As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Columbine School shootings and the Virginia Campus killing fields, and the current mass killings, I find it unbelievable that we are still arguing about an individual’s right to arm him/herself to the teeth just because the Constitution is vague enough to allow unending interpretation.
Over the years I have had two significant arguments (shall we say politely, discussions?) with other persons about the foolishness of thinking you “protect” yourself and your family by owning a gun. In both cases my discussion partner certainly had above average intelligence and in every other way seemed a “normal” and easy going individual. The first discussion came at the time of our last economic downturn in the 80’s. At that time the “smart” folks were buying gold and silver so that they would have a universally accepted medium of exchange when civil unrest destroyed the social and economic structure of the country. You may not remember the Hunt brothers’ efforts to corner the silver market, which sent the price sky high. The effort, which ultimately failed, left many people facing the rapid decline in the value of the silver they bought. For the record, I also bought some silver at the time. Last year, as prices began to increase toward the price I originally paid for it, I sold it along with some other silver coins and bought a computer.
The other discussion came a couple of years ago in the context of discussing hypothetically the possibility of food riots that might come about through scenarios such as climate change and global warming when whole segments of the world’s agricultural geography turned to deserts.
In both of these discussions my position was and still is, that under such conditions there would be no ultimate positive outcome because you owned a gun. Truly, living by the sword (gun) leads to dying by the sword (gun). Anarchy, rioting, mutual self-destruction would be the only possible outcome. There will always be someone with a bigger gun or more “friends” in his/her gang to outshoot you and take over your supplies.
What is my proposal for dealing with this stupid gun issue? I propose arming every man, woman and child with an AK-47. Maybe two or three for each of them. Then let’s all gather at our own OK Corral in Death Valley in multiple circles and shoot each other DEAD! The winner in each circle forms with other “winners” in yet more circles so they can all shoot each other. This continues until there is no one left. No, there won’t be any survivors! With that much gunfire everyone sooner or later will be wounded mortally. Hooray! Now the earth can return to its pristine beauty and peace (after a time of regeneration) without the interference from the species supposedly at the top of the food chain, the most intelligent and superior being—the human.
Maybe there is another way. I believe there is, of course. Unfortunately, I am losing my faith in humanity’s ability to follow the course of action necessary to prevent the chaos and destruction that would ultimately come from the over-arming of society. I even ask, “What society?” A society that depends upon gun ownership for survival has already failed to survive. Don’t even bother to put up the issue of hunting. It is a diversion from facing the utter lack of credibility that most gun owners display with that argument.
It is at this point my argument turns to the metaphysical arena. I believe in the eternality of life. For me there is no possible escape from living. There may be many times of change such as we witness in so-called death. I believe there has always been life. It didn’t start with some Creation Myth. Those stories serve only as our human attempt to explain how everything got started. For some reason it seems impossible for us to simply keep moving forward without having to explain how we got started. I believe we are engaged in an eternal learning experience and that we have multiple life opportunities in the process of becoming the ultimate expression the highest and best that is possible.
I believe we have consciousness capable of accomplishing anything, and doing so with love, acceptance of differences, support of sustainable living practices and with the ability to sing and dance together. My heart aches that I have not danced enough! My feet still stumble at the prospect of actually dancing, but I promise to seek to always dance in my mind and heart with anyone willing to share the experience with me.
It is incumbent upon each of us to find positive ways of thinking and living. We must begin to live trustworthy lives, express the highest integrity in our dealings with others, and stop the futile What’s in it for me? attitude that disengages us from cooperative efforts and separates us from others. It would be nice if simply thinking about being a better person would make it so, but it doesn’t work that way.
Stone by stone a wall is made,
And each stone must lie square.
Petal by petal a rose unfolds,
And each petal must be fair.
Little by little a faith is built,
And day by day it grows;
Stronger at last than the wall of stone
And lovelier than the rose.
-- Author Unknown
Perhaps, if we honestly make the effort, we can find the strength to live by faith instead of the gun.