Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Tao of Guns

While reading and contemplating the Tao Te Ching, I came across the first verse that I'm having trouble with. It's Verse 31 and the part that is bothering me goes as follows:

"Weapons are the tools of violence; not of the sage.

Therefore, the followers of the Tao never use them.

He uses them only when there is no choice,
And then calmly and in tact,
For he finds no beauty in them.
Whoever finds beauty in weapons

delights in the slaughter of men;
And who delights in slaughter
Cannot content himself with peace."

Anyone who knows me well will spot the problem right away. My husband is a HUGE firearm enthusiast. I’ve never been that into them, but he has made me much more comfortable with them, they are a large part of my life and our life together. Neither of us would ever use firearms to harm anyone or make any offensive type actions, they are seen merely as a defense tool (and hunting tool for my hubby).

I am struggling with how this verse applies to our use of firearms. I tried talking to my hubby about it, be he’s too scared that I’ll want to stop doing anything with them to look at it objectively. I feel like Lao Tzu has acknowledged that sometimes, the use of a weapon in self defense is necessary as long as ALL other options are exhausted (the last resort line.) But this seems to contradict the line about how weapons are not of the sage.

I have no conclusions as of yet, so any input would be appreciated.