Sep 17, 2013
It’s been reported that Aaron Alexis, the former U.S. Navy reservist who went on a shooting spree on a naval base, leaving 13 people dead, including him, was a Buddhist.
This isn’t of course the first time a Buddhist has acted violently. While Buddhism generally has a peaceful history, Buddhist institutions have persecuted non-Buddhists and those from other Buddhist traditions and have sometimes supported war (Japan in the Second World War is a notable example). And Buddhist individuals have committed pretty much every violent act you can imagine, for their own personal reasons, whether that’s greed, hatred, or, in Alexis’ case apparently, mental illness.
Is it possible, in the face of all this, …