The killing of Feb 14th Florida high school shooting, with it the roaring protests against NRA and government legislation’s reluctance to change regulation, speaks of the difficulty in change, even after the blooding reality sinks in. Today the victims of Dunblane massacre in Scotland happened 22 years ago, sending a message to survivors of last month’s tragedy. The Dunblane shooting led the UK to bring in some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world outlawing private ownership of most handguns. As we kudos to the initiatives taken by the students of Florida high school and the Mom Demands Gun Sense in American to appeal for government gun control, and we applause Florida State passing gun control laws, we wonder what is blocking federal legislature from action?
This event just reminds me of a saying of another representative of Confucianism, Menzi (孟子): People come first, then the country, the ruling class is the least in consideration（民为贵，社稷次之，君为轻）.
Despite an increasing criticism of Confucius Institutes in the United States, there are positive elements of Confucianism that we can apply to our current social political environment. The Confucianism generally advocates education, and emphasizes the devotion of intellectuals to the public service with what they have learned. They articulate that the World belongs to the public (天下为公), education is to serve the people, about the people and for the people.
While Confucian generally regards rulers highly, Menzi emphasized the significance of the common citizens in the state, and argued that it is acceptable for the subjects to overthrow rulers who ignores the people’s needs and rules harshly.
In Menzi’s view, the Ruling class must justify their position by acting benevolently before they can expect reciprocation from the people. The ruling class is like a steward, although has presumably higher status than the commoner, it is actually subordinate to the masses of people and the resources of society. Otherwise, there would be an implied disregard of the potential of human society heading into the future. The ruling class is significant only for what they gives, not for what they takes.
Today, we admire the non-violence movements led by Gandhi and Martin Luther King in bringing about social changes. But if we don’t insist in the change, the ruling class will have no motivation to reform, as they are the beneficiaries of existing condition.
More than two hundred years ago, our forefathers call for the independence and abolish illegitimate suppression from the British Colonist. In the process, people have to get hold of guns to fight the Colonists. It is for this reason, the gun right is written into our Constitution. But law in its ultimate essence is for the highest good of the society. When social condition changes, what we need to adhere to should be the spirit of the law, not the text, or the dogma of the writing.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” How can we justify a small group of people’s abuse of power granted by the law to plunder others’ life! It is in this spirit of humanity, we call for uphold our right to have safety environment in everyday living and stand by our demand for gun control!
Liberty is about the people and for the people! We demand the change to defend our human right!