should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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rowboat
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by rowboat » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:26 am

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:candle:

The weapons industry is an unsupportable evil. In the holy life there is no place for a gun.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

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Cittasanto
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:31 am

Ben wrote:
Cittasanto wrote: appart from collecting, the only reason to have one is if the military required supply of own weapons for service due to be done, and as that is not the case anywhere....
What about the healthy pursuits of target shooting and trap shooting??
kind regards,

Ben
Do these support or hold the possibility to support the continuation of consciousness or the development of consciousness that leads to unskilled states of mind?
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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tiltbillings
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:33 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Ben wrote:
Cittasanto wrote: appart from collecting, the only reason to have one is if the military required supply of own weapons for service due to be done, and as that is not the case anywhere....
What about the healthy pursuits of target shooting and trap shooting??
kind regards,

Ben
Do these support or hold the possibility to support the continuation of consciousness or the development of consciousness that leads to unskilled states of mind?
No more and no less than bowling.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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reflection
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by reflection » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:33 am

There is not really a "should" or "should not". It's up to you. And as said, it is all about the intention.

If you have it with the reason of possibly hurting someone, even if it is an intruder, the intention may be partly out of ill will towards that intruder. That wouldn't be a wise thing to do. A Buddha wouldn't act that way out of self defense.

And let alone all the troubles it may cause if the intruder himself also had a gun.


But again, you make the choice.
But I must say I feel lucky people in my country do not have that choice (generally).

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pilgrim
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by pilgrim » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:36 am

Hanzze wrote:
There is a saying: "Imagine there is war and nobody takes part"
That would be wonderful, in an ideal world. But the reality is that it is not. I can think of many, many reasons why Buddhists ( or any person for that matter) should not own a gun or any weapon, but in reply to the OP's question, I cannot give a blanket NO. If I live in a place where there is great social unrest, violent crime,in a country with civil war, genocidal regime, bands of roving marauders or such, I can understand why a person would wish to keep a weapon at home or carry one if he needs to venture out for food. Unless one fancies oneself to be enlightened and have no further craving for existence. :tongue:

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Cittasanto
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:No more and no less than bowling.
Well bowling can not be used used in the same way for violence as it can for recreation.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Ben
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by Ben » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:39 am

Hanzze wrote:
Ben wrote:
Cittasanto wrote: appart from collecting, the only reason to have one is if the military required supply of own weapons for service due to be done, and as that is not the case anywhere....
What about the healthy pursuits of target shooting and trap shooting??
kind regards,
Ben
What is healthy with it? Beginning from it's very roots, it's a playfully training for a propose and it's not for the sake of right concentration.

What does one feel if he hits the center? Victory? Pride?

There I need to think on another story with my brother about 10 years later. He joined shooting club of the police and was very successful (even state champion) and full into it. I was visiting him and he took me on the shooting range. I don't like guns, but well. Then he liked me to try it, never had a real weapon in my hand. Uhh, I had real respect. Then he wanted me to shoot at the target which was in the form of a human. I did not like to see or even imagine that, so I just focused on the center. Bang, bang, bang. I could not see what was the result and was not interested. I even did not ask and leave them alone. Later on I was wondering why my brother did act so strange toward me and did not speak. After a while I heard him talking with his friend: "He even does not know what a Glock is, comes here and excels my leading club standard."
I knew it was no good idea... so just a kind of final confirmation.
This is just the result of your own projection, Hanzze. Your attitude towards guns is shaped by your own aversion.
Its a healthy pursuit because it develops concentration and skill and is a technically challenging sport.
What one does one feel if he hits the centre? That is the realm of speculation.
As to your brother's dismissal of your lack of knowledge - people like that are everywhere and not limited to the shooting range.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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tiltbillings
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:39 am

reflection wrote:There is not really a "should" or "should not". It's up to you. And as said, it is all about the intention.
Which is pretty much the case, but there seem to be those who think that an inanimate object, be it a gun, an axe, a pointy stick by its very existence is evil.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Ben
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by Ben » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:44 am

Hi Cittasanto,
Cittasanto wrote:
Ben wrote:
Cittasanto wrote: appart from collecting, the only reason to have one is if the military required supply of own weapons for service due to be done, and as that is not the case anywhere....
What about the healthy pursuits of target shooting and trap shooting??
kind regards,

Ben
Do these support or hold the possibility to support the continuation of consciousness or the development of consciousness that leads to unskilled states of mind?
I think we need to take responsibility for our own state of mind. You could ask a similar question regarding driving a vehicle (a car can be used as a weapon), and developing knife skills as a chef.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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tiltbillings
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:48 am

Cittasanto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:No more and no less than bowling.
Well bowling can not be used used in the same way for violence as it can for recreation.
A bowling ball can be -- and has been -- used as a murder weapon.

But you have totally, completely and absolutely not answered the point put to you.

Ben: What about the healthy pursuits of target shooting and trap shooting??

Cittasanto: Do these support or hold the possibility to support the continuation of consciousness or the development of consciousness that leads to unskilled states of mind?

And I stated: No more and no less than bowling.

Your replied: Well bowling can not be used used in the same way for violence as it can for recreation.[/quote]A bowling ball can be -- and has been -- used as a murder weapon, which, of course, does not answer the point raised. Ben and I were not talking about violence. Not in the least. Keep the context in mind when responding to the msg.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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reflection
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by reflection » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:
reflection wrote:There is not really a "should" or "should not". It's up to you. And as said, it is all about the intention.
Which is pretty much the case, but there seem to be those who think that an inanimate object, be it a gun, an axe, a pointy stick by its very existence is evil.
Hi Tilt,

I think that is understandable because they are often made with the reason of hurting or threatening other beings. Also, it's a much smaller step from owning a gun to shooting / threatening someone than it is from not owning a gun. But you are right, in essence a gun is just a gun. A stiletto is just a stiletto. A landmine is just a landmine. In themselves they have no wrong or good intentions.

And as you pointed out, other things can just as well be used with the wrong intentions to hurt others. For example the best weapon: speech. Still nobody says Buddhists should not own speech. We say we should not have wrong speech. I think the same can be said about weapons. We should not partake in wrong (or unskilful) weapon ownage.

I hope this creates some food for thought for jason so he can make his own decision.

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pilgrim
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by pilgrim » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:58 am

tiltbillings wrote:
reflection wrote:There is not really a "should" or "should not". It's up to you. And as said, it is all about the intention.
Which is pretty much the case, but there seem to be those who think that an inanimate object, be it a gun, an axe, a pointy stick by its very existence is evil.
A gun is in a different category as it has a very definite purpose. Its design is to kill. Using it to shoot tin cans is way under its full potential. Its not something one should own without giving the idea considerable thought, as opposed to owning a pointy stick.

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manas
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by manas » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:59 am

Hanzze wrote: What is healthy with it? Beginning from it's very roots, it's a playfully training for a propose and it's not for the sake of right concentration.

What does one feel if he hits the center? Victory? Pride?

Hi hanzze

I can recall going pistol shooting, at a very professional firing range, with qualified instructors etc. I only went a few times as I cannot really afford it long term, but I must say, the satisfaction of hitting the target (which I hardly did) was that I had been able to listen to the instructions, and actually improve from when I first began. Pride was the last emotion on my mind, as pistols are very dangerous and all I could think of was to do everything properly and safely etc. What I found very interesting from our perspective here, was that I did better if I cleared out my thoughts, relaxed, and placed 'focussed, unified attention' when I was aiming at the target and pulling the trigger. It required quite a bit of calm, steady mindfulness & alertness to execute. That moment when releasing the trigger, reminded me of meditation. There was a kind of quiettude in that moment, even amidst all the loudness and gunpowder smoke.

kind regards,
manas.
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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Hanzze
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by Hanzze » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:59 am

pilgrim wrote:
Hanzze wrote:
There is a saying: "Imagine there is war and nobody takes part"
That would be wonderful, in an ideal world. But the reality is that it is not. I can think of many, many reasons why Buddhists ( or any person for that matter) should not own a gun or any weapon, but in reply to the OP's question, I cannot give a blanket NO. If I live in a place where there is great social unrest, violent crime,in a country with civil war, genocidal regime, bands of roving marauders or such, I can understand why a person would wish to keep a weapon at home or carry one if he needs to venture out for food. Unless one fancies oneself to be enlightened and have no further craving for existence. :tongue:
I live in a place of social unrest, violent crime, in a country with civil war, and a tendency of genocidal regime. To have no weapon is the way the only way to live a secure and peaceful live. I can not remember being on other places like that.

That remembers me on a story. While I was walking to the northern border into the war zone, we rested in the last provincial capitals monastery. After that, there would be 70 km just forest, soldier and road building people. The Abbot of this pagoda also responsible for the monastery in the middle of the front-line on the border called for us. He asked if we might have enough protection, weapons, telephone and so on. I could not believe what he asked, so I just asked back if a Monk would be allowed to carry such things. But there are tiger, soldiers, thief's... don't you think it would be better if you protect your self? I really didn't know what to say. I just thought that there is really less faith in what the Buddha had taught. The next weeks have been the most secure and peaceful part on our journey. While tanks would stay in pagodas for transport breaks and to repair them, the streets and the forest was mostly lonely accept of fear full people with weapons crossing by time by time.

To carry a weapon is most silly, especial if you are on such a place.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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tiltbillings
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Re: should a practicing buddhist own a gun?

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:11 am

pilgrim wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
reflection wrote:There is not really a "should" or "should not". It's up to you. And as said, it is all about the intention.
Which is pretty much the case, but there seem to be those who think that an inanimate object, be it a gun, an axe, a pointy stick by its very existence is evil.
A gun is in a different category as it has a very definite purpose. Its design is to kill.
Not necessarily.
Using it to shoot tin cans is way under its full potential. Its not something one should own without giving the idea considerable thought, as opposed to owning a pointy stick.
Shooting tin cans with a .22 with open sights at 75 yards is the full potential of my rifle. I am the one who determines what the full potential is, not you, not any one else.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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