SUMMARY: Journalist Kirsten Powers begins the podcast with a personal story about the aggressive nature of the National Rifle Association (NRA) before she and co-host Jonathan Merritt critique the organization for putting partisanship and profits over life. The duo aptly point out the hypocrisy in some pro-gun arguments made in bad faith such as it’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental health problem, and the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
The second half of the show features an interview with artist/activist and Los Angeles native Propaganda who brings a nuanced, historical view on guns and gun violence from an African American perspective.
KEY QUOTE: “We are dealing with a whole lot of formation of personhood issues. The American myths…this is the way we shape our identity, this rugged individualism, rifle and shovel. This idea if you work hard you can get your dreams…this idea that nobody is going to tell me what my destiny is. So, when I step back and say, ‘Maybe everybody shouldn’t be able to have access to everything,’ it’s almost like someone is pulling the rug from under your very identity. I am not trying to remove your identity. I am not trying to undermine your identity. What I am trying to question you on is why is that a part of your identity?” – Propaganda
More curated resources on guns/gun violence:
Whether you are looking for just the essentials, are limited on time, or have a media preference we have a learning path for you to begin your education about guns and gun violence through a distinctly Christian lens.
Pastor James Atwood, who passed away in 2020, called gun violence the most important theological issue for the American church. He is rooted in the belief that all humans are created in the image of God and from Mark 12:28-34 where Jesus says the most important commandment is to love God and love your neighbor. Atwood says you cannot love God and not love your neighbor, they are fundamentally connected. Collateral Damage is a prophetic call for the church to get involved and not remain silent when 40,000 fellow image bearers are being killed each year while hundreds of thousands more are psychologically and emotionally damaged from the effects of gun violence.
SUMMARY: Based on the book (which we also recommend) with the same name Beating Guns centers on RAW tools founder Michael Martin and activist Shane Claiborne and their 2018 protest that attempted to deliver a garden tool to Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey in hopes of him supporting legislation to ban assault rifles.