Worldwide Discussion:
ARE AMERICANS ‘PEOPLE OF THE GUN’?

A 3-D printing company in Texas has announced that it has successfully created a process by which it can produce a fully operational metal handgun from a printout.

And both a long-time writer and his editor at a magazine catering to gun owners are out of work today because they dared to author and publish an article in the magazine inviting a discussion of reasonable gun purchasing requirements.

These are two developments in the news these days about guns and the obtaining and owning of guns — and they bring up, in the minds of many people around the world, questions about the gun culture in America.
The author of the magazine article, Dick Metcalf, had edited and written for Guns & Ammo magazine for years. But his longevity with the publication made no difference. His column in the December issue “sparked an online uproar from readers, gun bloggers, and other corners of the conservative movement,” writes David Sessions for The Daily Beast, an online news outlet.

“Metcalf’s back-page column was headlined ‘Let’s Talk About Limits,’ (PDF) and cautiously argued that gun enthusiasts should not oppose basic limits on firearm ownership,” Sessions reports. The column, Sessions goes on, “made the obvious point that all freedoms protected by the Constitution are regulated in some way, and that gun owners should stop acting as if any regulation whatsoever amounts to the ‘infringement’ mentioned in the Second Amendment.”

Gun enthusiasts did not take kindly to the comment, however. Especially when Metcalf wrote:  “I don’t think requiring 16 hours of training to qualify for a concealed carry permit is infringement in and of itself. But that’s just me.”

The writer was summarily fired after the magazine received a raft of subscription cancellations and a deluge of negative commentary and boiling criticism on internet blogs and social media, including the magazine’s own Facebook page.

And Mr. Metcalf’s boss, a man named Jim Bequette who manages the editing of the entire magazine, resigned his position early (he was planning to leave in January) in an effort to quell the rising tide of hostile response from people across America.

Wrote Bequette in a statement: “I made a mistake by publishing the column. I thought it would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights. I miscalculated, pure and simple. I was wrong, and I ask your forgiveness.” In publishing Metcalf’s column, Bequette said he was “untrue to” the “tradition” of Guns & Ammo magazine.

So it would appear that there is, among a huge swath of Americans, no room for even a discussion of any limits whatsoever on gun purchase and ownership in America. This is a land with a huge gun culture. Americans by the millions love their killing weapons.

So for them it may be good news that now a 3D-printing services company Solid Concepts has developed a sintering process (the dictionary defines that term as “making a powdered material coalesce into a solid or porous mass by heating it, usually also compressing it, and without liquefaction”) that creates a gun using powdered metals for the firearm’s material.

“The weapon’s design is based on a classic 1911 handgun and is made up of 33 different stainless steel and Inconel components, along with a carbon fiber filled nylon handgrip,” according to a report by Dara Kerr for the Internet site CNET.

Solid Concepts vice president of additive manufacturing Kent Firestone said in a statement: “We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing, And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License. Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”

Kerr’s report at CNET said that “The first known 3D-printed gun was made by another Texas-based outfit called Defense Distributed. The gun, called the ‘Liberator,’ is made entirely of plastic, except for a nail used as a firing pin and a six-ounce piece of steel designed solely to allow the gun to be detected by metal detectors.

“The Liberator can be instantly downloaded and anonymously printed by anyone who has access to 3D-printing technology. While the gun debuted amid much fanfare, it has since been said the firearm rarely works,” Kerr’s report went on.

The ability to print out a metal gun presumably solves that problem.

The United States is virtually the only country on Earth where a high percentage of citizens are so fixated on guns. Apparently, those enthusiasts see little or no connection between the easy availability of guns in America and the ongoing stream of heartbreaking news stories about mass killings and shocking murders involving guns making headlines every day in the nation’s media.

Mr. Sessions, in his article for The Daily Beast, quotes a man named Robert Farago of the website The Truth About Guns, who is reported to have posted a PDF of the offending Guns & Ammo column. “Anyone who says ‘I believe in the Second Amendment but—’ does not believe in the Second Amendment,” Sessions quotes Mr. Farago as writing. “They are not friends, they are not frenemies, they are enemies of The People of the Gun.”

The People of the Gun?

Really?

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  • mewabe

    Why stop at guns? Really, I think the “People of the Gun” should be allowed to pile up grenade launchers, flamethrowers, IEDs, anti-aircraft weapons, mortars, machine guns, sniper rifles, anti-tank weapons, etc…

    Don’t they feel completely NAKED without such self-protection? Doesn’t everyone have the right to feel safe when going to the grocery store or the post office, and wouldn’t a few grenades and flamethrowers do the job? No more waiting in line, by the way.

    Speaking of going anywhere, why stop at using the biggest baddest SUVs or trucks available on the market, why not make battle tanks available to the public? No more traffic jams either.

    It’s good to know the American dream keeps expending, with contributions from the latest technologies…next: guns for children in cereal boxes, and guns for toddlers (buy 60 Huggies and get a free gun). Don’t toddlers have Constitutional rights too?

    • Catherine Edmends

      from the country that sold guns at banks? not too far fetched – you can buy kiddy guns – pink for girls even

  • Judy Devlin

    The Will to Kill and Fear are the only reason so many have guns…America is a mess these days.

  • Awareness

    “The People of the Gun”?

    My eyes opened WIDE when I saw that (no judgement ofcourse) 🙂

    “This Awareness indicates that if the power base is given to the bureaucrats, then the people are really nothing more than victims dependent on the good will and altruism of those who carry the guns.

    This Awareness indicates that THERE WILL BE A TIME SOME DAY IN THE FUTURE WHEREIN GUNS CAN BE ELIMINATED FROM CONSCIOUSNESS, but it is not appropriate to eliminate these tools of protection while there are still others out there who are willing to use these tools as weapons of control.” by Cosmic Awareness (GREAT SPIRIT! GREAT AWARENESS!) 🙂

    What I feel from the Cosmic Awareness quote above is that ALL MUST BE DISARMED without exception, including governments and their institutions (military, law enforcement agencies etc) 🙂 Self government NOT centralized government. The GREAT GENIUS Jacque Fresco of the Venus Project has suggested a similar idea 🙂

    Bless ALL 🙂

  • Simone Collins

    As an Australian, I can’t comprehend the love affair many in the USA seem to have with guns.

    We had a gun massacre here in Australia in 1996, in which 35 people were killed. Quite quickly our laws were changed to ban all semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and we have a tightly restrictive system of fun licensing and ownership. There was also a gun buyback scheme for the next year, in which gun owners sold their guns back so they could be destroyed (some 631,000 weapons were disposed of!).

    And you know what? We’ve never had a massacre like that since.

    Our society doesn’t believe that a gun is necessary for self defence. Sure, we have some crime here, but nothing like the levels seen in the USA. The first (and one of the very few) time I ever saw a real gun was my first trip to the USA… having landed in Seattle, walking down the street, two men used a gun to car jack a car we were just about to walk past..! We just don’t have that happen here, because hardly anyone owns a gun.

    Why oh why would you want to live with such fear all the time?

    • NealeDonaldWalsch

      What is sad, Simone, is that people here do not see gun ownership as an outgrowth of fear, but rather, as an expression of freedom. Yet they do not see that widespread ownership of guns, and easy availability of guns, creates a society in which freedom is not enhanced at all, but rather, constricted by fear of the next person coming around the corner on a dark street. Or the next person walking into the TSA Security Point at Los Angeles International Airport carrying a long canvas bag.

      • CwG lover who owns an AR-15

        “…freedom is not enhanced at all…” is either sloppy language or a ridiculous mischaracterization of what firearms DO offer.

        Cars that can drive faster than 40mph are a far deadlier problem than guns. Alcohol is a far deadlier problem than guns. We could put governors on all car engines, and we could (re-)ban alcohol, but we don’t because society has decided that such ‘freedoms’ are worth their price. Same with guns. A massive portion of our society feels that the utility they offer makes them worth their price. Freedom IS enhanced, for every woman capable of defending herself from rape, for every home capable of defending itself from invasion, for every business owner capable of defending their business and themselves from riots/looters, for every CCW individual who can protect themselves from assault/muggings/stabbings/robberies, for the Black Panthers who could defend themselves against violent racists, for Malcolm X at his window in the iconic photo, for MLK jr. who applied for a concealed carry permit, for a gay person to defend against hate-crimes, etc. etc. etc.
        Firearms are a force-equalizer that allow a decent and non-violent person to protect themselves from someone who is abusive aggressive and violent. We are a violent species living in a violent society, so many caring and compassionate people arm themselves to protect from those threats – which DO exist (even in Australia).
        Yes, “fear” is a huge factor. I fear car accidents so I wear my seatbelt. I fear kitchen fires so I have a fire extinguisher under my sink. Am I in paranoid terror when I get behind the wheel, or fire up the stove? Not whatsoever – because I feel that I’m capable and prepared.

        Neale, I truly love your work, but please put much more effort into this issue.

        • NealeDonaldWalsch

          My friend, you have said…”Cars that can drive faster than 40mph are a far deadlier problem than guns. Alcohol is a far deadlier problem than guns.” That is, perhaps, why, in this democracy, we have decided to place certain limits — they are called Speed Limits — on how fast we can legally drive cars, and certain limits on how much alcohol may be served patrons at a bar or restaurant.

          My problem is not with gun ownership per se, but rather, with the easy availability of guns. As the article above illustrates, many gun aficionados will not even entertain the slightest DISCUSSION of certain reasonable limits on gun purchasing and gun ownership. And that, my friend, is the point. A point that you totally and completely ignored.

          We don’t have a problem asking our City Council to place Speed Limits signs in our neighborhood to keep our children safe. We don’t have a problem with laws regarding the serving of alcohol, or driving while under its influence. But brother, just even ask if we can TALK about limits and controls around gun purchasing and ownership and you can lose your job, as the article above notes.

          THAT was the point, CWG Lover…and I surely wish you had addressed it. I am not against the purchase or ownership of guns. Let me state that for the record. What I am FOR is the creation, by our society, through its government, of reasonable limits regarding said purchase and ownership. Without reasonable limits, our freedom to live a life without fear most surely IS limited.

          The reason people feel they HAVE to carry a gun is precisely because, in this U.S. society, guns are so easily and readily available that one never knows which other person is a maniac carrying one.

          I noticed that you said nothing about the fact that gun violence in Australia is way, waaay below that of the U.S. per capita. Think maybe it might, just MIGHT, have something to do with the fact that not everyone can easily buy a gun in Australia?

          The real question I hoped to raise, my friend: Is it okay to at least TALK about this??? Without gun enthusiasts freaking out, and causing people their jobs? Hmmmm?

          • CwG lover who owns an AR-15

            #1: You, like so many gun-control advocates are heavily overusing the word “reasonable”. It’s like a cheap jedi mind trick. “Common sense” is the other mantra that gets sprinkled liberally everywhere. It suggests that those who don’t agree with you do not possess reason or common sense. It’s insulting and unnecessary.

            #2: I’m all for talking about this issue, but the reason why so many gun advocates have Had It with these discussions is because of the sponsoring energy brought to the table by the gun-control side of things, 99% of the time, which you yourself displayed by saying the quote that I responded to: “…freedom is not enhanced at all…” That is such an absurd statement that pro-gun folks often feel there’s just no point. You’ve broadly swept any legitimacy of gun usage, as connected to the freedom that this country espouses, away. You’ve declared your core-values, so what discussion is available from there?

            #3: Australia BANNED many/most guns that are useful for self-defense. That’s NOT speed limits or blood-alcohol limits. That’s a BAN of cars that can go fast and a BAN on alcohol. Had Australia imposed restrictions requiring registration/licensing that could still allow a citizen to possess a self-defense-useful firearm, THAT would be ‘speed limits’/etc. Huge fundamental difference.

            #4: I have lived in Australia and of course their gun violence is WAY lower – but it is an utterly different society/culture than the US. Completely different set of issues in every way – politically, socio-economically, etc. They are white and speak English, but that doesn’t make their way of life useful for comparisons. The US is the world’s Empire, with an insanely diverse population of 300+ million. Those factors alone make comparisons useless for the sake of coming anywhere near conclusions. Academic exploration, sure – but that’s it.

            #5: There is no such thing as our “freedom to live life without fear”. When has mankind ever possessed that? We are not yet cavorting on heaven’s playground. We do not yet live in a Star Trek utopia. Humanity has always been a deadly species, to this day. Fear is a healthy trait of genuine groundedness, and therefore many people possess a degree of fear that motivates them to own firearms for self-defense – as a perfectly reasonable reaction to the state of the world. When “reasonable” and “common sense” attitudes try to ban ‘assault weapons’ or ‘high capacity’ magazines, that ‘infringes’ one’s ability to engage in that self-defense.

            #6: I carry a gun IN PART because there are other guns out there, but even if every single ‘criminal’ gun could magically disappear I would still carry a gun because the world is full of knives, bats, fists, boots, rocks, and pointed sticks that abusive and aggressive people use very commonly to wreck the lives of undeserving decent people. You are a brilliant writer but for you to say that “the reason” people carry guns is “precisely” because of the other guns is atrociously inaccurate. If I were debating this with some random redditor, I wouldn’t mind that, but you have the ear of millions of people. Please use much less sloppy language. (I am suspicious that this isn’t even Neale writing, but a staffer with his account. The “Hmmmm?” just feels juvenile.)

            I don’t disagree with you about discussing gun-control – yet you’re responding to me as if I’m somehow declaring that I’m against even talking about it. I’m not attacking the entirety of your article – I responded specifically to your response to the Australian above.

            Either way I hope you can understand why so many are sick to death of discussing it with people who have ban-agendas (which are most of the most active politicians engaged in gun-control legislation), and who use insulting and dismissive language suggesting that the other side has no ‘common sense’ or isn’t being ‘reasonable’, and who make sweeping generalizations about why people carry guns. Make more of an effort, and more people will be more open to discussing it with sincerity – rather than just engaging in the tired circlejerk of oppositional deabte rhetoric (which you yourself are messing a little too much with here).

          • mewabe

            As a simple observation, you seem to be very passionate about guns, as do some other gun owners.

            Why is that? What is it that inspires so much passion about guns in gun owners? Have you been bullied, hurt, has anyone close to you been hurt?

            By stating that a ban on assault weapons or high capacity magazines infringes on one’s ability to engage in self-defense, you leave the door open for escalation, as exists between nations…were criminals to use grenades tomorrow, should everyone have access to grenades as well?

            Where does fear stop, and when does sanity return?

          • NealeDonaldWalsch

            That is a wonderful point, mewabe. The idea behind placing at least SOME reasona…..oops….can’t use that word…..some less-than-abusive, less-than-UNreasonable limits on the purchase and ownership of guns, we might….just might….take a few guns off the street and out of the hands of those whose background, mental state, and criminal record indicates they are more likely than others to abuse them and misuse them.

            Is it reasonab…..I’m sorry….is it “fair” to assume that with fewer guns so easily available to those who would misuse them, fewer nice people will have so much to fear? Yes, there will always be fists and stones and knives and sticks, but goodness, can it seriously be disputed that with fewer guns “out there” on the streets, there will be fewer crimes committed using guns? Wouldn’t that at least be an improvement, reducing the violence level at least a little?

            I’m not suggesting for a minute that most people should not still have the right to keep and bear arms. I am suggesting that there might be some benefit in placing reaso….I mean, other-than-overreaching…limits and controls on who gets to buy and own a gun. How can anyone argue against that, I wonder….?

          • Simone Collins

            Absolutely. To quote some statistics from here in Australia:

            Between 1991 and 2001, the number of firearm-related deaths in Australia declined 47%. According to a 2011 report from the Australian government, “…the number of victims of homicide has been in decline since 1996”.

            There were 354 victims in 1996, but only 260 victims in 2010, a decrease of 27 percent. Also, “The proportion of homicide victims killed by offenders using firearms in 2009–10 represented a decrease of 18 percentage points from the peak of 31 percent in 1995–96 (the year in which the Port Arthur massacre occurred with the death of 35 people, which subsequently led to the introduction of stringent firearms legislation).”

            So… restricting the availability of guns, and reducing the number of guns held in private ownership in the first place, has led to a fairly sizeable reduction of deaths related to firearms. Yes, gun owners here were against the change in legislation too, but it went ahead.

            I’m not sure why gun owning “CWG lover” doesn’t think Australia can be held up as an example, since we were both founded the same way – we were both prison colonies for the UK. But yes, somewhere along the way we made different decisions to the USA… we dispensed with the death penalty, and we’ve banned a lot of guns and made others harder to get a hold of. And we aren’t overrun with crime as a result – in fact, quite the opposite.

            Thinking that the USA is too “different” for this to produce the same sort of results there just seems incredible to me. To me, the biggest difference is in mentality, which is backed up by the comments such as “CWG lover” makes. If so many people in the USA walk around in fear of what their neighbours might do, and feel the need to be able to respond with deadly force, then of course that is what the universe is going to provide… what you are focusing on. We don’t have that degree of crime here because we don’t live in such fear of it…

          • CwG lover who owns an AR-15

            If we were all starting over from scratch, your notions could certainly be explored. But the reality of the US is that even if you stopped ALL production/importation of guns TOMORROW, there are still 300+ MILLION guns all over the streets. And of course even if we imposed such a ban, guns would be smuggled in just like drugs – despite our decades-long ‘war on drugs’.
            Also, we have gang issues that you have nothing at all like. Same with organized crime. We have black markets and smuggling utterly beyond anything you have. We have socio-economic disparity and ‘structural violence’ woven into the fabric of our society that makes Australia look like a candyland. It’s a sad state for us, but it’s just not usefully comparable to your way of life in any way. I’ve lived there. I’ve experienced it. Apples and oranges.

          • Catherine Edmends

            really? you think we dot have gangs and organised crime or drugs here in Oz?

          • CwG lover who owns an AR-15

            I agree with all of that, in theory. So do most pro-gun folks.
            The problem here is implementation. How would any of this legislation actually work? That’s the puzzle that nobody has answered.

            Of course the theory is lovely – nobody is actually disputing that – even the hard-core NRA folks.
            But how do you implement effective enforcement w/o crushing restrictions on decent people and records that are profoundly abusable.
            Our supreme court has already declared that gun registration is unconstitutional. We already see what the NSA is willing to do with any records of any kinds, legally or ‘extra-legally’, constitutional or not. So folks are extremely suspicious of any legislation that could only be effectively enforced via some form of record-keeping that would effectively function as ‘registration’ and could easily be abused.
            And law-enforcement nation-wide has already admitted that it is not capable of enforcement of even the currently-existing background check laws…let alone expanding them.

            So, effectively, UBC legislation would introduce something expensive and bureaucratic for decent people to endure, while offering nothing more than trivial protection against the actual problems that society faces with gun violence (which is gangs and spree killings).
            We’ve had a war on drugs for decades, with outright bans on meth/heroin/crack, and harsh punishments, and yet those drugs are available in any city/town, on any hour of any day, with near impunity. The black market is simply too profitable.
            The current gray market with gun sales (like at ‘gun shows’) will simply turn black. Blackness or market will not deter gang members of crazy murder-suicide rampagers.

            The legislation/ideas on offer are lovely in sentiment, but for actual results they are little more than a gesture that a politician can make to appease their ‘audience’ of voters/contributors. There’s nothing genuinely effective in any of it. Most pro-gun folks are sincerely open to something that would be effective, but super resistant to hollow gestures that allow politicians to look tough on guns at the expense of law-abiding gun-owners.

          • Alice

            One of the many things that makes no sense to me is that vehicle registration is mandatory in my state but gun registration is not. Every driver is required to have a driver’s license to drive a car and every car must be registered…yet gun registration is an invasion of privacy? All I can say is WOW!!! I’m grateful, I don’t harbor a fear-based world-view. I’ve seen first-hand what protecting yourself with a gun can do to your life…unnecessary stress, lawyer and court-fees, ridiculous jail-time, and family trauma. It’s a lose-lose situation…the mentality of gun ownership for self-defense in a
            society who’s consciousness embraces violence.

          • mewabe

            Personally, I would rather arm bears than bear arms…(Ooops, hunters are going to be very unhappy with this statement).

            It’s all a matter of perspective…I never felt that the world was a dangerous or scary place, I never felt the need to carry any weapons (not even in the wilderness and not even when confronted with a mother bear and her two cubs 20 feet away, or confronted with a mountain lion just outside of my tent, inches away).

            Which makes me wonder…why are people so afraid, and what are they really afraid of? Who is the real boogeyman of their secret nightmares?

            Inner peace, inner calm are very contagious…and so is fear. Fear, when fed, when given what it seeks, whether it is ever more lethal weapons or ever more power and control, never ends.

            I agree with you Neale, it seems very reason…le to suggest that some regulations and limits be adopted regarding weapons. I find it pitiful that a magazine editor would believe that he has to bend so low to apologize to hysterical (did I write this?) gun owners as if he had offended God herself, simply for having dared expressing some reason…le ideas.

          • NealeDonaldWalsch

            I thought that the article that got Mr. Metcalf fired did NOT use dismissive or insulting language, but was a very measured attempt to simply discuss the issue, didn’t you? (Please tell me you read it. I placed the link right there in my post.) And that was precisely my point: that even a measured, non-vitriolic, non-dismissive, non-belittling, non-insulting discussion could not even be offered by this man without so many gun advocates going haywire, cancelling subscriptions, and themselves writing abusive and vitriolic posts on the magazine’s Facebook page, etc.

            So Mr. Metcalf, a long-time writer for the magazine, loses his livelihood because he tried to do what you say that gun enthusiasts are willing to do: i.e, engage in a fair-minded, sincere discussion of the merits, be there any, of limits on purchasing and owning guns.

            “Make more of an effort,” you say, “and more people will be more open to discussing it with sincerity.” I think that Mr. Metcalf may think you either disingenuous, or wildly out of touch with the reality of a huge number of gun owners.

            For the record (again), and to be clear: I am not opposed to gun ownership, only to the apparent “limit” on discussion of reasonable controls regarding who gets to buy/own one. You say that the word “reasonable” is not a hot-button word for gun owners…but how, my friend, are we do try to qualify what we mean when we say, “Hey, we don’t want UNreasonable limits, we aren’t arguing for over-reach and out-of-control governance here….we are merely asking if we can talk about…well, er, uh….what word can I use here…..hmmmm….”reasonable” limits.

            I checked my thesaurus, and the synonyms for the word “reasonable” are: sensible, rational, logical, fair, fair-minded, just, equitable; intelligent, wise, levelheaded, practical, realistic; sound, reasoned, well-reasoned, valid, commonsensical; tenable, plausible, credible. May I use any of those words, friend? Or might you please suggest another term that would make the opening of a discussion palatable to gun advocates?

            I’m serious. I’m not trying to be a wise guy here. What other word might I use in order to qualify that I am NOT talking about government over-reach or absurdly invasive, UNreasonable limits?

            Suggestions? Ideas? I’m open.

            Hugs….Neale.

          • CwG lover who owns an AR-15

            I’m certainly not saying that all pro-gun folks are welcoming of discussion like I am. Please don’t lump me into the group that your article targets, which are those who’ve Had It and whose willingness to engage the debate further is depleted. I’m all for discussion.

            But I will defend many of those sentiments. Not as valid, but as justified. For one thing, that magazine is one of the few ‘havens’ for those who have made up their mind about a certain issue and it’s the readership’s ‘right’ to want for that entity to represent their feelings. If I go into a typical church as fault them for not being willing to discuss the merits of Satanism, that’d be silly of me. Fair, sure – but silly in that humanity is not yet mature enough to always be open minded even in their ‘sanctums’.

            The staunch pro-gun crowd feels very persecuted. There are many politicians out there who don’t want to merely discuss background checks, but want BANS. And yet they say ‘we don’t want to take your guns away’…and yet when their microphones are accidentally left on we hear their true sentiments, which are indeed – lo and behold – about taking guns away.

            Guns = self-defense for most gun people, which makes this a LIFE AND DEATH issue, literally. People have very strong feelings about that, and then feel persecuted regarding it. Persecution in the realm of life-and-death issues is extremely touchy stuff. To have a bastion of shared core-values turn on those core values, in this case of that magazine article, pisses people off and rightly so.

            As for that (buzz-)word ‘reasonable’ (and ‘common sense’ is the other one used ad nauseum), they don’t offer anything substantial to the discussion. It’s an empty descriptor that has no ‘nutritional value’ because it establishes nothing for forensic purposes. What it DOES do it jedi mind trick listeners into thinking “Yeah! That’s REASONABLE!” and therefore, non-consciously for many/most “Those gun nuts aren’t even REASONABLE human beings! You can’t REASON with them because they don’t listen to REASON!”.
            So just drop that empty word. “Reasonable limits” becomes “Limits”. “Common sense legislation” becomes “Legislation”. Let the argument itself establish whether or not any given audience member listening will find that it does or does not strike them, individually, as ‘reasonable’. Of course we know that YOU feel that x or y is reasonable and common sense, otherwise you wouldn’t espouse it. But declaring ownership of what is or is not reasonable is the behavior of someone who feels such certain mastery of a deeply debated issue that they feel entitled to bestow that label. Unless a person can walk on water, that’s not for them to declare or bestow…it’s for the argument/debate itself to suss out. Therefore when people use it (especially over and over and over in the gun debate) It’s a trick. It DOES often work – but it’s cheap and it breaks a little piece of my heart to hear you use (and defend) it. You are truly better than that. This is common sense stuff here, and I shouldn’t have to correct you like this. (See what I did there?….)

            As a side-note, I’d like to let you know that there is a massive population out there – growing and growing – of young people who are spiritual-but-not-religious, liberal, progressive, Democrat-voting gun enthusiasts (for self-defense, not hunting) who are vehement about 2nd Amendment rights and concealed-carry and stand-your-ground. I’m mentioning this because your generation tends to have a perception of most (if not nearly all) gun folks as being ultra conservative, rural, bible-thumping, racist survivalists who hate the commie queers. Society is changing hugely and rapidly, and tons of staunch pro-gun folks are wonderfully thoughtful, compassionate, and respectable.
            For example, I’m a yoga-practicing vegan from the Pacific NW who has lived in intentional communities, has partaken in an Amazonian ayahuasca ceremony, wept when Obama got elected, etc. ‘Yet’ I have a ‘cold dead hands’ attitude about my AR-15.
            Anyway – all to say that it’s a new/different world when it comes to who the gun-rights crowd is. I’m sad/tired by how much dismissive rhetoric I hear from the conventionally-progressive gun-control culture regarding who gun ‘extremists’ are. It’s an old/broken/primitive worldview that won’t serve our future.

          • Alice

            Based on your above reply, you’re living in an oxymoronic way, CWG Lover Who Owns an AR-15.

          • Catherine Edmends

            umm no – automatics and semis are banned here, you can still buy a gun but you must be licenced and you must keep them under lock and key in the home to avoid accidents (or anger shootings in a rage) you feel very safe here knowing that the loony angry neighbour cant purchase a gun without a background check = so if you need an automatic are you expecting hordes of intruders to violate your space ? and if you feel that way and live in fear how can you expect the positive to manifest through you?

    • Catherine Edmends

      yep it works

  • mewabe

    The gun represents the logical outcome of extreme individualism as embodied in American culture. The “everyone for himself”, “survival of the fittest”, “me or us against the world” mentality. This extreme individualism and resulting dangerous alienation lead to suicide when things turn bad, and/or the killing of others. It also leads to much more than widespread fear…to rampant paranoia.

    Americans are getting increasingly paranoid.

    This is obvious to anyone who chooses not to be a part of this dominant culture. Look at the survivalist movement. When contemplating the possibility of societal breakdown, rather than pulling resources together at the local community level, organizing a supportive network to get everyone through possible difficulties, what do survivalists, many of whom are Christians, plan? They pile up food, water and above all guns and ammunition, choosing a hostile stance, the same antisocial, sociopathic strategy of “me and my family against the world”, of the “survival of the fittest” that rules their society.

    From extreme individualism to extreme alienation, to paranoia and sociopathy…the progression is very clear and very logical.

  • Karen Thomas-Rice

    I maintain this one Truth about Guns of any variety, kind: Guns serve only one purpose: to kill. They have no other merit. This seems to okay with everyone I know, or ever have known. I learned very early in my life, what guns were for: I come from a very large family of hunter/sportsman killers and I have seen the results. I have a dead brother because of a gun. So I say this again: guns are for one use only: to kill. does that seem okay with you? It doesn’t to me. …………………………….Karen ltr

    • CwG lover who owns an AR-15

      I appreciate your sentiment, but that’s too oversimplistic. Guns’ primary purpose (when we’re not talking about hunting or sporting competitions) is to act as a deterrent. There are tens of millions of good, responsible, compassionate people in this society who ‘use’ their guns over the years (approx. 2.5 million defensive gun usages per year) without killing anyone. Most of the time it is merely the presence of the gun that stops the attack/rape/murder/mugging/etc.
      Humanity has always been a deadly and violent species and to this day there are aggressive violent abusive people out there. A gun in the hands of a thoughtful and decent person is a wonderful force-equalizer that can prevent abuse/injury/violation just via its deterrent value. THAT, indeed, has ‘merit’.

      To suggest that they ‘only’ kill is way too dismissive of their legitimate usefulness.

      And yes, sometimes they DO kill, in the hands of decent people defending themselves, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that. There are countless ‘bad’ people out there who are willing to take (or utterly ruin) your life because of their dysfunctions. It is not wicked or evil to kill them with a gun if they are violating you. That seems OK to me. Life is scary and dangerous. It always has been. Guns are one of the single best ways – and sometimes the ONLY effective way – to prevent atrocities from happening to one’s self/family. It’s a sad fact of living in a world that is not a heaven.

      • mewabe

        “Life is scary and dangerous”…this is a very interesting, powerful and revealing statement, that essentially explains the gun owners’ worldview.

        Not much more needs being said, except this: your worldview creates your reality and your world. As you SEE the world, so it is or becomes. Were you to CHANGE your perception, so would your experience of the world.

        • CwG lover who owns an AR-15

          Traffic is ‘scary and dangerous’ so I wear my seatbelt. I don’t trust in my ability to SEE the world of traffic in a 100% positive way, and thus keep it from BECOMING crash-y for me. I don’t feel capable of CHANGEing my perception of traffic such that I can prevent a crash. So: I wear my seatbelt. My guess is that you do too. My guess is that you’d be mortified if your children weren’t wearing theirs. It’s not our ‘worldview’ that ‘creates’ traffic crashes and injuries – it’s the objective reality – and if one is going to navigate that reality safely they will take precautions (beyond relying on a ‘worldview’…I’ll keep my seatbelt and airbags, thanks).

          The realm of violence is no different. We live in a world where ‘scary and dangerous’ things are going on quite frequently pretty much all around us to the degree that there are no pockets of ‘safety’. Like car crashes – they are relatively rare and not happening in every intersection every day – but we all understand how much of a real threat they are – with horrendous consequences if one is involved and not equipped/prepared. I don’t fear that I’ll crash my car every time I get behind the wheel, and thus drive around in sweaty flinchy paranoia. Same with the gun that I carry daily. I enjoy my car and my driving, and feel fairly secure in driving over 25mph because I know I’ve got my seatbelt on. I enjoy all the neighborhoods of my city, even at night, and I enjoy all of its people (vs crossing the street if someone looks sketchy) because I know I’m armed if something goes south. I’m all the more present and available and vulnerable because I’m equipped to handle the scary/dangerous things if they do happen. That’s a freedom and joy that I rarely see people share. Most people ‘don’t go into THAT neighborhood at night’ and they’ll ‘cross the street’ if some creepy looking person is coming.

          I believe that every rational and grounded person in this society should be very aware that there are threats and dangers of all kinds, and that sometimes bad things DO happen to good people. That is, yes, “scary” – because things are, yes, “dangerous”. It strikes me as folly to perceive the world differently. It’s a profound disservice to try to paint gun folks as paranoid nuts who live in fear because of wounded inner-childs. That’s an easy dismissive go-to that I encourage you to not default to. Yes, some folks in any subpopulation look like wackos, but to then paint the rest with that brush is a very primitive outlook and attitude.

          My childhood was nice. Grew up in a realm of responsible, conscientious, compassionate gun ownership and usage. Of course there was a presence of ‘fear’ in it. Fear is a healthy and useful tool for life. Fear is a gift, in the big picture, if it’s not overwhelming one’s sensibilities into some kind of neurosis.

          • NealeDonaldWalsch

            In the Old West, virtually every man in town wore a gun. The place was a danger haven because of it. Then one day the town’s people got together and said, “We’re tired of the killing and the wounding and the shooting — much of it taking place at the bar.” So they asked the sheriff to post signs all over town that everyone had to check their guns at the bar when they went into the place. The result: few shootings at the bar, and fewer deaths.

            And less fear among people going INTO the bar. In fact, it became one of the safest places in town.

            Ironic, eh? “Gun control” actually reduced gun misuse.

            But today the apparent suggestion here is that we go back to the days of the Wild West. Everyone packs a weapon. That’s it. That’s the ticket! Now everyone will be much more safe. Like in the Old West. Yessireeebob…why we ever stopped wearin’ guns to begin with is beyond me.

          • CwG lover who owns an AR-15

            Are you really and truly Neale D. Walsch writing this, or a staffer representing him? I’ve loved his books for years, and have watched numerous videos of him, but this just doesn’t sound like him at all. It sounds flippant and facetious regarding a life-and-death issue that is ultra divisive for society – as in this is very grave subject matter – and your fast-and-loose vibe here doesn’t sit right with my sense of who NDW is.

          • NealeDonaldWalsch

            ..

          • Colleen Sayre

            I don’t understand the need and passion for guns. I’ve never owned one and I never will. I experienced the feel of the Old West while living in Kennesaw, GA in the late ’80s (yes, 1980s) where gun and ammunition ownership by the head of each household was required by law. (I believe it still is.) Signs were posted at the city limits warning thieves and burglars that the citizens of Kennesaw were armed. It wasn’t uncommon to see men and women strolling the city streets wearing holsters with loaded six-shooters. For me, that was a very scary place to live for a very short time and created an environment of fear and paranoia for my children. I could never adequately explain to myself or to my children why anyone would feel compelled to carry a gun. I just didn’t get it so I got the heck out of Dodge. I lived and worked in Washington DC after living in Kennesaw and even working on Capitol Hill, I felt safe and secure. I believe in fostering a vision of world peace. For me, that vision is one without guns.

          • Michael L

            As mewabe just wrote,

            Identify the folks who cannot control there civil behavior.
            Alcoholism, drug use and mental illness or criminal history.
            When we don’t fear them, because we are using loving action. They, as our brothers and sisters, family. Fear will subside and Gun use will abate.

          • mewabe

            And there you have it…different worldviews indeed.

            No, I do not think of traffic as scary or dangerous. Many times I have driven while my mind was somewhere else, on “automatic pilot” so to speak, only to wonder how I got to my destination without doing any fully conscious driving. And yet my driving was perfect.

            I do not watch television (I do not possess one), so I am not fed daily news of horrors, daily doses of fear.

            You do create your reality…2 people can live side by side and yet experience two very different worlds, choosing to perceive different things according to what their own beliefs and memories, which act as very effective filters, allow them to see.

            You apparently choose to focus on danger. Accordingly, this is what you will experience.

            The freedom and joy you describe while being armed is something I always had without carrying as much as a toothpick. And I am not a 250lbs wrestler either, I am rather lightweight.

            What I am trying to tell you, is that it is absolutely possible to live without ANY fear, and yet be fully conscious, rational, grounded and sane.

            As an additional observation, from someone who has lived in 3 different countries: Americans appear to be the most scared people I have ever met, and without cause (many other nations are much more dangerous, actually. America is a comfortable cocoon, very isolated from real danger).

            Here is another irrational fear: the fear of flying after 9/11. Statistically, more people have died of peanut allergies than from terrorism in North America.

  • Jenifer Wheeler Walsh

    I agree, wholeheartedly, that we are far too focused on guns. If we believe in peace, truly, then we do not need them. I wish America would follow other countries in this regard.

  • Igomene Joseph

    I did it! I
    did the damage.

    We need to join together in love, faith, and harmony
    to save ourselves from each other. No matter who I use to commit the crime, I
    did the damage. No matter who dies as a result of my action, I did the damage.
    No matter who is in lockup and why, I did the damage. No matter whom you point
    the finger in blame, I did the damage. In the Zimmerman case, I won because I
    did the damage. Had it not been for me, many would be alive today. Sadly, many
    young black men spend their lives wasted behind bars because of me. The National
    Rifle Association (NRA) makes billions of dollars because of me. Another life
    just ended because of me. Sooner or later, someone else will either be in the
    hospital or in the grave because of me.
    Mother’s cry because of me.
    People do stupid things because of me.
    I make the greedy feel protected. I make the needy feel powerful. I love
    causing deaths to innocent animals by using those who call themselves hunters.
    A community will be divided because of me. If only I was allowed in the jails,
    and in the “right” hands I could cause more damage. With so many criminals, it frustrates me that
    no one dies in jail because of me. What can I do about that? It’s absurd!
    Though I’m backed by the 2nd Amendment, could you please contact the NRA and
    fight for me. I would love to get into schools, do some damage there, if only
    they would use me for “protection.” I am a gun, a machine with no morality
    invented and used by the human animal to murder and cause death; especially
    suicide. Pound for
    pound I am worth more than your life!

    • Michael L

      We are all of it, and the compassion for the change, cause we are awake!!!

  • William Bradberry

    Our Gun Culture is an extension of our American, and somewhat unique Violence Culture. Americans would be appalled at the firearm restrictions placed on the Swedes; yet with all the bullet rationing, mandatory military service, mandatory firearm training, and inability to build a personal War Bunker of the Apocalypse at their most random whims, they manage to enjoy an extraordinarily low crime rate. The point is that this wouldn’t work in the U.S.; but the deeper concern is… why? The world does not see grossly unrestricted gun ownership as an inherent right; we are one of perhaps two countries in the world that claim that right as “God-ordained”… that’s an oft-used talking point for heaven-sent killing tools. America has a cultural crisis to overcome before we understand these weapons no longer have a use. They are, sadly, perhaps a symptom; and I hate to say they are needed–restrictions in place–until we figure out what the hell it is that makes us incapable of operating in our world without them.

  • MrToy

    I have observed, and the Guns & Ammo saga confirms, that gun-rights activists don’t believe 1st Amendment rights apply to the 2nd Amendment.

    The stated purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to provide for “the security of a free state.” This “anything-goes” interpretation of the 2nd Amendment has completely failed to fulfill that purpose. Most gun-rights activists completely ignore the “well regulated militia” phrase and focus solely on the “shall not be infringed” phrase. I might note here that my dictionary defines a “militia” as both an organized citizen’s army or the armed public at large. Thus the 2nd Amendment does indeed allow for reasonable regulation of personal firearms.

    For clarity, though, I think the 2nd Amendment needs to be rewritten, perhaps something along these lines: “Citizens of the United States shall have the right to keep and bear arms, subject to regulation by Congress and the states to ensure their safe, competent, and lawful use.”

    I once posted that on a public forum hosted by a national newspaper (The Christian Science Monitor). The only response I got was “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do you not understand???”

    Sigh.

    • Michael L

      Lets put in a loving word here.
      When we understand that we are not separated and fearful of others, use of guns will abate.

      Probably used then for only target practice like in the fps video games the kids play constantly.
      Highest love adds to life, so lets not take away freedom.

  • Catherine Edmends

    ii despair of the US and its gun culture where common sense and rh restraints applicable to other areas like car licensing are seen as unneeded and violating rights. simplistic as it seems guns are not protection they are killing machines and to have one you are admitting you would kill – they serve NO social purpose

  • Jane Northup

    I am an American/Australian. I grew up with guns and in my younger years agreed with the fierce American concept that gun ownership was an inherent right. Then I woke up. I have lived in Australia for many years now and the difference in the energy and way of life between the two countries is interesting. America is so fear-based that it is palpable as you walk down a street (I had a recent extended stay in Los Angeles). We don’t have that in Australia. Whether that is because of gun laws or not the point for me is living a life based in fear or living a life based on community. I feel we can have all of the discussions we want that attempt to justify gun ownership but bottom line is guns have one purpose and one purpose only and that is to take a life whether that be human or animal. My most enduring dream at the moment is that every soldier in the world lays down their weapons at the same moment and simply walks away. I know that is not a popular view but it is the new world I want to see. Guns are made for killing and as far as I am aware they have no other purpose. If I own a gun basically I am giving myself permission to take the life of another if I deem that to be necessary. I am responsible for my actions and perhaps by providing an example to others through those actions others will take responsibility as well. As far as I am concerned there is no ‘responsible’ gun ownership.

  • Brian-Michael Sennin Ninetails

    I don’t expect to convince anyone of anything, but let me be blunt. A government is the social institution that has the monopoly on the initiation of violence. It has no other definition. I have no need for such an institution in my life. So when you talk about gun bans, what you’re really saying is I want “this” group of people, who will remain armed, remove the ability of “that” group of people to posses the same equipment. I don’t think I need to point out how hypocritical that is. Aren’t we all one? In such a case, if you think disarmament is the ideal choice, disarm yourself. Perhaps move to Chicago, D.C. or NYC. You know, safe places with gun bans.

    • Catherine Edmends

      or Australia where it works 🙂

    • mewabe

      The US government outguns (and outsurveils) the population to such an extend that if it wanted to initiate violence against it, an armed resistance by the people may last about a month at the most.

      We are no longer in the 18th century using muzzle-loaders…unless US citizens would possess weapons that were equivalent in numbers and power to those of the government (tanks, drones, cluster bombs, grenades, mortar etc), a belief that even a fully automatic weapon would offer long lasting protection is absolutely ridiculous and rather naive.

      • Michael L

        Luckly we have laws to curb the tanks from moving into your city!!!

  • Alice

    Om Shanti…may all humans come to the awareness of their highest Selves, that we are all inter-connected, and embrace a sense of compassion, community and cooperation such that discussions of this nature become obsolete. Good night everyone and blessings of peace to everyone. Namaste’

  • Joyce ONeill

    I find myself shocked over and over by the attitude toward guns in this country. My stance has been only to have sensible gun laws, not to take a gun away from someone. But that seems to make no difference. These gun proponents seem to want nothing less than no laws……the old wild west before law. Personally, I’d rather we had nothing but hunting rifles and ONLY for hunting and ONLY for food. I do understand that is not happening and I’m willing to meet half way. Keep your gun, just pass sensible laws for licensing, education, etc. I’m tired of all the shootings. I’m tired of people owning war weapons and saying they are ok. War guns are just that. You can’t hunt with them, you don’t need them to defend yourself in your home. These people make NO sense. Where did sanity, practicality and common sense go? I feel the NRA should be behind sensible laws. I see it as being to their advantage. Seems these gun proponents won’t even listen, much less to reason. So, yes. This country can be called ‘people of the gun’. We deserve a big, horrid, derogatory title. Maybe world opinion will get through. Sensible people who live here sure aren’t getting to these proponents.

  • mewabe

    In a culture (America) and at a time when global insecurity is at its peak, many seek refuge behing their weapons and within rigid dogma and ideologies. This is a symptom of our times…although there was, in practical terms, more insecurity just before WW2, today’s insecurity is different…it is more of an inner, subjective experience.

    The world is experiencing a profound spiritual crisis. The foundations of our belief systems, or our cultures and societies are cracking loudly…announcing a global disintegration. While this is happening, many grasp at extremely rigid, backward ideas and beliefs, for example religious and political extremism, for safety. They also grasp at their guns and pile up the ammo.

    There is a spiritual storm indeed (I agree Neale!), that is coming from within the collective consciousness of a humanity experiencing a death and rebirth process. Every issue is coming out to be dealt with, have you noticed? There is no escape, it all has to be faced, there is no hiding from the Self. This causes intense fear in those who are not spiritually grounded, and they essentially loose it and go somewhat crazy.

    I predicted this would happen back in 1992…I saw it coming…I smelled it in the wind. And I hate to say, it will get much worse. More people will loose it. Our reality, our world will be shaken to the core.

    No amount of guns or ammunition will protect anyone from this spiritual rebirth. And there is no protection needed…on the contrary, the least resistance, the easier the transition, as in the case of any birth.

    As others have said, this obsession with guns is a symptom. Actual security comes from within.

    • Pool of Light

      Except. Except…there are other reasons to own a gun rather than feeling you’re in danger. As opposed to violence as I am, my husband and I are seriously considering getting a license. We moved to the country 4 years ago and we have had numerous raccoons on our property with distemper. Their suffering as they succumb to the disease is difficult to watch: they move in slow motion, “waving” at something only they can see. They will sit abruptly, panting heavily, teeth bared, and then slowly fall over. A moment later they will jerk back to reality and begin their aimless wandering again. This can go on for days before they finally reach their inevitable end. I don’t have the means to humanely inject them or “gas” them…but I do have a neighbour who has a gun and with one bullet to the brain stem the animal’s suffering is over.
      Now, it can be argued that in every moment, it is our PERCEPTION of the event that dictates our choice. Maybe the raccoon isn’t suffering at all – maybe that’s my interpretation – but I stand by my choice to euthanize it. (Another hot topic all on its own!)
      As a horse owner, I have taken part in and observed many hot debates over whether bits should be used in the animal’s mouth to control it. I think it boils down to this: these objects (a bit and a gun, too) are tools. They can cause incredible pain – they can be something to fear – if they’re not used properly. But in the right (gentle) hands they can be useful. It’s always – ALWAYS – about intent. And that’s what makes me uneasy about a country where guns aren’t controlled “enough” – if they’re readily accessible the odds increase as to who will use them for the wrong intent.
      I see some of the propaganda the NRA and/or Tea Party put out as jokes about owning a gun – that due to the price of ammo, no warning shots will be fired…or comparing the response time of the police vs. a sidearm. It’s almost as though some of these advocates delight in their notion of power and of having the upper hand over the “bad” guys. But I don’t want some of these people deciding for me what’s dangerous or who’s “okay” to shoot. To be honest, I don’t even want some of the police I know deciding that! A gun takes away “thinking time” and it amplifies the concept of righteous strength. That’s a really dangerous combination to me.

    • Michael L

      Hi guys ,
      I have a thought.
      What if owning a gun actually calms you down like you have all shelves filled in your closet… as life swirles around you.
      Do I have a Gun …no. But I know how to use them, expertly.
      I have great confidence that I can in an emergence help my fellow man with the skills I have acquired in my life path so far. That’s why I went through it, perfectly.

      Do I see the possibility that the co created world around me is being made less safe, yes. Can I change it by my self, yes in a few years.

      I just believe we add love to the situation not taking.

      Love the idea written by “Pool of light” of the African tribe that believes we are all good and we keep telling each other we are.

  • Kenneth LaVoie

    I am a “new” gun owner. Honestly the reason I became one is that I did allow myself to become tainted by some of the “government disarmament conspiracy theories”. However I’m also aware of the teachings of CWG and realize I need to make sure my motivations are more in line. I live in a rural area and I don’t feel fearful. I don’t even keep my guns loaded. I use them for fun in my back yard. I have a concealed carry but don’t use it UNLESS I’m vacationing in a strange plade and take early morning walk through woods (for animal protection) – One person reminded me to look at them like fire extinguishers. You have them “just in case.” You don’t practice fire drills every day, subscribe to 3 fire fighing magazines and spend and hour a day warning people on facebook of the dangers of not having one. We just have them, and maybe once a year we check them out, maybe have a fire plan in place. That is how I look at them.

    I FULLY agree though, that we should have some hurdles. I know there are alot of unconscious people, people who are not in command of their emotions. Guns are “amplifiers” – they “make louder” your anger and impulses…instead of giving someone a middle finger or black eye, you can turn the volume up and take their life. This is how I look at it. “Guns don’t kill people” is a very short sighted statement. I agree with Neale, that it would be a much more fearful world if everyone could effortlessly obtain. Wow.

    PS, I’ve been told that an AK47 makes a fine hunting rifle. One bit of propaganda from gun CONTROL folks is that there is some huge difference between a hunting rifle and “battle or war” rifle. There really isn’t, to the degree written about. Hunting rifles come in semi auto as well…and an AK47 is about the same ammo as a .308. The AK just looks a little ….. “badder!”

    • Michael L

      Assault rifles have been ban for years.

  • Benny Hansen

    It is sad and a catastrophe when they settled some people object to the idea of ​​restrictions on gun ownership …. Is there something wrong with your country …?

    What your country is not peaceful anymore like in Iraq and Afghanistan,so that people in your country need to arm themselves.

    It is very ironic when other issues are considered more dangerous than gun issues.

    History records, weapon is the number one killer a deadly human soul.

    Not suitable for any reason fatherly have guns…Reason to protect themselves or to world peace will only create further violence …..

  • Pool of Light

    I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, married a Canadian when I was 21 and moved to Ontario where I’ve lived for the past 23 years. I have siblings who are gun-passionate NRA members, innumerable friends-of-friends are hunters, and my father was a sharp-shooter during the Korean War. (He refused to have a gun in the house – EVER – by the
    way.) I grew up in a place where I knew everyone in town and could frequently be found wandering the country roads alone, exploring, as a child by the age of 10. We never, ever feared for our safety.

    But this is a vastly different world we live in, I’m deeply sorry to say. And ever since 9/11 my husband and I have noted a remarkable difference in the Americans we know and love. It’s astonishing for us to cross the border now and immediately see billboards for “Guns Galore” or the opportunity to hire a “bodyguard” with his vast array of weaponry to protect you on 8 Mile in Detroit. The fear is palpable (and yes, in my perspective it’s
    terror).

    I was working in an office when I first came to live in Canada and made a “joke” that I had better get a report done for my boss or he would shoot me. My co-workers glanced at each other in bemusement and then one said, “you Americans are so violent, Becky – all you ever talk about is shooting each other.” It stopped me in my tracks. I’ve always prided myself on being a peace-loving person and anyone who knows me knows guns are as far from my reality as possible. And here I was – someone who didn’t even like
    stepping on insects inadvertently! – so immersed in that culture that I didn’t even REALIZE when I was mentioning a violent act. That was the day I started living truly consciously and paid attention to what I was saying.

    I don’t know what the answer is for Americans. I see them self-destructing in so many ways lately. They are vicious with each other during elections, they delight in the argument and striving to “win” and could care less about solutions, they isolate themselves from global perspectives and make up stories about each other that others willingly believe without checking facts. They kill themselves with massive workloads and don’t get ahead in their debt repayment, crack under the stress they place on themselves and then scoff when others try to offer assistance or show them that there IS a different way. Guns are just the tip of the iceberg. If you want us to pry it out of your
    “cold, dead hands” so be it … but do you understand that there may be nothing BUT cold, dead hands by the time you’re all through proving your points?

    I’ll leave you with this lovely little gem I came across recently. You may say it’s irrelevant to this conversation, but I don’t think so. I think this is where it starts.

    “I was recently told of an African tribe that does the most beautiful thing. When someone does something hurtful and wrong, they take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe comes and surrounds him. For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done. The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as GOOD, each of us desiring safety, love, peace, happiness. But sometimes in the pursuit of those things people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a cry for help.

    “They band together for the sake of their fellow man to hold him up, to reconnect him with his true Nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth from which he’d temporarily been disconnected: ‘I AM GOOD’.”

  • Brian-Michael Sennin Ninetails

    “You may not believe in God, and you may not believe in guns…but the first thing you’re going to to if someone breaks into your house is call someone with a gun and pray to God they get there fast enough!”

    • William Bradberry

      Firstly, this is rather insulting (and thoroughly invalid) to atheists; and secondly, you may hope someone comes with a gun, but what’s salient is that 10 others without a gun do not have the resources to break into other homes.

  • Brian-Michael Sennin Ninetails

    I think most people miss my larger point when it comes to “registration” and “restriction” of firearms–that being that certain classes of people WILL still have control of the ‘banned’ armaments, while the masses do not. So far as I can tell, nobody is honestly advocating that ALL assault weapons be removed. They are advocating that only the military and police will have those weapons. Hmm. The same military that has killed millions of Iraqi civilians in the past decade? The guys that put depleted uranium in their bullets and spray them out like confetti until Iraqi children come out looking disfigured for the next century or two? So they can keep all their guns (since they have such a sterling track record), but Jimmy John in Alabama can’t have a 6-shooter, or a scary looking rifle. Who, in all honesty, are you more worried about?

    • mewabe

      Yes, there is no doubt all governments have a bad track record…but who is supporting them, and supporting their wars? Who is putting on a uniform and following orders? Ordinary people…

      Yes, governments commit atrocities (depleted uranium, white phosphorus, 50 mm ammunition, torture). But we won’t stop them by carrying weapons ourselves, anymore than we would stop torture by torturing in turn.

      Raising consciousness, rather than lowering it to a mutually fearful level, seems to me to be the key to end all forms of abuse.

  • Therese

    “I made a mistake by publishing the column. I thought it would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights. I miscalculated, pure and simple. I was wrong, and I ask your forgiveness.” In publishing Metcalf’s column, Bequette said he was “untrue to” the “tradition” of Guns & Ammo magazine.”

    I wonder if Bequette purposely worded his apology in this way? By saying it in this manner, he is tacitly implying that the “tradition” of the magazine and its readers is unhealthy and close-minded!

    Interesting….

  • Benny Hansen

    WHEN DEMOCRACY GIVE LARGER FREEDOM …. THEN THE HUMAN RIGHTS WILL BE VIOLATED ..

    State is responsible for its citizens living peace..With good bureaucrats, politicians honest then the state can make a rule change that much good to give peace to his people without any fears and worries …

    • Michael L

      USA is not a democracy it is a republic founded on laws.
      Pull the laws away and you have…….

  • mewabe

    African Americans, in the south, could have fought racism by arming
    themselves and shooting anyone who committed abuses against them,
    including executing people who participated in lynchings. It would have
    been justified. They could have started a war. They chose another way.
    MLK paid the price, but change took place.

    When a system is sick, and produces sick people, then the system has
    to be healed. This is the solution, to have a society and culture that
    produces psychologically healthy human beings.

    So what is wrong with our system? ALIENATION. The ways of the
    survival of the fittest, or everyone for himself, of greed and
    selfishness have created a mercilessly competitive system that puts
    enormous pressure on the individual, while communities fall apart. It
    causing people to break down and feel that they have no support, as they
    have no sense of belonging to any community.

    Our society is like a huge, desolate desert full of lost,
    disconnected people who must focus on their own self-interest often at
    the expense of others (the very definition of competition). There is
    nothing holding the people together as a unit, except mistrust and fear,
    and wars against other nations based on fear or hatred.

    The system becomes a powder keg of tensions, frustrations and fears that is ready to explode at any moment.

    You give these frustrated and fearful people weapons, and what do you
    get? Exactly what we have today…ever more fear, and a cry for more
    and better weapons on the part of the fierce individualist, and a cry
    for ever more stringent government regulations and interventions on the
    part of the more socially oriented individual.

    But governments do not build community. People do. And the people are
    still divided and confused by an ideology of separation, by the
    “everyone for himself” social model. This is where change must take
    place…building COMMUNITY. This is how violence ends.

  • mewabe

    Love comes from the perfection of the soul, and creates perfection on earth.

    Do not wait for worldly perfection to allow love to emerge and rule…worldly perfection comes with the emergence of love.

    Put your weapons, your blames, your fears and judgments away and create the worldly conditions your soul hungers for.

    Do not wait for worldly perfection to abandon your fears and express your love, because if you do, you might as well wait for heaven.

    • Erin

      A walk in Beauty, indeed, mewabe! B-E-A-U-T-full! 🙂

      • mewabe

        Thank you Erin!

  • Erin

    Perhaps while cooking, I Am a ‘People of the Knife’…Let’s be honest, here…We eat of once-live beings & most chop at them with little thought.
    Perhaps while building, I Am a ‘Peep o’ the Hammer’…While preparing firewood, I Am the ‘Chainsaw massacre-er’…While mowing grass, am I the ‘Blade of the Glade’?
    In cIeaning, I Am the tsunami unto cobwebs & dust bunnies, I Am a Major-General when I send forth my army of 3 cats to hunt the basement & protect the pantry room. So many weapons, so much to ‘kill’…including the time in doing so.

    We can nit-pick with defensiveness about one or more of ‘our ways’ of being, wielding whatever particular ‘weapon’ is in hand, by whomever. Heck, mouths & pens can very well be considered as ‘weapons of mass destruction’ for the harm they do! Oh, that’s ‘right’, they are ‘covered’ by the First Amendment…oopsy!

    I know you enjoy the rapture of the gun thingy, but let’s stay ‘real’ here…Guns are tools, pure & simple…They are tools…just like money, just like the hammer, just like words. We exalt those skilled with other tools & See the best of them & their workings, but envelope All with the unskilled when it comes to guns. A bit contradictory, No?

    And Laws…Laws are not made for criminals, rather they make criminals…then they are conveniently used to define consequences for being such. If they ‘worked’ we would not be expanding the prison systems, we would instead be moving toward not needing them…Hmmm???

    Inciting bickering is a great site puncher, but truly not of wise conversation at the moment. This ‘Storm’ is bringing upheaval everywhere, with everything…and many may well be thanking those skilled with & possessing of their tools of flavor in the interim…perhaps even in the aftermath…We shall See.