The just peacemaking paradigm situates the initiative to “Reduce Offensive Weapons and Weapons Trade” under the heading of “Love and Community,” and loving community is precisely the aspect we intend to emphasize when engaging possibilities for preventing gun violence. Often this initiative is understood primarily in an international mode, as many of the initiatives are, but most of the initiatives and practices have shades of application for communities on a smaller scale and for interpersonal relationships. In Chapter 8 of Kingdom Ethics, entitled “Sowing the Seeds of Peace,” Glen Stassen and David Gushee bring together sociological studies of what actually works to reduce gun violence. Strikingly, the studies reveal that the practices that work to reduce gun violence are basically the practices of just peacemaking.
In the introduction to the third edition of the Just Peacemaking volume (Pilgrim Press, 2008), Glen Stassen and company write:
The individualism of our culture has caused us to slight the gospel’s emphasis on community. We need to recover the Hebraic emphasis on covenant community. We need to recover Jesus’ emphasis that love includes enemies, outcasts, and the neglected. Otherwise, our peacemaking ignores structural forces beyond interpersonal peacemaking. Essential to peacemaking is attention to those structural forces of cooperation that work steadily to build regular relationships and include enemies, outcasts, and the neglected in community with us. (pp. 27-28)
So in one post below, Stassen has said that when people lose their sense of togetherness – their sense of the common good – they are more likely to rely on weapons to keep them safe from the outsiders, Bill Dyrness has iterated a similar understanding in another post, and so on. In addition to what is posted below, Fuller has published a webpage with resources for responding to gun violence.
Articles about Preventing Gun Violence
- Reflections of a Lapsed NRA Member - By William A. Dyrness I have a confession to make: I was a member of the National Rifle Association when I was growing up in the Midwest. At summer camp I competed in their approved program of marksmanship. Somewhere in my attic are probably the graying targets and awards that show my growing ability, as [...]
- Curbing the Out-of-Control Numbers of Gun Deaths in the US - By Glen H. Stassen Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from notes of his presentation to the Peace and Justice Advocates student group on January 15, 2013, at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Time-sensitive and anecdotal references should be considered as related to this meeting. Vice President Joseph Biden and President Obama are advocating [...]
- Responding to 2012′s Tragedies after Sandy Hook - By Jacob A. Cook It is always the right time to talk about what is (or is not) working to promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And in so doing, it is important to take time to reflect, as soberly as we can, on the many factors at work behind acts of domestic [...]
- A Series of Tweets by David Gushee in Response to Newtown - The following series of Twitter posts offers many possible action-steps in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School (and the many domestic acts of terror this year). Oh my God please no. Kindergartners now the object of a gun massacre. What a sick society. 27 dead! 18 children! Please no! — David Gushee [...]
- The Sustaining Power of Faith for Peacemaking - By Jacob A. Cook In a seminar with Glen Stassen, a group of students recently read Charles Marsh’s book The Beloved Community (New York: Basic Books, 2005), which demonstrates how Christian faith contributed to the civil rights movement and how it continues to sustain struggles for justice and meaningful pursuits of community. In this book, [...]
- Second (Amendment) Thoughts: On Christians and Guns - By Peter M. Sensenig Speaking at All Saints Church in Pasadena on Sunday, civil rights leader Rev. James Lawson lamented that violence is so engrained in the DNA of our culture that we can scarcely imagine anything else. Some resist following Jesus because they question the efficacy of nonviolence. But if violence ushered in peace, [...]
- Justice, Guns, and Gates - By Peter M. Sensenig The murder of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman raises three glaring issues for people of faith, especially those with basic convictions about the sanctity of human life and the obligation to seek justice. First, this incident is a jolting reminder that the historical devaluing of the lives of black [...]