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Gun violence is matched seemingly weekly by pleas for gun handle and by counter pleas for gun rights. All sorts of guns, hand guns and guns that make completely no sense for any individual to personal.

What about Christians? What about the way of the cross and gun violence, gun handle and gun rights? Does the way of the cross have something to do with these concerns? Is it all about rights?

A new book by a pastor, one particular who grew up (as I did) with guns for toys as a youngster and then owned a gun for hunting, Donald V. Gaffney is known as Prevalent Ground: Speaking about Gun Violence in America. It is a great spot to commence a conversation about guns.

For several Christians the logic operates like this: it is a proper to personal a gun, it is a cost-free nation, leave them alone. For other folks it operates like this: we have a challenge, it is a violence challenge, and Christians ought — mainly because Jesus was a man of the way of the cross — to lead the way away from violence. Even if it signifies surrendering some rights.

I think a accountable method is to get pastors to be prepared to speak up about the challenge of gun violence, to speak against gun violence and to propose divesting ourselves of guns.

Gaffney thinks we have to believe about our childhoods.

Believe about how the era in which you grew up impacted your expertise of guns: Had been films far more about gun-slinging cowboys or laser-shooting space weapons? If you grew up in the 1980s or ’90s, conversations about guns may well have centered far more on the appropriateness of specific video games. Your parents may well have objected to guns as playthings. All of these childhood influences are highly effective in shaping our visceral response to the part of guns in our culture.

Gaffney attended Sandy Hook as a youngster he has mates in that neighborhood now.

Till a couple of years ago, other than my wife’s challenges, I in no way gave guns or gun violence substantially believed. Then an esteemed colleague and mentor committed a murder-suicide. His wife had terminal cancer, and he apparently couldn’t bear it. 1 morning, he shot her in her sleep. known as the police to report it, and then shot himself. A year just before the Sandy Hook Massacre, one particular of our older son’s most effective mates from higher college committed suicide. He had been battling depression most of his life. The weekend immediately after Thanksgiving he parked his vehicle on a bridge and turned a shotgun on himself.

Believe of Gabby Gifford, a effectively-recognized victim of gun violence, or Suzanna Gratia Hupp, whose story Gaffney tells.

For some folks, witnessing gun violence—whether via the news or the experiences of family members and mates tends to make them want to limit the availability of guns. For other folks, seeing such violence in the planet tends to make them see guns as a needed signifies of protection.

Gabby Gifford and her husband astronaut Mark Kelly decided anything could be completed:

They talked about gun violence and what they may possibly do to make a distinction. The massacre in Newtown on December 14, 2012, drove them to action. They reached out to their help network to see if funding could be accessible via donations. It was. Subsequent came the name. Even though serving in Congress, Gabby was generally a moderate, attempting to be affordable and accountable. As Mark later wrote, “We knew what the name need to not include: no guns, no rifles, no handle, no violence. We weren’t against something we merely wanted to bring folks collectively to resolve genuine difficulties.” They named the organization Americans for Accountable Options and publically [c’mon WJKP] launched it on the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting.

Two concerns:

Do we have a challenge?

Is this a great spot to commence? (Accountable options)

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