Jun 13, 1997 04:43 AM
by Bart Lidofsky
> >The more people have weapons, the more weapons will be used by people,
> >usually against other people. Not very "theosophical" IMO.
> I agree with you on this issue, Alan.
But do you?
> Nonetheless, it often seems like the only sure protection is a gun. People
> are tortured and murdered every day crying out for protection from God,
> their Mothers, their Fathers, their countries. Guns, though, don't abandon
> us in our hour of need. We only have to reach for them and what is
> threatening us often backs down.
And hence, the balance is that minimal harm is done to both you and
your would-be assailant. Remember, you are part of humanity. If you
allow yourself to be hurt by the assailant when you could have effected
a standoff, you are hurting humanity in the process.
Of course, it gets even more complicated when we bring society into the
picture. In a society where both criminal and potential victim are
armed, where it is the misuse of guns that is punished rather than mere
possession (unless one has already demonstrated incapability of proper
use of guns, the only proper use being to dissuade another from using
one), the criminal, in general, motivated by Ego, and therefore strongly
attached to this life, will tend to go unarmed. This is due to the fact
that if a potential victim SHOOTS a gun against an unarmed criminal
willing to abandon the crime at the mere appearance of the gun, then the
would-be victim becomes a criminal, something the would-be victim
generally wishes less than letting the criminal get away (of course,
this thinking occurs in words of one syllable or less...).
In a society where neither criminal nor would-be victim is armed, once
again the criminal is risking bodily injury when committing a direct
crime, or severe consequences should s/he be caught after using a weapon
in a crime.
The problem occurs when the possesion of the weapon is criminalized,
but the misuse of the weapon, especially if the weapon is used solely as
a threat, does not change the situation much. And that is the case in
the United States where there are strong so-called "gun control" laws.
For the criminal, the gun is just one more crime on a stack of many; for
the would-be victim, it is a crime where none would otherwise exist. The
risk for a criminal having a gun is low, but, since s/he has a
population of unarmed would-be victims, the rewards for carrying a gun
are high (once again, the thinking occurs in words of one syllable or
less). Hence, flawed gun control is WORSE for humanity than no gun
control at all, and therefore untheosophical (although I would agree
with Dr. Bain that effective gun control is superior to none).
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