A Teen Who Regularly Uses Guns

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
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TamHanhHi
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A Teen Who Regularly Uses Guns

Post by TamHanhHi » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:49 pm

I came across this opinion piece in the NY Times, titled "Why I Didn't Join My School's Walkout."
Dakota Hatchet wrote:I own firearms not only because I think they are cool, but also because they are considered a tool in my family. I have been brought up around guns all my life. Yes, I have used AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, and old Civil War rifles, too. I live on a farm where I hunt wild game and butcher animals humanely. Some kids at my school don’t understand why I hunt; they think that it is cruel and that raising beef cattle and chickens is bad. Sometimes I get the feeling these kids are afraid of me because I own firearms.
I respect the courage it must have taken to write this opinion and to share it widely (and kudos to the NY Times for publishing it), but I feel so sad to see someone who thinks hunting and "butchering" animals is cool. I've seen people say how the five precepts are "outdated" and that everyone basically follows them, but every day I'm reminded how far from the truth that actually is.
"Just as a large banyan tree, on level ground where four roads meet, is a haven for the birds all around, even so a lay person of conviction is a haven for many people: monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers."AN 5.38 :candle: | Blog at http://dhammareflections.wordpress.com

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manas
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: A Teen Who Regularly Uses Guns

Post by manas » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:31 pm

TamHanhHi wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:49 pm
I came across this opinion piece in the NY Times, titled "Why I Didn't Join My School's Walkout."
Dakota Hatchet wrote:I own firearms not only because I think they are cool, but also because they are considered a tool in my family. I have been brought up around guns all my life. Yes, I have used AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, and old Civil War rifles, too. I live on a farm where I hunt wild game and butcher animals humanely. Some kids at my school don’t understand why I hunt; they think that it is cruel and that raising beef cattle and chickens is bad. Sometimes I get the feeling these kids are afraid of me because I own firearms.
I respect the courage it must have taken to write this opinion and to share it widely (and kudos to the NY Times for publishing it), but I feel so sad to see someone who thinks hunting and "butchering" animals is cool. I've seen people say how the five precepts are "outdated" and that everyone basically follows them, but every day I'm reminded how far from the truth that actually is.
It is indeed cruel to hunt and butcher animals, but if done expertly, it can be less cruel than when farmed animals are sent to the slaugtherhouse, terrified and being able to smell the fear and horror of what has happened there, as they await their turn. As someone who is chronically underweight and has low muscle mass, I find some meat in my diet to be of benefit to my health, thus it would be hypocritical for me to criticize hunters who kill and prepare their meat by themselves, because I avoid that unpleasant task, since I have others to do it for me. I think strict vegetarians might have the right to be critical of him, but not any of us who eat meat.

NB: Monks and nuns are, of course, exempt from any such culpability, since they are not permitted to ask for meat to be given to them, and must simply accept whatever they are given.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: A Teen Who Regularly Uses Guns

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:30 pm

I went to visit my local rifle range a few weeks ago, just to have a look. It's quite small, only 100m long, and there were about 20 people there target shooting. Mostly with .22 semiautomatic rifles, although there was one guy with a .308 (LOUD!) and one with an AR15.
We chatted about guns and life, and they were really nice people, like you'd meet anywhere, at the knitting club, or at the ballroom-dancing society, etc.
These are not the people who are going to try to murder everyone in their schools or workplaces.
It's always the tiny minority who spoils it for everyone else, eh.
Anyway, I just thought that was interesting.

dharmacorps
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Re: A Teen Who Regularly Uses Guns

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:17 am

The problem has never been about there being responsible gun owners. There are many, and there is a good tradition of responsible gun ownership in many places. Only the most deluded of anti-gun activists would not acknowledge that I don't think. Living in some environments gun ownership is rational, and in some situations like subsistence hunters, or poorer rural populations, even logical financially and resource-wise. Obviously I am a Buddhist so I don't condone killing anyone or anything, but if someone else chooses to, that's something that is their business.

But the problem is its in the end a weapon used to kill animals and people. There are many irresponsible shovel owners for example. But the damage to people and society resulting from that irresponsibility is not a significant one. The shovel might rust and fall apart quickly. Once in a blue moon someone might hit someone with a shovel I suppose, but that's not a big problem. Responsible shovel owners can show limited benefit to society, and limited downside to society. Responsible gun owners can show modest "benefits" (still questionable ones), and massive downsides.

Other things with similar distribution of benefit/drawbacks include drugs, driving vehicles, etc. All of which are presently, to varying degrees, heavily regulated.

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