pillow"! I understand hyperbole and all, but let's be careful about arguing to what is actually being said and not create a strawman which is easier to tear down, OK?


Pardon the hyperbole, sir. It was unnecessary and a distraction from my point.

On your end, your original first sentence seemed more a rhetorical device than an honest question, Sambojjhanga. If it wasn't intended to cast aspersions on those Buddhists who argue in favour of gun ownership, then I apologize. However, think over the fact that this question of yours linked guns inextricably with the violation of the first precept, a foundational element of the path, and asked how "any Buddhist" could argue for the ownership of such a thing.

Regardless the intent of your question, I did answer it to the best of my ability. There was no attempt at a strawman, because such would be unnecessary.

To clarify my argument: the intent of the manufacturer and designers does not necessitate a specific kind of intent in the owner or operator.

If this were not the case, then no person could commit vehicular homicide, since GM, Ford, Toyota, etc. have not produced civilians vehicles with the intent that they be used for murder. Yet, people intentionally kill others with cars. The intentions of the manufacturer and designer are clearly seen to be independent from the intentions of these particular end users.

Ergo, while the gun may be produced with the specific intent that it be used for death, the end user is not necessitated to use it for death. Since they are not necessitated to use it for death, they are not necessitated to violate the first precept, and may be allowed to own a it.

Reductor wrote:There is nothing in a gun that mandates its owner to kill; not even a mouse need fear a gun toting person who lacks ill-will or intent to harm. Regardless what the manufacturer or inventor may have intended, as an owner I would not be obliged to share in that intent nor to act it out.


I disagree. A gun is still dangerous despite the owner's intentions. First of all, there are the all-too-prevalent accidents. We all know the countless stories of "great gun owners" who either shot themselves, or someone else, with the infamous "empty gun". You can certainly kill an animal or a human without holding any ill-will. All it takes is delusion. Also, guns can be stolen, lost, etc. Again, many people have been killed with other people's guns.



Note that I included the 'intent to harm' in my paragraph above and did not limit the violent gun owner's motivation to ill-will.

Also, many people have killed themselves and others through misadventure with cars, knives, alcohol, and climbing on the railing of their balcony. People have leaned ladders against unstable walls, caught the boom of their service truck on overhead power lines, and left household cleaners out where children have consumed them.

There are a myrid ways to die from improper or careless use of day to day items.

At best I'd concede that a stolen gun is a risk; but it is a risk that can be well guarded against in the majority of cases, much like an accidental discharge or a four car pile-up, so long as proper rules are mandated, and penalties doled out when those rules are broken.

'Accident' is also a poor argument against ownership, so far as I can see.


Reductor wrote:But perhaps it is hard to see how anything short of firearm bans can solve the homicide problems in the states, unless you consider places where there are many firearm present yet the gun crime is very low. Like Canada. In Canada only %3 of all violent crime is committed with a firearm, whereas the US sees %66 of homicides being committed with a firearm. When this low rate is considered in conjunction with the high rate of gun ownership in Canada, I'd incline to credit that much lower rate to our stringent gun control laws.


There are a number of reasons why Canada is different. First, as you state, Canada does have much more stringent gun laws than the US. Canada is also a much less violent society and finally, Canada has MUCH less population density.



We do have better gun laws. This was part of my point: good laws can neuter a potentially terrifying menace to society, in most cases. The US is lacking such good laws, although I sure wish it wasn't.

As to violence and population density, I'd argue that they do not correlate in all cases. Consider that Prince George, Canada, is a city of 71,000 people (density of 226.1 persons per km2), yet has been the most violent city in Canada for several years running. Whereas, Toronto is much larger and more densely populated (density of 4,149 persons per km2), yet ranks as one of the safest.

Lastly, I am not convinced that Canada is an inherently less violent society. I'd have to do some more googling and thinking before I'd affirm or deny your argument.

But as society as a whole, there is no way an overall gun ban would work, but it's very hard to justify, other than selfish narcisism, the reason anyone (outside of military and LE) would need a high capacity magazine. Your father can talk to you about the accuracy of groupings in controlled shots vs. double or triple taps, I'm quite sure. Unless you're planning on defending your house against an invasion (and many in the so-called liberty/prep movement believe this IS what will happen...right before Jesus Raptures them), you DO NOT need a 30 round mag to protect your home.


I agree about the high capacity mags. There is no reason for them that I can see.

However, the number of rounds in a magazine that might be considered appropriate is rather hard to pin down. Would five be too many, or too few? Once you leave the realm of Buddhist ethic, you are faced with the argument from hunters that a single loading firearm is nearly useless for them to exercise their hobby.

:shrug:

I think those Americans that actively desire a safer society need to study the controls implemented in other countries and give greater thought on how to entice those on the other side to accept at least some reform. Certainly a compromise can be implemented that leaves those on both sides of the issue appropriately disgruntled. :lol:
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 LonesomeYogurt » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:13 am

David N. Snyder wrote:The Buddha allowed kings (governments) to have armies to defend the kingdom and deter enemies. Obviously for monastics they are not allowed to possess weapons of any kind, but in the implied references, lay people are allowed to defend themselves.

He also said that the soldiers in those armies will go to Hell if they act to kill.

Self-defense is certainly acceptable so long as one does not intend to kill; it is hard, however, for me to think that those who own guns of any kind for protection are capable or even interested in making sure that one's actions do not result in the death of an aggressor.
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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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:40 am

daverupa wrote:
Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Killing or hurting for self defense is still killing or hurting. It appears that it is still negative kamma.

Sounds a bit Jain to me Alex.
According to the Buddha, kamma is intention.


I think the Vinaya specifically mentions two things - anger and intent to kill - when it says what must be absent in order for a monk to return blows without incurring a violation.

(Perhaps enlightened movie martial artists are an example of this ideal run amok.)

This would depend on the situation. doing it jokingly could still incure a violation although I am not sure, in some situations.
however the advise on self defence would not fall under this particular pacittia I am thinking of.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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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: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:57 am

Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote:And lets think, if one can kill someone without thinking about it, how "wholesome" is that?


This is the dhamma of the Niganthas


Doesn't the word "kill" inply intent?
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:59 am

Im not sure - Is anyone trying to use the teachings of the Buddha as justification for gun ownership?
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:14 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:"Here, student, some woman or man is a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell. If, on the dissolution of the body, after death, instead of his reappearing in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell, he comes to the human state, he is short-lived wherever he is reborn. This is the way that leads to short life, that is to say, to be a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings.
MN135

Any comments on the above?
The text is not talking about self defense.



Killing or hurting for self defense is still killing or hurting. It appears that it is still negative kamma.
So, you will just let the person kill you or kill others, even though you could stop it? Also, keep in mind the Buddha's definition of kamma.
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.

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:29 am

Mr Man wrote:
Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote:And lets think, if one can kill someone without thinking about it, how "wholesome" is that?


This is the dhamma of the Niganthas


Doesn't the word "kill" inply intent?

to a degree yes, but you do not have to have the intent to kill for a death to be kammically unwholesome. as an example, cutting corners with equiptment, unsafe use, or being careless could kill someone, yet killing is not the intention, so to say that has no kammic effect would both be correct and incorrect as the effect/end result does effect the outcome, yet it is the intention which matters most.
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: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:32 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:

Killing or hurting for self defense is still killing or hurting. It appears that it is still negative kamma.
So, you will just let the person kill you or kill others, even though you could stop it? Also, keep in mind the Buddhia's definition of kamma.


So you would intervene with potentialy lethal force? Why the hypothetical points?
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:35 am

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:

Killing or hurting for self defense is still killing or hurting. It appears that it is still negative kamma.
So, you will just let the person kill you or kill others, even though you could stop it? Also, keep in mind the Buddha's definition of kamma.


So you would intervene with potentialy lethal force? Why the hypothetical points?
One would intervene with the force nercessary to the situation.
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: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:46 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Doesn't the word "kill" inply intent?

to a degree yes, but you do not have to have the intent to kill for a death to be kammically unwholesome. as an example, cutting corners with equiptment, unsafe use, or being careless could kill someone, yet killing is not the intention, so to say that has no kammic effect would both be correct and incorrect as the effect/end result does effect the outcome, yet it is the intention which matters most.


Maybe from a doctrinal point of view you are correct Cittasanto (i'm not sure though). When people cause death through negligence there is still definite karmic consequence just possibly not the Karmic consequence of the intention to kill. Personally I don't look at karma in such a legalistic way (in terms of Vinaya/precepts it would be different). The karmic consequence could be devastating.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:50 am

Mr Man wrote: The karmic consequence could be devastating.
So, you would stand there and do nothing and die, or do nothing and let others die. Again, keep in mind the Buddha's definition of kamma.
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: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
So you would intervene with potentialy lethal force? Why the hypothetical points?
One would intervene with the force nercessary to the situation.


And would you prepare yourself in advance for this hypothetical situation? Would you "stand-your-ground"?
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:53 am

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
So you would intervene with potentialy lethal force? Why the hypothetical points?
One would intervene with the force nercessary to the situation.


And would you prepare yourself in advance for this hypothetical situation? Would you "stand-your-ground"?
Why should I answer your questions when you do not answer mine?
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: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:55 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote: The karmic consequence could be devastating.
So, you would stand there and do nothing and die, or do nothing and let others die. Again, keep in mind the Buddha's definition of kamma.


That comment was in relation to causing death through negligence.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:00 am

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
So you would intervene with potentialy lethal force? Why the hypothetical points?
One would intervene with the force nercessary to the situation.


And would you prepare yourself in advance for this hypothetical situation? Would you "stand-your-ground"?
Would you?
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: Newtown Shootings

Postby imagemarie » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:13 am

Think: Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart. Whatever beings there may be, weak or strong, without exception, long, large, middling, short, subtle, blatant, seen & unseen, near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart. Let no one deceive another or despise anyone anywhere, or through anger or irritation wish for another to suffer. As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings. With good will for the entire cosmos, cultivate a limitless heart: Above, below, & all around, unobstructed, without enmity or hate. Whether standing, walking, sitting, or lying down, as long as one is alert, one should be resolved on this mindfulness. This is called a sublime abiding here & now. Not taken with views, but virtuous & consummate in vision, having subdued desire for sensual pleasures, one never again will lie in the womb.

Think. But be prepared for the unknown and hypothetical "nutjob" who might attack and threaten that which is most dear to you.
Be prepared for ALL eventualities. Establish yourself with the means to put him away.For good if necessary. You have the right to bear arms. With a limitless heart.

:toilet: :(

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