Saturday, February 24, 2018

Someone asked my opinion

What do I think about gun control?

I'm against the NRA. When I taught current events, I read the paper a lot and I noticed about once a year a father shot his daughter when she jumped out of a closet to surprise him as a joke. I've always been for gun control. I posted a link on my FB page about how the second amendment was for slavery. There is clear evidence that stricter laws would lead to less gun violence, and banning this assault rifle would stop people being murdered by it. Sure they could use other guns and bump stocks, but it might not be quite as an efficient murdering of humans machine.

The parallel with car is talked about--cars kill many people but we accept the risk. It's just that cars are for transport and guns are for killing. I'd be OK with getting rid of cars and only having mass transit. I'd love to bike to work on roads that don't have cars, like you sometimes see in China. I spent my childhood biking to school. I actually think we should have car laws that make them smaller. There has been an arms race to make cars bigger and bigger for "safety". I think an unintended consequence is that we're using up fossil fuels faster and polluting the environment. Unintended consequences:

Thoughts and prayers does nothing, and the focus on "mentally ill" people not getting fire arms is offensive. So because I have depression I can't get a gun? If 2/3 people have a diagnosis in the lifetime, how mentally ill must a person be? What's the line? Again I think we run up against the fact that everyone has murderous rage inside them at one time or another and can act on it or not act on it. Most people don't act on it. There is no brain scan or chemistry test that can tell if someone will act on it.

Someone posted about a big knife attack in China saying getting rid of guns doesn't stop violence. Of course that person didn't kill as many people and was subdued quickly even if they inflicted damage in the meantime. That black presidential candidate said you've got to attack the gun shooter. Now he's in charge of housing in America and is trying to sabotage housing in America. And there was a guy with a gun there, and he did nothing. Now the whole country tries to shame him. Not everyone goes charging into a gun fight.

I've tried to read justifications on why we can't get rid of guns, and the articles are basically mumbo jumbo as far as I can tell. I can't even read discussions on FB because I get angry pretty quickly. In my mind we don't need guns. There was a joke that we need to reclassify schools as uterus and then the right would want to not kill anyone in them any more. There are so many contradictions and hypocrisy. When they point out the hypocrisy of cars, I just don't see it personally.

I know quite a lot of people who like their guns and believe strongly in the right to bear arms. I've seen a lot of people pick apart that so called right. In the end, I don't see people being persuaded one way or the other. Our president has sharpened the partisan divide, brought America apart.
People talk about Switzerland where they have a similar gun to people ratio and there isn't any problems. So what is the problem? I guess they don't need stricter gun laws.
They used to have people jumping off the empire state building, and then they put a net there. Of course you can jump onto the net and crawl to the edge, but it actually stops people from jumping. I believe you can do things to protect people. I don't think guns are necessary in our world any more. You can still have sporting clubs and whatnot, and still get the joy of gun shooting and whatnot. I've gone hunting, though I never got anything. It's not about getting rid of hunting culture. It's about killing less humans in a rage. Hunting culture actually helps with a respect for the violence. Hunting often has respect for the animals as well. Hunting with a bow is seen as superior because it's harder.
The liberals parallel the hoops you have to jump through to get an abortion or drive a car. I'm not a fan of government, I'm starting to lean right on this issue a little, or maybe understand it more. I wish we had less government more and more as I move through life. Not sure what homeland security does that other agencies don't do.

I remember when my uncle didn't renew his gun license for his guns. The sergeants came to the door and asked for them. My aunt said they were in the country and that they absolutely could not come in. But the guns were in the house. It kind of makes a mockery of licenses.
I think our modern society is sick. And we need to treat it as such. There is an array of solutions that would allow the gun nuts to keep their guns and just not let new people get them, and phase it out: Buy back programs; Australia took away the right to have gun. 

In England my ex-father in law had a gun, but he also had to have a gun safe bolted to the house, which was a good thing because his crazy son and daughter were the kind of people who would do such a thing (not my ex-wife or her older sister, but the 2 youngest were nuts). Seemed reasonable. But in the wild west of america we want our guns to be available for protection. 

I think we are less safe with guns and while I was brought up to shoot guns and have shot them many times, in many different situations, I don't really want gun around.
This whole thing makes me sick and I've felt helpless since I began reading articles about fathers shooting daughters in the 90's. I know friends on FB who love their gun collections, have a history in the military. I don't want to take away their guns. Just make it harder to get them moving forward. Let rodeo contestants ride their horse around shooting targets all they wants. Just evolve and phase it out. Which is what will happen but not soon enough for me. 

I resolved the issue in my head in the 90's. Loving children more than guns is what it will take. And the corruption of politicians taking NRA money needs to be exposed and they need to be voted out of office. I was sad to see that that guy that ran with Palin who some like, was on the take. We have to change the system. 

I'm in favor of teachers walking out, students walking out, any kind of protest. But I have little hope. I've been through this so many times. I don't have the patience. There's too many fuck faces who believe in the right. Even my supervisor in my first internship posts photos of his guns. He's a social worker in NYC, what's he need a gun for? A cop friend when he came over would put his gun up high so children couldn't get it when he came over. Come on. We can be mindful about guns and not stupid to keep them out of the hands that they don't belong.

I had a friend in high school who hammered a bullet and got shot in the wrist. You can say he was stupid or his parents were stupid for allowing him access. I think if it's harder to get to these things, then things like that don't happen. The world is evolving quickly and we're working on reducing fatal errors. Nobs on medical equipment are being standardized. Pilots and doctors have meetings where they can discuss their errors without fear of repercussions in an effort to cut down on mistakes. Safety is preached everywhere, OSHA and safety officers are everywhere. Somehow we have to go dumb on gun? They're that special to us now? I think it's a fiction that the NRA spreads that any creep will end up with outlawing them outright. I wish that were true. It's going to take longer to evolve there than my lifetime. Please, let us progress.

I'd get rid of them all together or heavily regulate. But the more realistic program is to gradually decrease their accessibility. It already works in the cities. We don't want people spraying bullets in heavily populated areas.

I go down the line. I'm against nuclear weapons, war, killing animals, and killing the ability of people to have babies with a safety net. It's not until we can treat all life as precious that we'll truly have justice on our planet.

So don't arm teachers, don't expect teachers to dive in front of children, don't expect teachers to charge a shooter, don't put more guns out there as a deterrent. Don't delude yourself into thinking we could get rid of guns all together, and don't treat the right to bear arms as something so sacrosanct, it's just another money making scheme that doesn't work if people are murdered;You just lost another customer.

The gun culture of America is not going away any time soon, and as atrocity after atrocity shows, we don't react with a clamp down on guns. I hope the youths for gun control speak out more and more, and the culture eventually fades away, when murder no longer becomes acceptable.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Bits and bobs.

I’m reading History of God, which has been very interesting. It’s kind of a comparative religion course by the great mind of Karen Armstrong. It’s includes Buddhism in it’s contemplation. I've been tempted to quote it many times. Some real fascinating stuff.

I can't get past the unmoved mover. This remote God doesn't get involved, it's hard to connect with it. When you take it into the trinity, there's a big question of whether Jesus was God or whether he was some sort of intermediary. My inclination is to think of Jesus saying he's the son of god, as saying we're all the son of god--which is not the doctrine.

The parallel between Theravada and Mahayana and Judaism and Christianity is interesting. Because the Jews were displaced so much, they had to get by without the temple. So they made everyone into a rabbi. In Theravada only the monks can go for it, but in Mahayana everyone can go for it, and doing good acts is quite good. There are many rules for the Jews, there are many rules for the monks. But there are broad principles in Christianity and the Mahayana.

I'm attracted to the do good Christianity, but as Karen Armstrong points out, it's a kind of minority of Christians who believe in that stuff. I still agree with the Buddha that getting all twisted up about God doesn't help one to move towards enlightenment. I still find the book interesting in terms of the history of religion. I need to know more about Christianity because it's used so much in literature and in America.

I've been thinking a lot about attention and control. It's hard to not control the breath when I'm paying attention to it. It take a fair amount of meditation to release the control and just watch. I parallel that to some parenting struggles.

A swell guy in the sangha passed away but he left us one of his play lists. I found it to be pretty good.

I got an interesting looking book called Find The Seeker that I'm slowly looking into.