– More bombing. More killing. More terror.
So many of us want to do something / anything in reaction to the horror of the Orlando killings. Some are calling to institute a ban on “Muslim” immigration. Others for outright attack upon other nations, their people or spiritual beliefs. There are 2 ministers quoted as saying the LGBT community got what it deserved. That’s the one that got me. So, yeah, now I’m blaming as well. Anyway you turn there is another convenient object of aggression. Its an age-worn ruse to blame an “other” in order to rouse our own confidence. But that confidence is no confidence at all. It is cheap and lazy ego pacification. We feel uncomfortable, because we are frightened. But, its easier to rush to anger than feel fear. Its a way of not staying with the discomfort long enough to learn what should be done.
People are concerned about their safety. And, while there are certainly threats abroad, we are vulnerable at home due to the proliferation of weaponry in our own closets. Most domestic acts of terror in our schools, homes, churches and clinics have been committed by American citizens, each fighting their own subjective wars. The LGBT community has been the target of much domestic aggression. In this most recent instance, by a troubled young man, born and living in America, who had frequented the club as a customer. He was described as suffering from mental illness, but somehow was able to buy 2 assault rifles as well as hand guns. He was influenced and inspired by radical Islamic Jihadism, yes. But, he lived here. He armed himself – legally – here. So, why not look to ourselves here? What culture has the kind of SELF-INFLICTED rampant violence now common to the home of the brave? If we are so brave why do we cow to the Gun lobby, the NRA and other agents of self interest? Why not be brave enough to clean our own home first? BAN ASSAULT RIFLES. Loosen the gun lobby’s political hegemony. Reassess the 2nd amendment in order to reaffirm its original intent: to protect – not destroy – the populace.
It was well into the 19th century, when the USA became one of the last countries of the first world to abolish slavery. While this was partly due to ingrained racism against these newly forced migrants, it had more to do with economic – and hence political – necessity. It took censure and sanctions from world leaders, and finally military strength from its own government, to pry America lose from reliance on slavery.
And, Americans killed Americans then. And, when the dust settled, the world had not conquered us. We had not succumbed to adventitious aggression from abroad. We actually became stronger, as we loosened our reliance on unfair, unethical and vicious economic practices and moved into accordance with civilized views.
Presently, we are held hostage by the economic strength and powerful political lobbies of the gun industry and its political allies. We are afraid to rock a boat that is nonetheless becoming obsolete. From the inception of our nation, elected officials have inspired the populace with great vision, while having to navigate power brokers that influenced currents below. This is no conspiracy theory. Its part of the power dynamic that has made this country very strong. But, it is the nature of power to protect itself. At some point, people being protected are in danger of that which protects them. The entrenched influence of the nation’s pillar institutions, while not generally the theme of political speeches, cannot be discounted. We can ignore this power, as we debate “issues”, we can work around the power, or we can try and expose the power, and weaken it. But in the end, we will always render unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s. We will pay for allegiances to past beliefs with our own health and our children’s future.
Until things change. As they always do.
As in the time of slavery, the sadly drudging movement of change has pitted us against the moral development of the modern world. Few, if any, of the 1st -or even 2nd – world nations live in the amount of fear from their own citizens as we do, in the land of the free. As a populace, we are so strangely ensconced within ourselves, that we do not see the incredulity with which most of the world has to the murders, violence and self-destruction within our society.
Practitioners of Buddhism, meditation or pacifism are accused of taking an unrealistically “peaceful” approach. But, peace is not unrealistic. Violence is unrealistic and unsustainable. Violence keeps things locked in tight circles of self-affliction. Love and release bring us closer to the truth. So, I don’t want to demonize the gun lobby, or create another enemy. There are many fine people who oppose gun restrictions for various reasons. What is essential, is that Americans begin to see the world as other’s see it. I hope for my clan is that we don’t buy in to the easy answers and find strength in hatred but, that we open our minds to working with what is.
But, to be honest, we cannot expect the nation to follow dictates which we ourselves ignore. Where are we creating wars simply because we don’t see a way to peace? Where have we become hostages to our own defenses? Where have we silently acquiesced to the succession of aggression handed down from mother to son to father to daughter? Where are afraid to stand up and actually see the situations that bind us, and in an inviolable act of love, release ourselves from that suffering? We do this by seeing. By standing up and seeing that perhaps we have become our own enemy.
Maybe its not what our country is doing to us, but what we have done to our country. And, without shame, or further aggression, maybe we can ask what can we change in ourselves to create peace in our world. Maybe our rights are less important than our safety, and the respect of our society. Maybe rather than bear arms we can promote our right to bare arms. To live freely in a feee society without guns, weaponry or defensive posture. Perhaps our bare arms can hold each other in the strength of love. Standing naked in truth, rather than draped in an ideology that lies on the surface of, and ultimately in the service of, big money and political influence.