Friend Geoff Ainscow was instrumental in getting Sunnyvale, California’s, gun safety ordinance passed by voters overwhelmingly last year. Geoff’s remarkable story of citizen action, and the incident that sparked him to “get mad as hell and not take it, anymore,” is chronicled at the website of the Conscious Elders Network.
Of course, the inevitable resistance from local and national gun rights advocates continues in the courts. See the article in today’s San Jose Mercury News.
Geoff’s action is an excellent demonstration of what one motivated citizen can do. Yet, while a battle here or there may be won, the war goes on. And, while such actions - whether battling guns or racial injustice or hunger or poverty or environmental degradation or any of the other myriad woes besetting this troubled planet – are absolutely necessary for building a better world, they are not sufficient.
Also necessary as well as sufficient is action – both inner and outer – to transform the culture of separation and fear (fear being the rationale openly cited by gun advocates per the Mercury News story for opposing the ordinance) that underlies all those injustices and violence into a culture that understands that all is one, that we are all connected and interdependent. In such a culture, security lies in communities of right relationship. Walling ourselves off from one another in fortified bastions of guns and gates is both futile and feudal and, in a culture of right relationship, archaic.
We can do this. The culture of peace and right relationship is already happening. Our job is to help it become the dominant culture in the hearts of all humankind.