by John Donnelly…….
I Am The NRA….My life membership in this esteemed and enlightening association, has provided me with the means to advance my commitment towards peace and non-violence. Having witnessed barbarity and slaughter during war; an awakened acknowledgement and realization ignited my determination to seek a better way at resolving differences, while developing effective strategies to relate with my fellow man.
Motivated by anguishing recollections and spiritual discontent, I set out to understand the internal and external causes that precede the killing of a human being. War is a craven and potent phenomena driven by money and the powerful. The covetous desire for more, along with the maddening need to extinguish all real and imagined threats, which might impede one’s attainment of said desires, can create rationalized justifications for savage atrocities and mass murder. Marketing the distorted themes of such bloodthirsty conduct, has become a skillful enterprise pursued by corrupt governments and the military industrial complex.
An unsophisticated and simple man at my core, I was cognizant of not being cut from the same cloth, as those identified in the aforementioned categories. However, the convoluted and displaced emotions filling my mind and spirit had to be addressed before I could move on. Mending from my wounds required some time. I was required to cast aside old ideas, as I began to move in circles of those seeking alternatives to the violence I experienced. This commitment has been ongoing. Its prompted growth and evolution, securing a prominent place within my consciousness.
Scents, scenes and the horror of firearm violence has never left me. The copious amounts of blood, flesh and body fluids accumulated on my skin, clothing and fighting gear; deposited by myself, enemy combatants and colleagues, are an ever present reminder, memorializing the butchery that can be caused by firearms.
Guns do not kill people. People kill people. Inanimate objects are incapable of assuming a life of their own and suddenly make a decision to harm someone. A criminal’s, terrorist’s or soldier’s intent energizes these otherwise lifeless objects. The perpetrators of violence will use whatever means at their disposal to exact harm, death and destruction upon their targets.
Throughout recorded history, civilian governments and bureaucrats, along with their disingenuous, incompetent and negligent methods of relating to and interacting with the realities of their world; are responsible for generating and fostering a climate of chaos, calamity, distrust and death. An environment that breeds racial, religious and economic alienation. A backdrop for unrest, conflict and armed strife. More than two hundred and sixty two million citizens have been murdered by governments (262,000,000). Civilian leaders from some governments have demonstrated a penchant for murder. Proficient at enslaving children and innocent civilians, their expertise is legend.
My article suggests a countermeasure to the extraordinarily failed measures put forth by government, attempting to stem gun violence. It’s not endorsed by the mainstream media, nor does it adhere to the protractive and politically correct narratives advanced by the current regime.
Please bear with me….
Arriving back to the home-front, allowing some time to heal, I began teaching children identified as “troubled and disturbed”. I was also called upon to work with and mentor children living in an impoverished and crime ridden community.
Serious crime and gun violence were routine realities in the lives of these school children. I was alarmed by the degree of brutality and bloodshed that confronted my students. Authorities were regularly apprised and contacted concerning their blight, with the expectancy of securing additional protection for them. Jurisdictional agencies responded as best they could. However, little changed in their lives.
Rather than facing off against the disturbing malefactors tormenting these little ones, with like force, I turned to the God of my understanding and individuals that I trusted, as I sought guidance and intuitive awareness, as to what I should do. I did not want to exacerbate the troubles of an already problematic situation. I very much wanted to make the right move and decrease their torment.
Upon the recommendation of several colleagues my senior, I contacted the National Rifle Association seeking ideas and counsel, on how I might effectively ease the suffering of those placed under my care.
The NRA provided me with the “Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program”. This valuable and instructive tool positively energized and uplifted the mood of our classroom. While identifying the authentic fear, pain and trauma injuring these children; this curriculum stimulated discussion and reenactments of behaviors orientated towards realizing solutions. It provided an antidote to the toxicity consuming their young and vulnerable lives.
This innovative instrument of learning empowered its recipients with insight, hope and reassurance; particularly in light of the dangers that surrounded them.
The “Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program” was a springboard for new and challenging ideas contained within our syllabus. Lesson plan development incorporating resources from this program, sparked skill mastery for my students in unrelated content areas.
During the next 3 years, I began speaking on a weekly basis with incarcerated juveniles. We discussed many topics. The cause/effect of violence, nomenclature of a criminal, recidivism and the futility of gun violence; were regularly touched upon. Eddie Eagle resources and concepts were creatively utilized in many of these presentations.
The behavior, attitudes and achievement of my students and the juveniles I visited with, assumed a more positive and creative tone, as their lives and grades dramatically improved. Knowing they were safe in the classroom and probably secure in their dorms, was a stepping stone towards relief and healing. Their new beliefs gradually took hold of them. These ideas began to expand and uplift their consciousness, manifesting themselves in areas outside of the classroom.
The NRA (National Rifle Association) is an organization that has saved and enriched the lives of young children, who were in many instances abandoned, unloved and neglected by society.
A lot of talk, rhetoric, name calling and hate speech has come from some ideologues that haven’t a clue; regarding the cessation of gun violence. It appears some have politicized ‘gun murder’ for their own selfish and political agendas, while refusing to acknowledge the success of programs repudiating and contradicting their indoctrinated beliefs and dogmas.
Obtuse and inflexible personalities in pursuit of denigrating and demonizing another, simply because of their position on the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution, paralyzes the consensus required to factually frame and intelligently address this issue.
Researching and studying this topic through the years, to my regret, it appears for some that the ‘gospel of gun control’ has morphed into a religion worshipped upon an altar constructed of broken bodies and shattered families. In accordance with the crazed and intolerant minds of these extremists, a level of gun violence appears acceptable, so as to insure the collateral damage required for a political victory.
‘Terrorist and crime control’ can readily be achieved. It requires will and commitment. Within the confines of our surroundings, myself and many others have decreased the potency of this poison. Having proclaimed the trajectory of our lives, the universe coalesced, as we advanced confidently towards our objectives.
Moving forward with the issues of violence and gun control, let’s draw upon the accrued and collective wisdom of all concerned parties. Let each one of us present empirical data, developed and scientifically validated as accurate; replicating the experiences and methodology we utilized in creating a safer and more secure environment.
Piercing axiomatic demagoguery veiling the ‘gun control’ debate, without clear heads and clean facts, will remain an unobtainable fantasy, so long as violent partisanship is the preferred means of communication.
As a nation disassembles and children are butchered, while communities and the world are torn apart; angry and hateful surges of vitriol are being slung about from the white house to the outhouse. These fractured and touchy personalities, along with their narcissistic and egocentric leanings, have magnetizing an eclectic menagerie of ‘ne’er do wellers’, intent on benefitting from the pomp and circumstance of power; while being sycophantically manipulated to attack the second most important amendment in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Despite the leaderless and inferior examples holding center stage on this debate, we must forge past their propaganda and discover for ourselves: “What’s Going On”.
Successful individuals with authentic ideas have actually remedied this sickening plague. They’ve earned the right to be heard. Fixating on theories, hypotheses and hyperbole; along with a fascination of beliefs only designed to make one feel good, has sustained an unnecessary level of pain and suffering for the ‘innocence’ within our society and the world at large.
As a work under construction, I equate myself with all my Brothers and Sisters. My commitment is to truth, not consistency. I’ve grown, evolved and changed dramatically throughout my existence. I’ve learned to embrace life, open to its divergent perspectives and points of view. I’ve come to appreciate differences, while eagerly welcoming those better informed, with a superior intellect, into my life. I never learned anything from an individual who agreed with me.
Frequently being placed into situations where I’ve been called upon to exceed my limitations, I’ve found out how far I can actually go. I’m not afraid to fail or make a mistake.
Although determined to discard contemptuous ideas and beliefs designed to protect my pseudo self (ego), some of these flawed characteristics at times can seep through, poisoning the opportunity for a reasonable exchange of information. If any of these lingering traits have been detected via this article and I’ve offended anyone, I ask your forgiveness.
As a young man, I resolutely set forth to change the world. I wanted this planet to be a more peaceful place in which to live. Filled with a distorted sense of self, I proceeded to locate and meet with a spiritualized master. After explaining my concerns to him, he looked directly at me with his penetrating eyes, and advised me to: “change yourself”. He went on: “the world will change when you think peaceful thoughts and live a life of service and love”.
Disappointed and discouraged by this devout man’s inability to appreciate my many special gifts; I set out to find a self-realized master in Northern India near the base of the Himalayas. An advanced disciple of a renowned Hindu saint, certainly this wise and holy man would recognize my exceptional talents.
After an appropriate introduction, I sat before him and began to meditate. This ‘saint’ touched me at a point slightly elevated between my eyebrows (spiritual eye) and directed me to: “be nice”.
Stumbling forward over the course of my life, my understanding and meaning of these teachings have undergone kaleidoscopic interpretations. However, their intent and purpose have always remained clear.
Falling far short in my ability to implement these lessons into my life, I’ve not quit nor abandoned my effort. I believe some progress has been made along the way.
If our schools would disseminate knowledge, instruction and teachings in keeping with the aforementioned wisdom, within a “how to live curriculum”, a debate over ‘gun control’ wouldn’t be necessary, as the issue would be nonexistent.
In closing, allow me to offer 5 quotes from individuals not often drawn into a firearms discussion:
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.”
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
“But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you … it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
– Dalai Lama
“…the right to defend one’s home and one’s person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law.”
– Martin Luther King
“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.”
– Sigmund Freud