Shane Claiborne shows Maryville High School students a hand plow made from a gun

Shane Claiborne shows Maryville High School students a hand plow made from a gun, inspired by the Hebrew Scripture reference to beating swords into plows.

Maryville native and speaker, activist and best-selling author Shane Claiborne and former Mennonite pastor Mike Martin is taking their spring “Beating Guns Tour” to Nashville today, one of 37 cities where they will call attention to gun violence.

They head to Atlanta on Saturday and Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday.

Inspired by the biblical prophets’ call to “beat swords into plowshares,” Claiborne and Martin are touring the country this spring with a forge and other blacksmithing tools. The Beating Guns Tour is a 90-minute event that features music, art and stories of people impacted by gun violence, culminating with an invitation for the audience to take a hammer and transform guns into garden tools.

Clailborne is a Maryville High School graduate who has worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia.

He heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living “as if Jesus meant the things he said.” His books include “Jesus for President,” “Executing Grace,” “Red Letter Revolution,” and “The Irresistible Revolution.”

He has been featured in a number of films including “Another World Is Possible” and “Ordinary Radicals.”

Tour information is at

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