Changing Gun Laws

Lennonquote_nMy brothers went on Dad’s hunting trips. My sister and I were expected to help clean and cook those pitiful little birds. I didn’t want to hunt and I deftly avoided kitchen chores, so it didn’t seem like a big deal then. But guns seem like very big deal right now.

I’m willing to admit that some very nice people like to hunt even if I never did. Those tiny birds seemed like a foolish payoff for all that tramping in the weeds. The birds weren’t very tasty and you could crack a tooth on a leftover bullet.

I’m writing today because life has changed since 1940 and we need new gun laws. My Dad hunted in places like Corona that are now wall-to-wall houses. One of my favorite movie scenes is when Eddie Murphy as a new congressman goes on a hunting trip with NRA types and shoots birds with an Uzi. It was so ridiculous in Distinguished Gentleman that everyone laughed. But assault weapons are not funny in real life.

I’ve never really bought the idea that hunting is a transcendental experience. Nevertheless, lots of people I’ve respected have enjoyed hunting so I’m willing to leave regular guns in the hands of responsible people. But the rest is nonsense.

The Sandy Hook massacre apparently created enough public awareness so that we are on the verge of political action. I trust that President Obama will do what he says he’s going to do, especially since a large majority of Americans are in favor. But he cannot do it alone. Good people like us need to continue a steadfast activity in the direction of change. Let’s not get discouraged or confused but forge ahead. Let’s not get trapped in rhetoric about how complicated change is. Complications dissolve where there is a clear vision.

We people in New Thought know how to hold a vision. We use the power of prayer daily. Will you join me and devote part of your spiritual practice to envisioning fewer guns and less violence? Include it in our prayer for peace?

I believe in the power of prayer and I also believe in backing up my prayer with activities that support the desired goal. There are some simple steps to take. We can endeavor to be centered in peace ourselves. We can make sure any guns we have around are securely locked up. We can also get rid of them.

Prayer works. Follow-up action works. We are not powerless and we are with the majority opinion.

When an idea takes hold, change happens and each of us can do our part to support this idea. That is actually how all change happens on a personal, community, national or worldwide level. First we establish a clear vision. God then supports that vision. I believe we must also support the vision with our actions.

God does the work but there is an old saying, “Treat and move your feet.”  We seldom get the job unless we send out the resume. We seldom move ahead unless we take political action. Our actions confirm our commitment to the vision.

Don’t get confused about the issue in the following weeks. We often hear that guns are not the problem – that people who shoot guns are. That’s simplistic. Without assault weapons, fewer people would have been killed in massacres like Sandy Hook and Tucson and Columbine.

You may also hear that the real problem is violence in the inner cities. It is true that young people are losing their lives every day in the streets. Urban mayors are pushing hard to regulate guns in their cities and that is one more  beginning. Tightening up gun regulations will reduce  problems.

I don’t want us to be distracted during this window of opportunity, although it is clear there is not just one single solution, but many partial solutions. We must approach the problem of violence in the United States from several angles.

Mental health is a big part of the problem. We need changes in mental health identification and treatment. I can see those changes coming but I am not willing to postpone action on banning assault weapons until we solve the myriad mental health treatment issues.

Violence in the entertainment media is also a problem. The special effects that accompany crime drama in today’s movies are appalling. Many people in New Thought already choose to avoid entertainment violence. I find it’s no big loss. If enough people boycott violent films and video games, it will help.

Then there are the constitutional arguments. Both liberals and conservatives use them to defend their beloved First and Second amendments.

It is ridiculous when liberals rage against the 2nd Amendment “patriots” then turn around and insist that the appalling graphic carnage in movies is protected by the 1st Amendment. Nonsense on both sides.

The First and Second Amendments were written as a reaction to English rule. They are not written in stone. They can be interpreted differently and they can be changed. Fundamentalism, whether from the right or left is nuts.

Yes – I want to support stronger controls of violence in movies, TV and games. And…  I do not want to let that slow down the control of assault weapons and tighter regulations on guns.

When the NRA and others try to cloud the issue by pointing out that the issue of violence is complicated and there are other problems, it amounts to static on the airwaves. We know there is truth in what they say and we know they say it to distract us from taking action today.

They say what they say because there is big money in guns. We know that reducing the availability of guns will help reduce violence. We also know you don’t need assault weapons to shoot birds or deer.

You do make a difference.

I believe we can reduce the violence in the United States by getting assault weapons off the street and tightening up all gun laws. I salute and support the leaders who are in front of this movement and I will sign the petitions, write the letters and pray for passage of laws and the establishment of peaceful life in this land.  How about you?

I write this today because I would like to see every one who believes in the power of peaceful change to speak up in the next few days. Write letters to your representatives. Sign petitions to ban assault weapons. Send money to the organizations that support the cause.  Send this blog to your friends. Spend some of your prayer and visioning time on this issue.

Ask Yourself

What do I think about gun laws?

Will I pray about it?

Will I write a comment on this blog about it?

Will I take political action about it?

Advertisements

22 Comments on “Changing Gun Laws”

  1. Thanks Dr. Claypool. I am posting your blog as an entry on my blog. And, most assuredly will be holding peace in my meditative prayers.

  2. Jane Pool says:

    Amen! I will add affirmative prayers for sensible gun control. I grew up in a very anti-gun home way back when gun control wasn’t even discussed. Neither my dad nor my 3 brothers were hunters. I can understand that early people had to kill animals to survive but to shoot innocent animals and call it sport is beyond my understanding – especially when the super rich have hunting preserves where the animals have no chance.
    I remember leaving the theater many years ago after seeing Hitchcock’s “Psycho” with the gory shower murder scene and the 4 of us couldn’t speak we were so affected by it. It opened the door, so to speak, for ever bloodier and more realistic violence and now worse than that pops up on TV’s in our living rooms even when we try to avoid it. Yes, we do become numbed to it. Well, that’s free speech I guess.
    I’m betting on VP Biden to really get the ball rolling to do the things that can be done. It is time that the majority opinion in this country holds sway but we do have to keep up with what is going on and be in touch with our elected representatives. I have no hope that my current congressman will be on the people’s side of anything but thank goodness for our two good California.Senators.

  3. Geofrey Layng says:

    Well done, Oh mistress of compassion for Life, Truth & Love! Thy spirit is received and aligned with universal consciousness. It is complete! It is accomplished! Life has found a new peace. Thank you. Love, Geoff

  4. Terry Drew Karanen/CSLCV says:

    Jane,

    You are so precious…..AND you are a perfect example of the content of my blog this week about being honest. I’m part of the population who agrees wholeheartedly with you. I also live in south central PA where the first day of deer season is the Monday after Thanksgiving and all the public schools are closed on that day. Many of the teachers and quite a few of the older kids are have a “family day” killing Bambi.

    Growing up and coming out in California put me in a social bubble. No one blinked an eye for the most part and even being New Thought wasn’t so bad. I mean when I was growing up in Religious Science we were with Marianne Williamson, Louise Hay and Terry Cole-Whitaker. People sort of listened to us! When I casually mention to people that I knew them or worked with them they “ooo” and “ahhh”…..and I yawn.

    Love you!

    Terry

  5. Thank you for such a meaningful blog, for encouraging all of us to envision tighter gun control laws, and help with the mentally I’ll. I cannot tell you how glad I am that so many important people are speaking out on this issue. I pray that president Obama will do a’s he says. We are better than this! Thank you for dealing with this very controversy issue!!! Marilyn

    • Dave Sheive says:

      Very well worded, Dr. Jane!!! In my very personal world, guns have never existed. My son was murdered in a completely unexpected random act of violence — yet NO GUN was ever involved!! Most people just assumed, at the time, that he was killed with a gun. I do know, well and personally, that the sick and “evil-acting” will find a way to harm. Yet, we, as a society, do not need to make it that much easier for them by continuing to allow guns to be a “normal” part of our American society. Ellen

      • janeclaypool says:

        Thanks for the kind words Ellen. I know you and Dave lost your son to random violence and I did assume it was a gun.I thought of you two when I was writing this blog and wondered if it would make you relieve that experience. I know you live with it all the time and I thank you for sharing on such a painful subject. I am happy you agree with gun control changes. I do hope and believe that violence will be reduced when we reduce the number of guns. Love,
        Jane

    • janeclaypool says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      I also think it is wonderful to see how many people are speaking out. Let’s not let the issue fade until it is done. Most people don’t know how much their opinion matters to political leaders but it does.
      Love,
      Jane

  6. Andy says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I too believe that common sense, reasonable gun laws are necessary. I clearly remember when I was a child, the ownership of machine guns, and combat (assault) weapons were illegal. Sportsmen (and women) and hunters were permited hunting rifles and pistols. That was common sense then, and it should be common sense now. Assault weapons and high number clips for automatic weapons are definitely not needed for hunting. Most people who are shot in their own homes, are shot with their own guns ( that they bought for “protection”)
    Unfortunately we live in a nation that operates from fear instead of love. There is not a single law that is not legislated from fear–fear of our fellow humas, the other party, the loss of political position etc.
    We need to come from that place os Spirit and lead the way in visioning and thinking out of love. Love and compassion are the only answer.

    • janeclaypool says:

      I agree that we should lead and can lead on the side of love rather than fear. In the issue of guns, it is clear that at least some of the feeling around wanting a gun in you home is based on fear. I can’t personally imagine what motivates the owners of assault weapons but that is not my job. My job is to speak up for sanity.
      Love,Jane

    • Cathy Hough says:

      Bravo Dr. Jane- Love your stance about the need for gun control. Thank you for speaking out with conviction.
      Love,
      Cathy
      your devoted fan from Hawaii

      • janeclaypool says:

        Hi Cathy,
        Thanks for your comments. It keeps me motivated. Always good to hear from a devoted fan.
        I’m thinking you ought to be dropping out of the sky one of these days. Any thoughts of visiting? I’m slow but willing to have fun.
        Love,
        Jane

    • janeclaypool says:

      Hi Andy,
      You and I and many, many others are ready to make a change in the law so I am hopeful. Just keep talking it up.
      Love,
      Jane

  7. Amy Aspell says:

    Yes, it is time we actually do something to stop the violence – on all fronts. So far I voiced my opinion to my brother-in-law. I figured he’d sound the typical gun-rights points but I didn’t expect him to be against a ban on assault rifles. There was more kick-back from him than I expected. I do not get why anyone would want to protect ownership of assault rifles! It’s true I know very little about guns – having them or using them – and I never want any more familiarity. But I do know it is more likely a gun owner will be hurt by their weapon than protected. I knew a young girl growing up who killed herself with her father’s rifle and I know a woman now who’s 10 year old got her pistol and took off with it -even though it was shut in a safe. I don’t know of anyone who was ever saved or protected by having a gun. I think driver education is now required before getting a driver’s license but as far as I know there is no education required to be allowed the deadly weapon of a gun. It makes no sense. Yes, I support efforts on all fronts to reduce violence – gun regulations & limitations & education, mental health improvements, a new less horrific standard in the entertainment industry. I’ll be signing the petitions & expect my governmental representatives to support controls. Thanks for leading on this issue.

    • janeclaypool says:

      Wow – I think it’s very brave to take on your brother-in-law and keep your cool. And it seems to me that he may have heard at least part of what you are saying. Opinions do change, you know.
      Love,
      Jane

  8. Maxine Kaye says:

    Thank you for speaking out so clearly, my dear Jane. Still traveling home from a delightful long weekend with Carol in Calgary. Love Maxine

    Sent from my iPhone

  9. Dave Sheive says:

    We live in a nation uniquely based upon individual freedoms – freedom to: assemble, protest, speak against the government, be deemed innocent until proven guilty, etc. Most times we use our freedom for good things (being good citizens, contributing to society, etc), but some use their freedom to do terrible things (DUI and substance abuse killing, use a weapon (gun, knife, hands, blunt instrument, etc) to kill, abuse their children or spouses, unsafe driving habits (texting, shaving, applying make-up, etc). There were over 12000 murder in the US in 2011 – 68% by gun, 13% by cutting instrument, 9 % other, 6% personal weapopn (hands), 4% blunt instrument. There are over 32000 traffic deaths per year and over 10000 substance abuse fatalities per year. There are over 300 million guns in the US – not an easy number to eliminate when we don’t know where they are. I have little faith in the government eliminating many guns when they aren’t real efficient or effective in so many other less demanding tasks (tracking guns they put into society, sending social security checks to deceased persons, prohibition, the war on drugs, etc, etc, etc). We could promote more dramatic actions – repeal the 2nd amendment, pass federal law that gives life in prison without parole for using a gun in any crime – but we all know those won’t work either.

    One action that seems to be overlooked is to use our spiritual practices to envision not only fewer guns, but fewer people willing to use any weapon for violent purposes, to envision fewer excessive drinkers willing to drive, fewer adults abusing their spouses and children, fewer people willing to text while driving – you get the picture. This could be the most effective action taken – join me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s