Conversations, Reading Guides, VOLUME 12

Reducing Gun Violence – Essential Books for Christians

Gun Violence Books Christians

After two more mass-shootings last weekend (El Paso and Dayton), more innocent lives have been taken because of our inability as the American people to wrestle with the complex history of arms and rights here in our nation, and to take action that would minimize these sorts of events in which the lives of bystanders are taken. Within Christianity, although our scriptures say many things about violence, we have no distinctive Christian consensus on how to reduce gun violence .

 
I’m not one for banning guns altogether. Certain types of military weapons should be highly restricted, and we need tighter controls on who can access guns, and where they can do so. With the continuing death toll, I believe that this sort of sensible gun control is coming, but the lingering questions are when, and how many more innocent lives will be sacrificed before it does?
 
 
Here are some very helpful books for Christians that wrestle with the complex social and legal histories of guns and gun violence in America, and with the theological ramifications of our obsession with guns.

Common Ground: Talking about Gun Violence in America 

Donald Gaffney

Newtown, Connecticut, native and Disciples of Christ minister Donald V. Gaffney brings a calm and compassionate voice to these complex questions, offering a guide for individuals and groups to reflect on and discuss guns and gun violence. Common Ground explores the place of guns in our individual and national histories, violence in Scripture, the legal issues surrounding gun rights, and ways in which we as moral, life-valuing people can bridge the divide to help solve the problem of gun violence in the United States. To move beyond the talking points and rhetoric dominating gun violence discussions, Gaffney concludes chapters with questions for reflection and discussion to encourage self-examination, exploration, and evaluation of potential solutions to gun violence.


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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


One Comment

  1. I am very disappointed, to say the least, to see such an unbalanced list of books on gun violence. I think your bias is showing.