Another Response to Gun Violence

In previous blogs I’ve offered ideas from A Course in Miracles to help friends and relatives of victims of gun violence to cope with their loss. This one is different. In this blog I offer a Course statement from Section IV, The Two Pictures, from Chapter 17, Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship, which show how we use our mind to defend our special relationships.

The statement follows: the first two sentences from Section IV.

It is essential to realize that all defenses do what they would defend. The underlying basis for their effectiveness is that they offer what they defend.

Here I applying it to call to question the proposition that what we need to cope with gun violence is another person with a gun to protect us. Defenses, especially with guns, operate the same way as the idea or act for which they defend. Defending against gunmen using guns copies the attack. The defense perpetuates violence.  I do understand, sadly, that our present climate of fear, which accepts that response, is difficult to change

Most important: we must realize that it is abhorrent for teachers to have guns to protect their students. Their function is to offer and impart knowledge to their students. As gunners they become purveyors of violence. That squanders their function: communicating knowledge with love and compassion to and with their students.

Guns in classrooms in the hands of teachers will desecrate the foundation of our democracy; education with free, open, inquiring exchanges between students and teachers.

For millennia humankind has answered violence with violence. Without question that has not worked. The philosophical concept common to most religions; The Golden Rule has worked in many axial ages. Karen Anderson discusses that in, The Great Transformation, where she writes, “Each tradition developed its own formulation of the golden rule:

                     do not do to others what you would not have done to you.*

ACIM offers this version in text Chapter I, “The Meaning of Miracles, number 18.

A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service you can render to another. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. You recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously.

This is specific. My neighbor is myself. Harming my neighbor harms me. Whichever version of the Golden Rule one accepts, use it to counter the gun violence we are experiencing.

* Karen Anderson, in The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our religious Traditions, foot note number 1, Karl Jasper, The Origin and Goal of History, xix.