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Safety in America: A Haiku

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  • rhymetime
    commented on 's reply
    Grant,
    I have read and considered your comment many times.
    I appreciate your anger at my apparent flippancy. Although I did not intend it to be so I can appreciate that the remark appeared as such.
    Perhaps I have become weary and discouraged. Weary of the same story told with different characters in different places. Weary of temporary indignation. Discouraged because we fail to address the cause. Weary because we cannot agree on the problem.
    Everyone has an opinion. All opinions have merit. While we focus on our opinions, innocents continue to be slaughtered. I do believe that it has always been so and shall continue to be as long as humans collectively continue to be the dominant species.
    Concerning my spelling, I suppose I should be more attentive, especially if I seek to present myself as a writer. Having been plagued with dyslexia, spelling and typing have always been a challenge. My late wife typed all my college papers and reviewed my correspondence. As that is no longer an option, I am on my own.
    I write to express my regret for having caused you angst and to thank you for your patience and kindness herein.
    John

  • rhymetime
    commented on 's reply
    Abel, right. Never could spell

  • RhymeLovingWriter
    commented on 's reply
    Throughout these comments I've tried to call attention to better measures, stronger measures to be considered as the debate around guns goes forward.

    I tried, unsuccessfully, to point out that it is precisely because Jesus' teachings have been ignored that we are in the mess we are in, and perhaps a return to those lessons, and application, funding, and understanding of them could aid in reversing the alarming trends we are seeing.

  • RhymeLovingWriter
    commented on 's reply
    I've communicated poorly if my words implied that Jesus mandated indiscriminate armed struggle. Righteous indignation was about as far as He went, as I recall. In fact, when I talk about change in the hearts of man as answer to be considered at least as seriously as further gun control legislation (or many other kinds of governmental overreach), it is with His teachings in mind. With a law of love fixed firmly in all areas of governance, self-control is a needed and worthy first step. It is almost never mentioned, supported, or advocated outside of religious circles (and poorly practiced even there).

    I do not countenance or advocate gun proliferation. However, I can tolerate the airing of the reasoning and fear of those who do, even if I disagree with them. Then, if they are willing to listen to me, I advocate for something I believe is also a necessary ingredient for success in ending these kind of events - self-control based on the premise of loving God first and your neighbor as yourself. Poetically, I tried to imply that with my 'heart of man' phrasing. Apparently, that failed as well.

    I'm still trying. I may be a poor example, but by His grace I will always own His name.

  • grant hayes
    commented on 's reply
    Rhymist, I see no 'simple hope' in countenancing America's gun proliferation as some guarantee against a rogue government. Christ gave no mandate for armed struggle against such regimes, and the one he faced was harsh indeed. Your position here looks to me more like resignation to the idolatry of the weapon, and bespeaks a lack of faith in the one who said 'take up your cross and follow me' and 'put away your sword'. I, for one, find his teachings impossible to follow, and accept the condemnation that goes with that; but you have no such recourse, if you would own his name.

  • grant hayes
    commented on 's reply
    If Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life, and his movement so resolutely eschewed armed insurrection, even under conditions of severe persecution (they did not join the Jewish revolt against Rome. for instance), how can there be any warrant for His followers to participate in or endorse rebellions like that on which the independent US was founded? What has the war of independence to do with the way of Christ? Jesus said to give to Caesar what is Caesar's, not take up arms against Caesar when his imposts get too onerous. Would Jesus approve of his followers sniping at redcoats? Would he not expect them instead to pay their taxes, pray for their enemies, and prepare to suffer patiently to the death, in the hope of the life to come?

    Tell me again how you reconcile armed insurrection and the attendant idolatry of weapons with the way of the cross? Where is the trust in God in all that armed-to-the-teeth militancy?

    Could it be that expediency, pragmatism, worldly advantage, and all-too-human fear are the actual values of the 'Christian', and that Jesus is just the get-out-of-hell-free card?

  • RhymeLovingWriter
    commented on 's reply
    Well, from my reading, the Catholics who came here (and continued to be persecuted even on these shores) were motivated by the love expressed by a trinitarian God. The FF used the term 'creator' - which I equated with God.

    As for Roman persecution, the greatest revolutionary ever was Jesus Christ, it just so happens that His 'weapon' of choice was love.

  • RhymeLovingWriter
    commented on 's reply
    laugh then, at feeblest poor attempt
    to rise above or tread each stream
    of mired contempt for simple hope
    that morrow’s fate mends fast the seam
    of lost suppose or faith asides
    held close by simpletons who dream
    all is not lost; man’s lot not stained
    beyond what Christ Himself redeems

    pity me then, as laughs subside - the fool with faith - and hope besides

  • grant hayes
    commented on 's reply
    "This country was built through revolution because of unfair strictures placed on men's God given rights through unjust governance."

    The 'God' who supposedly endowed these so-called rights was not the trinitarian God, Rhymist, but that of 18th century rationalism, deism, and freemasonry - the anodyne post-Christian deity conceived by the Enlightenment. For this vaguely defined supreme being, the cross had become a divisive sectarian hangover. It was necessary to strip this God of any obviously Christian trappings so that the various sectarian interests among the patriots would not compromise the larger cause of independence from Britain. The God of the revolution represents a suppression of the trinitarian God in his various contending guises; he is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, nor, indeed the Father of Jesus Christ. He could as easily be identified with Allah, or Zeus, or the Demiurge. On this score alone, the attempts of various Christian groups today to claim the revolution for their theological/sectarian tradition are ridiculous.

    From the perspectives of subject peoples, the Roman imperium of the first century governed at least as inequitably as the British crown of the 1770s, yet you do not see the authors of the New Testament advocating armed opposition, or the establishment of militias. Indeed, the apostle Paul recommends subservience to the authorities, who would eventually execute him and many of his coreligionists, just as Jesus himself had been executed. There is no warrant whatsoever for insurrection in the founding documents and earliest traditions of the Christian movement.

  • grant hayes
    commented on 's reply
    The government of the US has the most powerful military in the world at its disposal. It can turn you into pink mist with a drone strike controlled from a continent away. The notion that owning a brace of assault rifles will protect you from such a capability is laughable.

  • RhymeLovingWriter
    commented on 's reply
    Points well made. Actually, most of the responsible gun owners I know aren't against reasonable limitations and abide by the many laws already in place. Each of these acts was perpetrated by someone breaking existing law (so far as I understand it). Additional external restrictions may or may not work, but once guns are out of the hands of those who handle them responsibly, who will be left with all the hardware, and what are their intentions? Those are valid questions too.

  • DWAYNE
    replied
    I agree with much of what has been said here, and RLW, I share your moral code.

    You are right. If people were kind to one another there would be no murder, or any other kind of sin.

    However, I lock my door at night, because I know I live in a world fraught with danger, and while some maniac may still kick the thing off its hinges, I take all the precautions I can, to mitigate the danger.

    Which is why Mr. Hayes point, is right on the mark. Since we KNOW that an abundance of guns puts us at SUBSTANTIALLY higher risk for the kinds of mass murders that we are experiencing, why are we unwilling to MITIGATE THE DAMAGE?

    Constitutional rights are important, but no right is unlimited. The same people who lobby for the ultimate infringement of your right to life, the death penalty, insist that the 2nd Amendment should prevail, virtually unrestricted.



    ​​​​​​​

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  • RhymeLovingWriter
    commented on 's reply
    I say what I have said from the beginning. Murder is wrong whether decried or condoned by current societal standards. And murder starts in the heart of man. Nothing in what I've said condones the use of guns as they've been used in recent days, months, or years in this country or any other (because when has scale been the determinant factor in right or wrong? Isn't one innocent life too many?). Guns can and have been used as tool for sustenance or defense when people who understand the dangers and risks have properly formed hearts which control their actions.

    Perhaps I'm wearied by double standards and hypocrisy which rule the day. If murder is wrong because it's ubiquitous in one instance - then it is wrong in every other instance where availability and misuse of power enables or encourages it. To draw comparison was not meant as rhetorical sashay (he had mentioned children, after all, often used as political ammunition depending on the issue and control mechanisms under discussion).

    Less guns in different hands can't guarantee misuse - unless those holding them are consistently motivated by some higher principle - which also starts and is lived in the heart of man. This all changes for the better when one person is willing to sacrifice self-interests or be servant to the other, based on principles of love beyond both. It would help to encourage or include that as a determining factor when addressing this problem. I don't even hear it being talked about as part of a long-term solution.

    Also, to Tanner's edited remarks about the intent of the FF on the second amendment. This country was built through revolution because of unfair strictures placed on men's God given rights through unjust governance. My understanding is that it was also because of some future mistrust of the government (being familiar with human nature and having just lived through said revolution) that they wrote in provision to ensure for a private and personal right to bear arms. Did they envision the type of weaponry available today? How could they possibly? That's why we have a process of deliberation to address change - and it isn't through the often corrupt dealings of a political elite class, driven or bought off by special interests on any side - but is supposed to happen when an informed and involved electorate honestly works for the best possible solution.

    Sadly, IMHO, part of the gun mania in America today is driven precisely by the lack of trust in elected officials and our electoral process. More talk of restricting ownership only intensifies those who've been radicalized to think of more or bigger guns as a workable solution.

    I'm neither a gun advocate nor an advocate of additional, external, governmental control. I don't think we need more or bigger, faster guns. Also, I'm not encouraged to trust the words or intentions of the ones currently advocating for new laws. Many of them have shown, based on past actions, that they are not trustworthy.

    I maintain that the odds of success are more probable with a both/and situation, starting with allowing, encouraging, and funding the type of teachings which change the hearts to think of others first - if anyone would even care to consider that. Perfect love casts out fear - or so I'm told.

    Fear, instead of love, is driving the actions of many. Wonder where that originates?

  • divot
    replied
    What’s always left out of the gun debate, the trigger, I.E. the person that pulls it. My father once told me to get something out of something you have to put some work into it, that includes your children. When I grew up my parents always knew and cared what I was doing, we didn’t see much violence on the small or big screen. (John Wayne never killed as many people as Bruce Willis) Never played violent video games, if I’d of had time for that my father would of found better things for me to do. Please and thank you were expected, has was respect for my elders. I carried a pocket knife to school, everyday and so did everyone else. Where did we go wrong as a society?

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  • DWAYNE
    replied
    A homicidal man, uses the tools at his disposal, and if that tool is an efficient killing machine, he will use it.

    Being a member of society, with freedom for both the diligent and dim-witted, involves inherent risk. This is unavoidable.

    However, even as we take measures-reasonable, state imposed, legal impediments to unfettered freedom- to mitigate those risks, in numerous facets of our daily lives, we refuse to do so when it comes to guns, despite the UNDENIABLE empirical evidence, such as the facts in the article, Mr. Hayes posted.

    True, people with guns kill people.
    People with less guns, kill less people!
    Last edited by DWAYNE; 11-07-2017, 01:02 PM.

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