So when you become a Buddhist you take some precepts, and one of them’s don’t be angry. That’s a precept, not a rule or a prohibition, in other words a live edge no one can tell you what means, at a given moment, or whether you’re being true to or not, but you.
One of the things I find me wondering tonight is, when does keeping the precept mean, yeah, be stinking mad. I went to my President wanting righteous anger (lead, man, lead) and did get some –
He’s a good man. And doing better now he’s unelectable. But I want flames out his eyes. I want Old Testament prophet apocalypse. I want leave no prisoners in righteous fury. What kind of insanely deformed social contract could imagine, let alone allow, let alone allow so often we’ve grown used to it, battlefield weaponry in the hands of a gravely mentally ill young man?
I teach. What if it happened here, on my campus, what if he’s in the hallway outside my classroom? Would I fold up, or would I have the cool command I want to think I would? (I faced down a grizzly once, how about a gunman?) I’ve never touched a gun. But in my imagination of this moment, my whole body and mind is a gun, and one purpose, cease the threat to my kids.
I’d kill to save my children if I had children. I think I would.
My whole body and mind a gun. I’m not a peaceful man. That’s why I need the precept. Too, we’re all animals, we’ve all got some fight in us, and that’s as it should be, isn’t it? There should be room for flames to come out our eyes.
Also there should be no such thing as guns.
But, since there are, there should be real gun laws, don’t you think?
Write to someone in that sort of power. See if we might make it so.