Listen to this post:
Ok, so I admit to being a bleeding heart. And, yes, my philosophy is even left of liberal. But I am also open to all views and love to learn. With that, I embarked on reading a rather long blog written by an interesting novelist who owned a gun store, is a firearms’ instructor, a competitive shooter and has written extensively and testified on the subject. No lack of ego in citing his credentials or plugging his book sales on Amazon. But, frankly, I read it because two people I respect re-posted the blog.
After cycling through the 10,000 words three times, I now understand the author's two main points:
– When dealing with mass shooters, an immediate, violent response is necessary;
(HALT AND RETALIATE, my spin.)
– The U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment, legalizing the possession and use arms for self defense, has created an American gun culture that will use its arms to defend this right.
(SELF DEFENSE AT ANY COST, again, my interpretation).
As a result, the author asserts, gun-free zones and stricter gun control won't work with bad people who do bad things. More guns mean less crime. Mass shooters are smart and motivated by media coverage. More-average criminals just don't care about being law-abiding.
Of course, I don't want more mass shootings or anyone to suffer, but are more guns, possibly less controls, the answer? And concealed guns in schools? The author suggests that persons in every school should be voluntarily trained and carry concealed guns ... rifles are just too bulky and inconvenient, though more accurate. But, then, that's why magazines, which the author says anyone can learn to load after a few sessions in the mirror, are so necessary.
I feel as if I have awoken in a very scary dream. If this, truly, is the real world, then I want no part of it. Different language and culture, millenia between, but this sounds like Old-Testament times: an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth. A gun for a gun and more guns are better.
I have discovered that my model for living is Jesus. It's taken me quite awhile to acknowledge. I believe God's point in sending Jesus was to prove that love, nothing else, is the answer to living as we are meant. For goodness sake, God sacrificed her own son. There's no reconciliation between this and guns in my heart.
This blog, however, continues to haunt me as I discern, try to read behind the lines and get a sense of another human's perspective that, apparently, belongs to many. It breaks my heart and jolts my worldview. Admittedly, so do mass shootings.
I do agree with the author that an immediate, violent response is what will stop individual mass shooters. That would solve the individual situation, possibly spare others, but, likely, kill the perpetrator. Death for death.
Perhaps I have spent too many years practicing yoga, enjoying loving-kindness meditations, carving out more room in my heart for those hurting, immersing myself in one of the historical peace churches and deeply taking in my inner teacher's messages, including love your enemy, to know any other way.
When adults, including the local police, in the community Artsy Fartsy serves told us to stay away from the long-term, trouble- making family, we didn't listen. Their youngest wants to be part of this and has been a gem, shining here. In fact, girls who held onto historic patterns in their community have learned that, when you get to know someone beyond the surface, we are alike. Patterns are re-forming and new friendships are emerging within these walls. Not because we shunned the "predator" family.
This is such a small act, though guided by Spirit, and I don't know how it relates to solving larger, societal questions. While I grew weary of the pop-WWJD craze, I really do wonder how Jesus would handle this. I think he'd take a deeper look at society and see where we are failing and demand we fix it. First, however, he'd probably walk up to the shooter, unarmed, taking his chances and look him in the eye, witnessing his wholeness and goodness, not just the evil he projects. After all, the shooter is as much a child of God as his victims. We may not like this, but it is the truth ... at least as far as I have discerned.
Fear is the root of gun culture. Fear of losing possessions, loved ones and life. Guns, apparently, empower the fearful. Besides, it’s a constitutional right.
My heart is not legislated by human law, but by Spirit’s. Life is about constantly dying; none of it is easy. Dying from our ego and into Divine union. I do not fear death; to me it’s the ultimate surrender. Of course, I don’t wish to die violently, at the hands of a shooter, but my prayer would be that I could look that person in the eye and see that of God in them.
Maybe if that had happened once, the shooter would not even have a gun.
• How does my conscience respond to the idea of guns as self defence?
• How does my heart respond?
• Could I ever love my enemy?
• What role does Jesus play in my life?
• What is Spirit’s role?
by the violence,
any of it:
shooter of the shooter
my own anger
finding a peaceful
respite in only
within my heart
me to the
we all have