Is Pacifism a Privilege?

Why I believe that killing is never the answer to oppression

Pax Ahimsa Gethen
5 min readJan 25, 2023
Simple drawing of a dove carrying an olive branch, below the words “Is Pacifism a Privilege?” Dove image by Teetaweepo and JustMyThoughts from Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.

As I write this post today, mass shootings are dominating U.S. news headlines. According to the Gun Violence Archive, we have had more than one mass shooting per day in January, and the month is not yet over. Sadly, this is nothing new for a country that appears to value the right to bear arms more than the right to live.

Sadder still, the individuals killed in these horrible attacks represent only a fraction of the lives lost every day to gun violence. I have previously made my case for why voluntary gun abolition, not increased gun control or gun safety training, is the only hope for humanity moving forward as a peaceful species.

I am opposed to the use of firearms because, as my regular readers know, I am a pacifist. I named…