Parkland. Las Vegas. Dallas. Orlando. San Bernardino. Paris. Charleston. Sutherland Springs. Newtown. These cities are now known for the people who were shot and killed in them. More Americans have died from guns in the US in the last fifty years than in all the wars in American history. With less than 5% of the world's population, the people of the US own nearly half the world's guns. America also has the most annual gun deaths--homicide, suicide, and accidental gun deaths--at 105 per day, or more than 38,000 per year. Some people say it's a heart problem. Others say it's a gun problem. The authors of Beating Guns believe it's both.
This book is for people who believe the world doesn't have to be this way. Inspired by the prophetic image of beating swords into plows, Beating Guns provides a provocative look at gun violence in America and offers a clarion call to change our hearts regarding one of the most significant moral issues of our time. Bestselling author, speaker, and activist Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin show why Christians should be concerned about gun violence and how they can be part of the solution. The authors transcend stale rhetoric and old debates about gun control to offer a creative and productive response. Full-color images show how guns are being turned into tools and musical instruments across the nation. Charts, tables, and facts convey the mind-boggling realities of gun violence in America, but as the authors make clear, there is a story behind every statistic. Beating Guns allows victims and perpetrators of gun violence to tell their own compelling stories, offering hope for change and helping us reimagine the world as one that turns from death to life, where swords become plows and guns are turned into garden tools.
- Highly recommended
In the tradition of Irresistible Revolution and Becoming an Answer to Our Prayers, Beating Guns claims for our day Isaiah’s prophetic vision of weapons being beaten into “plows” and “pruning hooks.” Wielding historical and cultural analysis, Jesus-centered biblical exegesis and community-based nonviolent activism, authors Claiborne and Martin identify our fear-based, marketing-fueled idolatry of guns and violence and forge a practical vision of a more peace-full nation. I highly recommend this book!
How did we get here? Why do we live in a day of live-shooter school drills, gun “accidents,” mass shooting victim lists, veteran suicides, and a body politic held hostage by gun rights extremists? Beating Guns pounds out the answers, statistic by statistic, episode by episode, fact by fact. Along the way, Beating Guns exposes the violence and dehumanization in American history and debunks the myths of redemptive violence surrounding the Old West, cowboys, vigilantes, armies of one, and the U.S. military.
It calls for common-sense regulation of the as-of-now un-regulated gun industry, a re-prioritization of national economic priorities, and a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, yes. It reclaims the teaching and parables of Jesus and early Christianity’s nonviolent imperative, yes. But Claiborne and Martin also dream of voluntary local weapons collection centers and exhort ordinary citizens not to wait for politicians to end our gun-fed cycle of violence.
Isaiah’s vision of a de-weaponized reality can only come about one day at a time and one gun-turned-plow at a time. The heroes of Beating Guns don’t save the day by killing the bad guy. They save the day by loving their enemies, forgiving those who killed their loved ones, turning firearms used in suicides and suicide attempts into garden tools, and responding to violence with nonviolence. We desperately need these kinds of heroes: people like Laurie Works, Sharletta Evans, Kay Pranis, Terri Roberts, Benjamin Corey, Larry Wright and Daniel Berrigan. May more of us find the courage and conviction to join their number!
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