Friday, December 21, 2012

Love Is the Answer



The NRA held a press conference this morning in response to the Sandy Hook Massacre.  You can read the full transcript here.

My view about the Second Amendment is complex.  I am, after all, the person who named her blog This Ambiguous Life.  I support the rights of my fellow Americans to bear arms if they choose to do so even though I personally hate guns.  Our founding fathers intended for citizens to be able to form militias to violently defend themselves from a corrupt and tyrannical government if they needed to.  Therefore it's a direct conflict of interest for the government to ban the sale of weapons to individual citizens.



I still hate guns.  I'm a child of  the dawning of The Age of Aquarius, born in 1970, after Dr. King showed our country we can use nonviolent resistance to oppose our government, just as Gandhi did before him, just as Jesus did before Gandhi.  I know, I know.  They all got murdered.  I never said the life of a peace activist is easy.

Still, their sacrafice was not in vain.  When good people die it opens our eyes.  Remember, infants were slaughtered right before Jesus was born.  Maybe we'll open our eyes anew after losing the good people of Sandy Hook?  I hope their death helps propel a new way of thinking about the slaughter of innocents.  Even the innocents of our so-called enemies.  Children who are treated like dogs.  Like foreign dogs.  American dogs lie around on the couch all day licking peanut butter kongs.  American dogs are treated better than the children across the world we kill with drone attacks.

When I oppose my government murdering innocents, instead of raising arms, I sign petitions like this one.  It's not in my nature to shoot my way out of an argument.  In this day and age, the keyboard is mightier than the assault riffle.



I understand the concept of self-defense, and if my good brothers and sisters feel the need to defend their beliefs with weapons, to fight firepower with firepower, that's their right as American citizens, although I will continue my work to spread the Good News of love and nonviolent resistance because I believe it's the only way we can ultimately end human suffering.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the big three peace prophets:

Prior to reading Gandhi, I had about concluded that the ethics of Jesus were only effective in individual relationships. The "turn the other cheek" philosophy and the "love your enemies" philosophy were only valid, I felt, when individuals were in conflict with other individuals; when racial groups and nations were in conflict, a more realistic approach seemed necessary. But after reading Gandhi, I saw how utterly mistaken I was.  Gandhi was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale. Love for Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation. It was in this Gandhian emphasis on love and nonviolence that I discovered the method for social reform that I had been seeking. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Letter from a Birmingham Jail)

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. - Mahatma Gandhi 

There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for. - Mahatma Gandhi

But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." - Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 5:39 NIV) 

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 22:34-40 NIV)

Love God.  Love people.  It seems so simple.  So why doesn't it stick?  Why have people, upon hearing this Good News, not heeded such good advice?  It is my life's calling to seek answers to that question.

I do not think more guns is the answer to our violent world.  In the NRA's statement this morning, Wayne LaPierre made these statements:

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

and

For the sake of the safety of every child in America, I call on every parent, every teacher, every school administrator and every law enforcement officer in this country to join us in the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that's tested and proven to work.

I do not agree.  For one thing, the shooter's mother was his first victim.  She had an arsenal of weapons in her home.  A lot of good they did to protect her from violence.

More guns is not the answer to violence in our society.  Love is.  And if, like most sane human beings on this planet right now, you question how love has had anything to do with the atrocities of the Sandy Hook Massacre, I say, look here, here, here, here, and here.  Keep on looking for love.  We must not let violence turn us blind to it.