Waiting for day of mediation

Published 12:00am Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Before I begin, let me say … I am not a gun person. In fact, no person who lives with me is a hunter, is into collecting guns or has target shooting as a hobby. I’ve never had an interest in, fascination for or felt the need to own a gun.

I am not saying folks who do choose to have guns are bad or wrong. Their choices are just different from mine and I wanted to be clear about my own personal relationship with guns before I write on the topic.

That said, I’ll continue. For months, I’ve listened to the arguments swirling around the gun control issue. It seems you are either totally for gun control or definitely against it. There does not appear to be much middle ground.

I read that we need the ability to protect ourselves against invasion, that the constitution gives us the right to bear arms. I even read how we need the ability to arm ourselves against the government if it threatens our freedom.

On the flip side, the argument is that we don’t need assault weapons with the capability of killing numbers of people in a short time. I read how we need to make sure people suffering from mental illness don’t have easy access to guns. I read that education is an important part of gun ownership and should be required

In short, I’ve heard both sides raging about their positions on gun control, and it seems to be a never-ending battle of “I’m right and you are wrong.” Leaving a lot of us sitting in the middle wondering, just wondering what is the answer.

In the midst of my wondering, something interesting occurred to me. Maybe the problem isn’t with guns. (All you anti-gun folks hang on and let me finish before you get upset.)

Perhaps the issue is that we as humans feel a need to have weapons that we use against each other.

That, I think, is the heart of the matter. Humans by nature on some level feel so separate from each other that we fear each other. And that fear expresses itself in a million different ways. The most bizarre of those is when we take up weapons and inflict pain on another person, no matter the reason. I think both sides of gun control can agree that violence, with or without weapons, is not a good behavior choice.

As I was thinking about this, I read something written by one of my favorite spiritual writers, Joel S. Goldsmith. It speaks to the heart of our issues with violence, whether it is by gun, knife, fist or bomb.

He writes:

“It is given to us to know that he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword, and therefore we have put up our sword and will never again take out either physical or mental sword — or even spiritual sword.

“It is given to us to know that we live and move and have our being in God in whom is not darkness at all, in whom is no warfare.”

So maybe the solution to controlling gun violence is a change of heart and that is something that cannot be legislated by the government, or that needs defending with weapons. If we can find a way to change our hearts and begin to feel our connection to each other on a deeper level, maybe the day will come when we dwell in the place Goldsmith describes when he writes:

“Someday when this world comes to the place of solving its problems by meditation instead of by arms — by the sword — the Spirit will so illume every situation that there will be no need for the knife or the pistol.”

Surely, the desire for that day’s arrival is something both sides, anti-gun and pro-gun, as well as everyone in the middle, can embrace.

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