Beating Guns {A Book a Day 20}

Jeff and I saw this monument “Guns into Plowshares” in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on our way to Washington, D.C. last fall. It’s a large plow blade made in 1995 by Mennonite artist Esther Augsburger and her son Michael from 3,000 confiscated guns collected by the D.C. police department in an amnesty program.

It was moved from Washington, D.C., to Eastern Mennonite University in 2017, where it now resides.

I’m not anti-gun. I’m married to a hunter. We have guns in our house, safely secured.

But I am also pro-common sense gun laws.

And we don’t have enough of these, especially in my state of Alabama.

Our gun safety laws are among the worst in the nation.

So it’s not surprising that Alabama is #5 in the nation for firearm death rates (as of 2021 statistics), behind only Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico and Wyoming. Our gun homicide rate now even outpaces our suicide rate. (In most states, gun suicides are greater than gun homicides.)

We have been better at protecting guns than protecting people.
– Shane Claiborne

Gun violence disturbs all of us.

This book, Beating Guns: Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence by Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin, shows how gun violence is both a heart problem AND a gun problem.

There is a way to slow down our gun violence problem in America. But are we willing to take it?

 Beating Guns

Claiborne and Martin write from a Christian perspective in this book, but you don’t have to be a Christian to benefit from the truths they share.

“Some will say, ‘All we can do is pray.’ That’s a lie.
We can pray, and we must pray. Gun violence is spiritual.
But we can do more than pray. We can organize. We can dialogue. We can boycott and keep vigil. We can write letters and make phone calls and go to jail for nonviolent civil disobedience. Gun violence is social and political and economic; it is also a moral issue.”

Beating Guns is full of statistics that reveal just how extensive our problem has been for many years.

  • America has as many guns as people.
  • More Americans have died from guns in the last 50 years than in all the wars we’ve been in.
  • Americans own almost half the world’s guns, yet we are less than 5% of the world’s population.
  • America’s biggest gun problem is suicide.

I recommend Beating Guns to anybody concerned about gun violence and wanting to make a change.

I also recommend joining or donating to your local chapter of Moms Demand Action, a non-partisan grassroots organization for all women and all men dedicated to ending gun violence.

Quotes from 

“The Golden Rule—do to others what you would have them do to you—is a greater commandment than the Second Amendment.”

~ * ~

“A gun is much more likely to be used in a suicide, a domestic homicide, or an accidental shooting than it is to be used to ward off a criminal.”

~ * ~

“The Jesus I worship carried a cross. Jesus did not tell us to kill our enemies; he told us to love them.”

~ * ~

“When Jesus said to love your enemies, isn’t it safe to assume he meant that we shouldn’t kill them?”

~ * ~

“We have been better at protecting guns than protecting people.”

~ * ~

“Every human is created in the image of God. We have love in our DNA. There is something in almost every person that recognizes that killing is wrong.”

If you also have guns in your homes, make sure they are safely secured. Did you know that 4.6 million American children live in homes with guns that are both loaded and unlocked? Get great advice here on how to safely store your firearms.

Have you lost anyone to gun violence, either homicide or suicide? Share your thoughts in the comments

You are on Day #20 of the series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

Each day of February 2023 I’m recommending one book a day from favorite nonfiction books I’ve recently read.

The Table of Contents for all 28 books is here, updated daily.

A Book a Day - Nonfiction Favorites

Stories I Only Tell My Friends” {Book 19}

How to Human” {Book 21}

8 thoughts on “Beating Guns {A Book a Day 20}

  1. Jerralea Winn Miller

    It’s definitely a big topic! I do really feel if you are going to own a gun, you should make very sure that it is safely stored and someone else cannot get at it.

    Once again, Lisa, you surprise with the variety of topics your reading covers!

  2. Ann Adams

    This is definitely a polarizing type of topic. One where you will see multiple kinds of responses to. I am all for gun safety laws so long as they do not infringe on my right to own guns. Gun owners need to make keeping guns and ammunition kept locked and in separate places of utmost priority. I grew up with veterans and my husband is a veteran. They believe in the fundamental right to own guns as a way of protecting our families and home. With that being said, I know of veterans who have taken their own lives with guns. So, when addressing gun violence and gun safety laws, we need to also address the mental illnesses that are quite prevalent in our country. There are countries where guns are absolutely banned, but people still find ways to commit violence through the use of knives and even axes. If someone intends to harm others or him/herself, they will use whatever means are available to them. Polarizing topic indeed! Your post is thought-provoking but one we all need to take seriously.

  3. Donna B Reidland

    I’m there with you, Lisa, not anti-gun but so weary of all the violence in every form. I mourn for our nation and what she has become. I pray that good people will rise up in prayer, common sense, and the wisdom that only God can give.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Wow–crazy internet taking a year to send an email. lol. I can’t explain why things like that happen. 😉 But glad it’s working properly now and hopefully it will continue.

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