Ahhh, Facebook… It is a lovely thing. It brings us all together – across our communities, our states, our countries, OUR WHOLE WORLD!! For a moment or two, it really seems like we are all one – that the differences between us are really illusions of our separateness, and that LOVE is at the core of each and every living being…
But then someone posts something about the 2nd Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. And then it sets in that some of us are still living in a cloud of fear. Fear that started way before the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution more than 200 years ago. Fear, which in my mind, is a complete contradiction of Love.
Today a friend – a yogi friend, I might add (ironically) – posted his stance on gun control, the 2nd Amendment, and their relevance in our modern day world. He believes in the right to “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” He believes that the root of the problem is in how people perceive guns and their “use” and the rights bestowed by this amendment. He also pointed out the irony of the US government that relies on the “use” of guns in its military missions and assistance to foreign nations. I will not begrudge his point of view of the paradox of a nation that argues for the support of weapon use in foreign lands, and then says that weapon use should be limited on our country land. However, in the end the incongruity does not matter. When you get down to it, it comes to this: are you living from love or are you living from fear? Below is my response to my 2nd Amendment-supporter friend’s Facebook post:
“Guns were created for one thing and that is destruction. I’m for all beings – and I mean ALL of them – being happy and free everywhere. Guns impede this intention. Surely gun owners have their right to own a gun. But think about what the intention of owning a gun is based on … Fear. Fear of intruders, fear of not having enough resources, fear of over population, fear of the ‘bad guys’, fear of having your rights taken away. Fear is opposite of freedom and carries with it the judgment of what is right and what is wrong. I’m for intentions, actions, and rights that preserve love, happiness , and freedom FOR ALL BEINGS EVERYWHERE. From my perspective guns impede those aims. But I do agree we must call on each other to evaluate our perceptions, our biases, and our prejudices. We must examine whether those thoughts that we cling to really support love and peace for all beings or whether they foster fear and chaos.
And I respect the difference we share in our views. I am curious about what the use of this tool is. The 2nd amendment was created out of fear at a time of great distrust after enduring the destruction of the revolutionary war. The second amendment was based on a long history of English men – full of fear- and needing to protect their property (which at the time included women and children and animals) and themselves from external enemies. This continued when they colonized America – and was carried on namely for ‘protection’ from the native Americans – who they basically stole the land from. Thus the 2nd amendment is based on a contextual situation that happened over 200 years ago. But times have changed and it is every beings’ responsibility to become aware of themselves and their impact on everyone everywhere. We are all connected as evidenced by a tangible representation of that connection – Facebook. It’s time to take personal responsibility of preserving the livelihood of all beings everywhere. We live in a globalized world – where intellect is rewarded and esteemed. It seems that there are more similarities between the beings of this world than there are differences. And yet we’re still so scared of each other. Constantly judging and comparing and competing. With all our intellect we’re afraid to admit that we are the ones that recapitulate the fear. And so we carry guns to make us feel better. It’s an illusion.”
It IS an illusion. Instead of propagating judgment, trepidation, anxiety, nervousness, terror and horror, we could all become aware of what we cling to and make a decision to set it free. Why do we cling to this need to protect ourselves, our families, our property, our rights? A simple answer is that we are completely scared! We tell ourselves a million story lines embedded with comparisons, rivalries, and discriminations. It’s time to question those stories – some of which have been handed down from ancestors, some we created on our own – and to trade them for a tale that is inclusive and considers the well-being of all living things and helps us to open our hearts to the infinite possibilities of freedom.
There’s a really good website out there called “The Revolutionary War and Beyond” that gives a nice rundown of the history leading up to the Bill of Rights and events following its inception. I liked it because it seemed to provide perspectives from different camps on the issue of interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. If you want to check it out, follow this link: http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/2nd-amendment.html
Maybe you have something to add to this discussion… I think conversation about these issues is the only way “battle” the differences we have – well, maybe music, art, yoga, and meditation help too. 🙂 My perspective is this: Every action, thought, emotion, in the name of love!
U2, “In the Name of Love”