@ 12:35 pm (GMT)
Steph FosterAlthough this is a thread that started specifically because of the Christchurch tragedy I think that it is inevitable that conversations turn to the question of how to prevent this from happening again and of course how this should never have happened in the first place.
Mark and John, you both believe that you have very different beliefs and political leanings. So what? They are just clothes that you wear on any given day. From where I am sitting, looking at you both from the outside I see you as both the same. You are both saddened, angered and hurt that this has happened to those poor people and in fact our whole country. You both wish for all our sakes that it never happened and you both wish that you had the power to stop it from ever happening again. You are both kind, compassionate men who give a shit about others. See, you are the same people with the same fundamental common ground as are all of us once you strip away the clothes that we wear.
The reality is we must work with REALITY. It is no good talking about how the world SHOULD be. This is the how we end up in contention with each other. I find it interesting how much talk there is about embracing diversity but what we really want is to impose our ideals on to other and make them live our vision. Diversity in general terms is lovely but in your face differences are insulting.
So, this is my opinion on how I believe we need to go forward. Just my opinion, based on my interpretation of the information presented to my brain through my senses, colored by the filters of my parental influence, cultural beliefs, relationship status, spiritual ideals, work history, education and the integral part of me that is ME. My opinion is utterly unique to me and I have no need for anybody else to agree with me or even comment. At the risk of sounding blunt I dont need another person to validate me by agreeing or even disagreeing with me.
For a start I believe that if (note if) the only way to save the world and save mankind is to make everyone conform to the same ideas and beliefs then we are already doomed. Embrace diversity or enforce sameness which is it?
Regarding gun control, the reality is, what we actually want to control is the crazy. The thing with crazy is that it is by definition not mentally sound: marked by thought or action that lacks reason. Crazy is always unpredictable and uncontrollable therefore we hope that since we cant control the crazy maybe we can control the environment where crazy flourishes. The problem is crazy by its very nature is forged and flourishes in controlled environments. The more rigid and controlled an environment becomes, the crazier subtle irregularities begin to seem. The parents of little boys that want to play cops and robbers in a gun free country are looked at askance because their child is expressing aberrant behaviour maybe crazy behaviour. What is the solution? Closer scrutiny, find the root cause, tighter control nip the crazy in the bud necessary loss of privacy and individual expression for the good of the country. A rather extreme scenario but lets be honest its one we all fear.
In my opinion the question of gun control in the US is a moot point. The old saying shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped applies here. Except, not only has the horse escaped it has been running in the hills, has had several foals and is now dead of natural causes.
Why does it always have to come back to control, control, control? How many years, decades, CENTURIES, lives, freedoms have to be wasted before someone says hey trying to control others isnt really working for us?
Why - when all of our spiritual, ethical and moral teachings tells us that giving is the key to happiness do we think that the way forward is to take away from others?
Acceptance, kindness, education.
Acceptance of others life choices means being OK with the self expression of others regardless of whether those choices go against everything you believe for yourself. Be kind to those who are living lives that you see as destructive and mean or negligent or whatever. If you can be accepting and kind to others you allow them the space to feel safe and people who feel safe are open to new ideas. Acceptance means understanding that another persons version of reality is different to yours and you're ok with that.
I believe that the US is in the perfect position to lead by example. Instead of following the tried and failed format of panic gun control! Accept your position, be kind to each other and educate firearms users through acceptance and kindness. Instead of tarring every one with the brush of potential criminality, embrace people and educate with acceptance. Be the world leaders in true freedom you are the ones who have the tools to do it.
When Nathan and I set out on our journey our main goal was to advance the skills and knowledge of our fellow hunters and firearm enthusiasts. We definitely hoped to make some money along the way enough to pay the bills at least but it has never been the force that drives us. We have always believed that the key to getting the most out of life is to give (we have also learnt that setting personal boundaries is also important lol). If you believe that success can be gained by taking from others then you are under the same delusion as those who think that controlling others is a manifestation of personal power.
We need to learn to look at our beliefs and what we believe will make us feel happy and safe in the world. If the only way you believe you can be safe and happy here is by taking something whether it be something tangible, or some choice, or ability to make a decision from other people then I am of the opinion that you are on the wrong track for achieving any kind of peace.
But remember all of this is just a personal opinion.