Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Seven Blunders of the World" by Mahatma Gandhi

"Seven Blunders of the World" by Mahatma Gandhi: "'Seven Blunders of the World'

1. Wealth without work

2. Pleasure without conscience

3. Knowledge without character

4. Commerce without morality

5. Science without humanity

6. Worship without sacrifice

7. Politics without principle

—Mahatma Gandhi"

What incredible words of wisdom.

~image from Paradise Engineering

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Right to Bear Arms

" One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."Thomas B. Reed (1886)

I feel a sense of outrage, mixed with fear....and not fear of other citizens, but fear of a government that tends to use current events to fuel political propaganda machines.

The right to bear what price?

I have very ambivalent feelings about this. To quote an article by a conservative (yes, I know, that's a shock coming from me):

"The fact of the matter is that gun bans do not work. Period. It only emboldens criminals that obtain guns illegally smuggled from nations who broke the very treaty they signed to keep international gun trades at bay. A citizen without a weapon makes for a very happy criminal. That criminal can rob and rape without the worry of being shot or stabbed in the process. However, a lady wielding a .40 caliber Glock tends to make a potential rapist back off. The very presence of a firearm in some cases are enough to actually prevent a crime from happening. Would a robber be more afraid of a homeowner with a 12 gauge shotgun full of buckshot or more afraid of a homeowner holding a telephone dialing 911? On average it takes about 15 minutes or longer for a police officer to arrive at a home after an emergency call. That's enough time for the criminal to have raped, robbed, and killed the person inside. However, if the person inside fires off a couple dozen rounds of 9mm shells, the criminal is guaranteed to be either full of holes or far away scared and hiding. Don't tell me that gun bans are good in making crime decrease because that's the biggest lie ever told." ( Rob Hood )

The original intent of the 2nd amendment was to afford a citizen the right to defend oneself and one's family from a potentially power-hungry government. It was not meant to be an excuse for us to war amongst ourselves.

Do we trust our government? I, for one, do not. Yes, they are "elected officials." Unfortunately, I don't even trust our election process fully. I do not have great faith in the government.

However, the above statement by Mr. Hood also makes such a valid point.

I have had discussions with people both from Great Britain and Canada and they often point out to me how many LESS gun-related crimes there are in their countries. However, they almost always fail to tell me their knife-related crime ratio. They quote these low crime statistics leaving out the population differences of our countries, and also the racial differences and tensions, along with many other factors that vary greatly when holding up the U.S. to other countries.

I do not believe that "guns kill people." I believe that PEOPLE kill people.

Do I think guns are dangerous? In the wrong hands, yes....I think they are. And yet, in the wrong hands a knife is dangerous, a bat is dangerous, airplane is dangerous. The violent will find ways to be violent. The laws do not matter except to the law-abiding citizen. Criminals will always find violent means to subject their victims to their will, regardless of any established "law."

With all that has happened within the past 2 days, this is not an easy topic for me. My mind reels with all kinds of statistics. I don't love my children any less than Canadian parents, or British parents, or any OTHER parents worldwide. They are precious to me. Life is valuable beyond measure. Yet how do you enforce laws on the unlawful? Virginia Tech, gun laws capture global focus Virginia Tech, gun laws capture global focus: "The Daily Mail's headline, meanwhile, asked, 'What price the right to bear arms?'

Gun ownership is strictly regulated in Britain. The Home Office, which is in charge of public safety, said gun crime accounts for less than half a percent of all crime recorded by police, according to the Press Association.

In a special report on BBC 24 Monday evening, a commentator, Gavin Hewitt, said mass murder on school campuses had become 'part of the American landscape.' The network showed video footage of Columbine and the Amish shooting in Pennsylvania and noted that the powerful U.S. gun lobby had blocked gun restrictions that Europeans regard as simple common sense. 'Even after today's horrific tragedy, laws are unlikely to change,' Hewitt said.

Queen Elizabeth II, who is scheduled to visit Virginia next month, was 'shocked and saddened' by the killings, according to a spokesman at Buckingham Palace.

The story led Canadian news reports throughout the day. But while Canada, which has strict gun controls, has long looked askance at the proliferation of guns in the United States, no sense of superiority was expressed. Canada has had five school shootings since 1975, the latest last year when a young man shot 20 students at a junior college in Montreal, killing one."