Reduce Gun Violence

Reduce Gun Violence

I used to be an NRA member and an avid hunter. I gave up my membership in the 1970’s when the NRA started becoming fundamentalist and radical in their support of 2nd Amendment Rights.

I gave up hunting when hunting became a “throw as much lead” as you can at the animal “sport?” I found a lot of dead and wounded animals; because I spend a lot of time outdoors. I was always a “one-shot” clean-shot hunter.

Allowing semi-automatic and even automatic weapons in the hands of private citizens has never seemed right to me. A private citizen can now legally “out-gun” the first responders at a mass shooting.

Colin Powell:  “I see no need for Bushmasters in the hands of an individual person who might be deranged,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “You want to fire a Bushmaster, go out to a range and fire a Bushmaster.  But whether or not it’s in our overall interest to have these kinds of weapons in the hands of Americans who might not be responsible is a question we have to answer.  How much are we really giving up if we said that this kind of weapon should not be readily available to anybody who wants to buy one?”

I am also of the opinion that fundamentalist and radical beliefs have no place in a representative government. Lobbyists can be as fundamentalist and radical as they want; but elected officials need to set aside fundamentalist, radical, and polarizing beliefs to represent their constituents equally.

Here is the whole blog post; this is my blog and I invite you there:

Excerpts –

Fundamentalism, the radicalization and polarization of America

I am a voter registered as an Independent.

I grew up in a Fundamental Evangelical Protestant Faith and can no longer accept the contention that I am right and someone else is wrong because of a difference of opinion.

Since I am not privy to Absolute Truth, every belief that I hold is just an opinion and I accept the same premise for everyone else.

Different opinions….

There have always been, and will always be, opinions which appear to some as right, while the same opinions appear to others as wrong. That is human nature. We must accept that simple fact or be forever condemned to cycles of war.

The mystic Joseph Campbell said:     “everything that you do is evil for somebody”.

In every country, in every religion, we find those who view an opinion as right, while others find that same opinion to be wrong.  Within every country and within every religion there is great diversity of opinion. Throughout history we have had war, conflict and violence in the name of nationalism and in the name of religion, each side ready to fight to the death for their opinion.

We are all different…each and every one of us. We have always been different, we will always be different. We must learn to accept our differences with patience, tolerance, understanding and love or else we will be in continuing strife forever.

Our diversity must be accepted, not denied or attacked. There can never be peace without acceptance of “what is”. All war, all battle, all human conflict is our refusal to accept the way things actually are.

The diversity of mankind will never be overcome by national governments or by religious leaders. Our diversity is the very reason that we exist. We exist to be individuals, we exist to be different. We must accept this simple fact if we want to find the heart of peace. We must simply accept “what is”.

Yet within the tapestry of all of this diversity, with all of our individual opinions, and with all of our individual needs, there is a common center that we all share, regardless of nationality, or race or religion… and that is the center of love.

For those who see through the eyes of love, there is only love, nothing else really matters. Let us move past all the pointing out of differences through tolerance, understanding, patience and love. Nothing else will ever bring peace.

Mankind has tried to overcome his diversity with war, violence, hatred and persecution for thousands of years and yet he never seems to learn the lesson…it has all been a complete failure.

When people don’t like someone else’s opinion, the general reaction is to try to get the other person to change. But that is not the call to action which Life gives to us. The call to action is not about changing the world outside of us, but changing the world within us.

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.  Albert Einstein

We need a new way of thinking!