The press has reported that students in the United States fight for the liberation of the right to bear arms inside American universities. Since 2006, when the Supreme Court of Utah approved the law which guarantees students, professors and employees of all public universities of the State the right to bear firearms in the campus, guns started being part of each student's school material. That seems part of a fiction text, but, unfortunately, it is not. Currently, 48 American States have legal support so that one can carry firearms in public places, such as movie theaters, theaters, churches and shopping malls. From this total, 16 States do not permit the use of firearms in educational institutions, while the other States leave the decision under the responsibility of the universities themselves - which, in its great majority, opt for vetoing it, thank God! Utah is the only State which consents carrying firearms in the campuses of its public universities - nine, in total.
The movement (created the following day of the most lethal attack to educational institutions of the United States, which left a total of 32 people dead) counts, nowadays, with more than 30 thousand sympathizers, distributed in 44 American States. Strictly speaking, to make universities free areas, for the use of weapon, even if for defensive use, does not make them safer places. Recently, 15 American States started discussions on possible changes in the legislation which rules the control of weapons in their territories.
The weapon's permit liberation, mainly in universities campuses, make us sad and concerned, especially because it will not solve the problem of violence. Quite on the contrary, it will stimulate that, in academic life, adolescents commit increasingly intense and in enormous intensity infractional acts, as "weapons" were created to "kill". We know that cruelty occurs in all social segments, and there will always be a combination of events that could make them a tragedy. The solution, obviously, will have to be born from a joint effort, involving the State, psychologists, students, and their families.
Although the American society has built part of its values under the sight of rifles, machine guns and pistols, and despite the fact that these weapons symbolize the "autonomy" of the citizen and the "individual freedoms" before the State, weapons projected the United States to the ranking of the world's most violent nation, according to indicated criminality indexes.
Some define man as an automaton, a machine, composed of complex gears, dynamic, harmonic, and that can, at the same time, be contradictory. This contradiction can lead man to escape from the social patterns and precipitate him into insanity. (1) André Luiz in Conduta Espírita (Spiritualist Conduct) warns: Avoid the use of homicide weapons, as well as the habit of disdaining time with self-defenses, no matter the process in which they are expressed. Because the faithful server of the Doctrine has, in the safe conscience, the inexpugnable fortress. (2)
The conscious Spiritualists obviously believe that one of the solutions for crime is firearm sales prohibition all over the national territory, except for the Federal, State and Municipal bodies of public security and companies of private security, regularly constituted in the form established by Law. The Gospel homeland is a great producer of weapons, contrasting with the spiritual commitment. Therefore, we believe that its commercialization, mainly in the domestic market, is an abominable practice, because it makes violence increasingly lethal.
We have another concern: Statistics demonstrate that weapons stored in family homes or work stations, for civilians, ended up being stolen and/or used by evildoers, even against their owners, in criminal actions. Another significant number is the one of domestic accidents involving, mainly, children and adolescents, who, when using firearms, without any ability, ended up accidentally letting them off, causing serious injuries or homicides. There are international studies pointing out firearms as responsible for 65% of the homicides in weekends, and that nearly 28% of these weapons come from "honest men". Two thousand years ago Jesus taught: You have heard that it was said to the Elders: "You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall deserve judgment." But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall deserve judgment. And whoever says to his brother, "Raca!" shall deserve be condemned by the council. But whoever says, "You fool!" shall deserve the hell fire.(3) In Brazil, we believe that crime has its fulcrums in the social inequality, high index of unemployment, disordered urbanization and, mainly, in the firearm uncontrolled diffusion, clandestine in its majority, situations that decisively contribute for the increase of crime. We are desolated to know that, next to the United States, the "Gospel Homeland" is one of the world leaders in cases of deaths produced with the use of firearms. The Brazilian society needs to search for effective solutions for the problem of urban violence. For solid reasons, we believe the "protection" offered by arms in houses is false or perfunctory, especially considering the high risk potential of the weapon used by unprepared relatives, which may cause irreparable harmful effects in the family members' domestic life.
Each day many youngsters and adolescents succumb, they are seduced by the market of the traffic of weapons, enchained in environments watered by drugs and deep violence, where inconceivable crimes under the stimulation of moral misery and obsession are committed. We believe that any fund investment in weapons is useless and unnecessary. Evidently, we are not so ingenuous to the point of thinking that the restriction (prohibition) of the use of firearms definitively and immediately equates the problem of social violence. However, we know that firearms can be replaced by other weapons, perhaps not so "efficient" to eliminate people, but, mainly, when preserving them from the extermination practices.
In the absence of the structure of the coercive and preventive equipment of the State, firearms will continue getting to the hands of individuals without any commitment with the good and making its victims. Therefore, it is imperative to meditate that we must learn to disarm, our spirits, before any other thing. This will only be possible through the practice of love and fraternity, in which peace will be the consequence. When we talk about peace, the personification of this concept is best identified in Mahatma Gandhi. O Illuminated of India managed to free the Hindus from the British Empire without allowing a single shot due to his non-violence philosophy.
(1) Escape from reality itself. It can be defined as an experience in the imaginary. The imaginary becomes reality for the lunatic, however it is distorted from the true reality.
(2) Vieira, Waldo. Conduta Espírita (Spiritualist Conduct), Rio de Janeiro: FEB publishing house, 2003, Chapter 18
(3) Matthew, 21 and 22.