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those who live by the sword

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

Over at FB, my friend Ash shared this picture:

… along with this description:

If you will give up liberty for temporary “safety”, you deserve NEITHER. Executive director of Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt Special Guest today. If your friends are spouting off ignorant rants about banning guns, this is the show you will NOT want to miss.

I saw the picture before I saw the description (which, out of fairness to Ash, was part of the forward, not something he wrote himself). I agreed with pretty much all of it, except for the pro-gun rights slant put on it by the commentary. In fact, until I read that text, my first thought was that this had to be a pro-regulation meme, because it got at the idea quite nicely that safety was not the only aspect of this issue. I had to laugh at how differently two people can take the same words.

I do owe Ash a debt of gratitude, because this meme got me thinking about a topic I’ve been trying to blog about for the last week or so, pretty much since I moved from my initial grief over the Connecticut shooting to wanting to add something constructive to the conversations happening around it. I’ve mentioned several times here that I’m a pacifist, so it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that I’m pretty sensitive toward violence. And I am. I didn’t want to use a tragedy to convince people they should be pacifists, of course, but I do think that now is a good time to think about guns and why we Americans seem so in love with ours.

Read the rest of this entry »


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
I agree with a lot of the points you make.

I find myself less patient with the NRA than you are--I consider that they showed remarkable tastelessness and disregard for grieving people as well as being incredibly impractical, in their eventual response to the shootings in Connecticut. I felt it was a callous disregard of a teachable moment to take the opportunity to push their own agenda. They waited a day or two to formulate their response, and then tried to push a "solution" that is no solution at all.

I've been looking at other countries who have faced this issue. The ones I find particularly interesting are those of the UK, Australia and Switzerland.
I think perhaps the Swiss model might best answer the "well-regulated milita" clause in the Constitution.
Dec. 27th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading this long post, Dreamflower. I'm glad you agreed with a lot of it.

I probably don't go as hard against the NRA as I should in public simply because it doesn't seem worth the effort. In large degree I think the hard-core NRA-ers to be beyond convincing. I'd rather devote my energies toward talking to people who want to own guns but don't see it as some kind of inviolate right so any discussion just never gets started. So I'm more likely to not take them to task and talk to the many people who see a value in owning a gun but are open to compromise, you know?

One thing I want to fight again is this tendency you sometimes see on the Left, to talk about all gun owners as if they are criminals - as if there's no such thing as a legitimate, responsible gun owner. I believe some of them do exist, and I also think that this kind of talk is insulting to them which makes it harder to work together. I think that's part of why I try to be careful in how far I go condemning all gun ownership. But the NRA? I don't think they represent the kind of responsible gun ownership I'm talking about these days.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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