New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Unarmed Empowerment

January 11, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Robert C. Koehler

Establishing a New Consciousness About Gun Violence

by Robert C. Koehler

“But my instinct was that if someone is shooting at you, it is generally better to shoot back than to cower and pray.”

This is the hidden argument for guns as America’s primary peacekeepers — that the debate comes down to gun ownership vs. helplessness.

Jeffrey Goldberg’s 7,000-word essay, “The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control),” which ran in the December issue of The Atlantic — just prior to the Newtown killings — came down, for me, to the above sentence.

He made a number of quasi-reasonable points, the main one being that there are 300 million guns in America right now and it’s simply too late for gun control to be effective: “Only the naive think that legislation will prevent more than a modest number of the criminally minded, and the mentally deranged, from acquiring a gun in a country absolutely inundated with weapons.” (more…)

Replenishing the Earth

September 27, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Guest Author

Healing Ourselves and the World

by Wangari Maathai

During my more than three decades as an environmentalist and campaigner for democratic rights, people have often asked me whether spirituality, different religious traditions, and the Bible in particular had inspired me, and influenced my activism and the work of the Green Belt Movement (GBM). Did I conceive conservation of the environment and empowerment of ordinary people as a kind of religious vocation? Were there spiritual lessons to be learned and applied to their own environmental efforts, or in their lives as a whole?

When I began this work in 1977, I wasn’t motivated by my faith or by religion in general. Instead, I was thinking literally and practically about solving problems on the ground. (more…)