March 25, 2013

Another Way: reducing what causes gun violence in America

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This morning, I will walk with hundreds of other Christians to call on the White House to take action in reducing gun violence in America. We do this because our faith compels us to–as I've said before, I do this because my faith compels me to. Yet, having participated in many activities such as this in the past I am aware of its limitations as well. We need to not only draw attention to the issue but provide another way. I would hope that Christians of all positions on this issue might consider how their faith communities can work to reduce violence in their neighborhoods. For that is the real issue here: reducing violence.

I grew up around guns. My dad had a gun. My uncles had guns. I grew up with family members in the military and on the police force. They were each responsible gun owners. Guns were neither glamorized nor abhorred. My opinions on gun legislation have very little to do with guns themselves–I've not had a bad experience with guns. Rather, it has everything to do with violence.

In his book, Fist Stick Knife Gun, Geoffrey Canada makes an observation based on his personal experience of growing up in a violent neighborhood. He observes that gun violence is not primarily an issue about guns. Rather, it is an issue about violence. Gun laws will address the symptom. How might we address the causes?

So, this morning I am curious, what do you think churches can do to reduce the causes of violence in their neighborhoods?


Allen Randall said...

They could reach out to troubled teen boys and their families, sharing the gospel and seeking to make disciples. This might reach some young men who might otherwise turn to violence. But most churches will instead do things that get favorable attention from the secular world and the press: hold marches, circulate petitions and lobby politicians to pass more laws about gun cosmetics and paperwork.

jasonevans said...

I will agree with you that the real work is the making of disciples in the most violent of places. But I do think there is value, even if limited, in bringing attention to these things. It does, though, hold us to a higher standard: If we speak up in such a way, than we better stand up with our actions.

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