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United in Fear: Are Guns The Answer?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

Moyo Musings - Weekly Reflections for Growth

In an ironic twist of circumstances, after many California communities sponsored gun buy-backs over the past several years, the industry is reporting record gun sales in 2020, being driven up ostensibly by first-time gun owners.

Fear is Driving Record Gun Purchases

On a recent National Public Radio report, a few first-time buyers were asked why they felt they needed to purchase a gun. While the specific responses differed, a common thread in all the responses was a feeling of dread and fear about what might happen as conditions worsen in the country. If we take these as representative of the feelings of all gun buyers, it reveals that some fear an overflow of violence from demonstrations, others fear the fringe extremists, others feel vulnerable as a result of fires and power-outages, while others fear the erosion of civility. One woman said it feels as if something fundamental has shifted... like the world moved on its axis. She said, "I am afraid and what troubles me is I don't know what I am afraid of..."

There is tremendous fear of what might happen when people who have been impacted by the Covid-19 damage to the economy become more desperate. The reporter also asked whether having a gun made them feel safer. The responses were mixed. She ended with the conclusion that we are united in our fear of each other.

Not United as A Nation

Imagine that! We are not united as a nation, we are united in our fear of each other...

Are guns the answer? Will we arm ourselves and play out these scenarios until the last man or woman is standing? Or shall we look more deeply at this pervasive feeling of dread and unease?

My spiritual teacher would say that fear is not because of the other, but it is at the core of our being. He often says, "you do not feel fear, you = fear." What if he is correct? Take an earnest look. What we think we fear shifts from one projection to another. But that insecure feeling is always lurking just below the surface. The task and opportunity before us is to confront that fear at the core of our being. Be with it without pushing it away, without projecting it onto others, without judging it.

Face Your Fear with Compassion

We can begin this process by taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and watch our breath. Then allow ourself to feel the sensations in our body. Pay attention to where there is tightness and discomfort. Be curious. Don't try to change it, simply give it loving attention. You may be surprised to learn what it has to reveal to you. When we are willing to truly see what is going on inside of us in this tender, unflinching manner, a natural process of transformation will begin to unfold. This transformation in each of us is what the world needs. We need it now more than ever.

~Gwendolyn Mitchell

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash


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