Gun Control: The Big Picture
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Submitted by George Washington on 12/17/2012 12:36 -0500
Preface: I was raised to be against guns. My parents hated guns, and believed that they only lead to crime and to accidental shootings.
Raised in a blue state, I had the stereotype that militias were made of crazies … and so the “right to bear arms” as part of a “well-regulated militia” seemed like a nutty anachronism.
And I have long been deeply influenced by leading voices for non-violence, such as Gandhi and King. So – Until recently – I was pro gun-control. As such, I understand that gun control arguments very well.
Gandhi and the Dalai Lama Were AGAINST Gun ...view middle of the document...
I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.
In Between Cowardice And Violence, Gandhi wrote:
He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully …
[When violence] is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission.
A man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward.
Not knowing the stuff of which nonviolence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one’s life. As a teacher of nonviolence I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.
Self-defence … is the only honourable course where there is unreadiness for self-immolation.
As quoted in the Seattle Times, May 15, 2001, the Dalai Lama said:
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result. But at some other body part, such as a leg.
What the Founding Fathers Said About Guns
The Second Amendment had more to do with freedom than historical militias. Here’s what the Founding Fathers actually said about arms:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms, disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
– Thomas Jefferson, 1764
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.
– Thomas Jefferson
Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn’t.
– Ben Franklin
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.