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When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough: A Shooting Survivor's Journey Into the Realities of Gun Violence

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Taylor Schumann never thought she'd be a victim of gun violence. But one spring day a man with a shotgun walked into her workplace and opened fire on her. While she survived, she was left with permanent wounds, both visible and invisible. In When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough, Taylor invites us to see what it means to be a survivor after the news vehicles drive away a Taylor Schumann never thought she'd be a victim of gun violence. But one spring day a man with a shotgun walked into her workplace and opened fire on her. While she survived, she was left with permanent wounds, both visible and invisible. In When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough, Taylor invites us to see what it means to be a survivor after the news vehicles drive away and the media moves on. Healing is slow and complicated. As she suffered through surgeries, grueling rehabilitation, and counseling to repair the physical injuries and emotional trauma, she came face to face with the deep and lasting impact of gun violence. As she began grappling with the realities, Taylor experienced another painful truth: Christians have largely been absent from this issue. Gun violence undercuts God's vision of abundant life and community--and the silence of the church rings loudly in the ears of survivors and families of victims. Taylor weaves her own incredible story of survival and recovery into a larger conversation about gun violence in our country. With compassion and honesty, she encourages readers to reconsider their own engagement with the issue and to join her in envisioning a more hopeful, safer future for our nation. Move beyond thoughts and prayers and enter into grace-filled dialogue and action.


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Taylor Schumann never thought she'd be a victim of gun violence. But one spring day a man with a shotgun walked into her workplace and opened fire on her. While she survived, she was left with permanent wounds, both visible and invisible. In When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough, Taylor invites us to see what it means to be a survivor after the news vehicles drive away a Taylor Schumann never thought she'd be a victim of gun violence. But one spring day a man with a shotgun walked into her workplace and opened fire on her. While she survived, she was left with permanent wounds, both visible and invisible. In When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough, Taylor invites us to see what it means to be a survivor after the news vehicles drive away and the media moves on. Healing is slow and complicated. As she suffered through surgeries, grueling rehabilitation, and counseling to repair the physical injuries and emotional trauma, she came face to face with the deep and lasting impact of gun violence. As she began grappling with the realities, Taylor experienced another painful truth: Christians have largely been absent from this issue. Gun violence undercuts God's vision of abundant life and community--and the silence of the church rings loudly in the ears of survivors and families of victims. Taylor weaves her own incredible story of survival and recovery into a larger conversation about gun violence in our country. With compassion and honesty, she encourages readers to reconsider their own engagement with the issue and to join her in envisioning a more hopeful, safer future for our nation. Move beyond thoughts and prayers and enter into grace-filled dialogue and action.

30 review for When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough: A Shooting Survivor's Journey Into the Realities of Gun Violence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Bouchillon

    For such a polarizing topic, it strikes me that the first words I think of after reading the final page of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" are: vulnerable, honest, well-researched, gracious. Will every reader bring their own thoughts, opinions, and beliefs to this book? Absolutely. Will some read exactly what they pre-plan to read into this book? Sure. What I found in Taylor Schumann's words, though, is not an author who desires to convince all readers to think/believe just like her, b For such a polarizing topic, it strikes me that the first words I think of after reading the final page of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" are: vulnerable, honest, well-researched, gracious. Will every reader bring their own thoughts, opinions, and beliefs to this book? Absolutely. Will some read exactly what they pre-plan to read into this book? Sure. What I found in Taylor Schumann's words, though, is not an author who desires to convince all readers to think/believe just like her, but one who shares her story (bravely, I would add, as I must imagine it's difficult to relive in order to tell) and seeks to provide a compilation of research so that *the reader* can think/believe for themselves. Perhaps one of the greatest compliments I can give a book is that it truly made me think. This title does that, so much so that I found myself setting the book down a few times and returning to it days later. The story is compelling, but because the subject matter is heavy, it may require time to process and consider. I would strongly urge readers to read until the very end, even if a break is needed, as I found each chapter to be necessary in the telling of the entire manuscript. The first half of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" focuses on Taylor's experience with gun violence (please note the trauma warning below). Somehow, Taylor is removed enough to offer perspective, while still close enough to the shooting for her words to be raw and vulnerable. This is a difficult balance to strike for any writer, and I applaud her for doing so. The second half of the book focuses on different aspects of gun violence. There are hundreds of notes at the back of the book from Taylor's research, so I'll let that speak for itself, and will simply say that it strikes me that Taylor never suggests getting rid of guns. I'd imagine that her biggest critiques will be those who try to attack her position on gun reform, or perhaps say that she shows bias throughout the book. While I'll give that she does share her opinion (which she is entitled to do in her own book about gun violence, particularly as someone who deals every day with the reality of being a shooting survivor), the main point that I gathered is a wrestling with the question of "how can we prevent gun violence?" Not "how can we get rid of guns?". In other words, Taylor comes across to me as someone who desperately wants those who have guns to use them wisely and safely. Toward the end of the book, Taylor gives several specific ways, all based on research, that America could lower the rate of gun violence. Not get rid of guns, not take guns away from everyone who has one or more, not quit making and selling guns -- but measures/steps that could be taken to lower the rate of suicides, help prevent children from firing a loaded gun that they thought to be a toy, etc. She also speaks directly to Christians, and though she doesn't write in a way that pushes her faith (in my opinion), I found this section to be moving. It's a heavy topic and therefore a difficult read, but in summary, I would say that "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" is compelling, not condemning. 4.5/5 stars. (I was provided an ARC and there are a dozen typos/misspelled words as well as a repeated story. I assume this will be caught before it goes to print, in which case I would say 5/5.) Trauma warning: For those who have personally experienced gun violence, this may be a comfort ("I'm not alone" etc). It might, however, be too much. I did not personally find the re-telling to be too graphic or detailed, but it is not a light or easy read. If I had experienced something similar, this might be a book I'd need to skip entirely or set aside for later.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    I have gun-related secondary PTSD following the shooting death of a student of mine and I worried I wouldn't be able to make it through reading this book, as much as I wanted to. However, Schumann treats possible triggers with grace and generosity; as someone who is living through those triggers herself, she understands what readers could be going through as they take in her story. I learned so much about PTSD and grief from the first half of the book in which she shares her particular journey. I have gun-related secondary PTSD following the shooting death of a student of mine and I worried I wouldn't be able to make it through reading this book, as much as I wanted to. However, Schumann treats possible triggers with grace and generosity; as someone who is living through those triggers herself, she understands what readers could be going through as they take in her story. I learned so much about PTSD and grief from the first half of the book in which she shares her particular journey. The second half is more broad and explores how to have productive conversations about gun control. I grew up in a very conservative (both politically and religiously), gun-owning family, and appreciate the author's prompts to continue to approach such a fraught topic with both boundaries and kindness. Highly recommended. *I received an electronic ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Wheeler

    This book definitely taught me alot and made me question, do we actually have efficient gun laws in place. This is told by the survivor of a gun shooting, and the way she tells the story is absolutely amazing and will give you chills. I cannot imagine being shot, almost losing my life 6 weeks before my wedding, and spending years having to go through physical therapy, just to still not use your arm and hand. She tells us how she can't even go into a movie theater or do daily tasks without wonder This book definitely taught me alot and made me question, do we actually have efficient gun laws in place. This is told by the survivor of a gun shooting, and the way she tells the story is absolutely amazing and will give you chills. I cannot imagine being shot, almost losing my life 6 weeks before my wedding, and spending years having to go through physical therapy, just to still not use your arm and hand. She tells us how she can't even go into a movie theater or do daily tasks without wondering if there is a shooter on the premises, and she teaches us exactly what gun laws could be fixed. I learned a lot from this book and highly recommend to everyone to read. It is a Christian book, so be prepared for faith and Bible verses. (however, this is a not a conservative book)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Felicia Jamell

    When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough is an eloquent yet accessible look into the realities of gun violence in America. The first half of the book is Taylor’s story. It’s raw and real and vulnerable. She describes the shooting and the aftermath of what we don’t see when we turn off the news and shake our heads at yet another report of gun violence in our country. Taylor shares her physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual struggles and triumphs in the aftermath of the shooting she experi When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough is an eloquent yet accessible look into the realities of gun violence in America. The first half of the book is Taylor’s story. It’s raw and real and vulnerable. She describes the shooting and the aftermath of what we don’t see when we turn off the news and shake our heads at yet another report of gun violence in our country. Taylor shares her physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual struggles and triumphs in the aftermath of the shooting she experienced. I felt like I was having an intimate conversation with a friend but one that was still difficult to have. The second half of the book is a look into different aspects of gun violence and suggestions of reforms to combat it. Taylor gives us research, analysis, and concrete ways to help to prevent gun violence. She never calls for getting rid of guns but calls for those who own guns to obtain, store, and use them wisely and safely. Her research speaks for itself in this section and though she offers many statistics and studies, I did not feel bogged down by the numbers but moved to learn more and do more after reading. Taylor urges Christians specifically throughout the book but really hits home in the last chapter and Epilogue. Several times, she addresses her belief in prayer; in its power and importance – and she highlights that Christians are not only called to pray but to do. Taylor also addresses the entanglement of “God and guns” in the American church and firmly but chillingly states, “We’ve desperately tried for decades to hold a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other and we have no hands left to serve each other, or Jesus” (p. 203). That one stuck with me. I know where I stand on the issue of gun reform and gun control. I differ from many of my friends, family and acquaintances both within the Church and without. I hate to say that as I sat down to read this book, I expected to have no internal pushback. But that didn’t happen. Taylor reminds readers that it isn’t a one-time argument or discussion and that we aren’t to be keyboard warriors, as I have done so many times before, but instead to have conscious and constant conversation online and in person about every aspect of gun violence, gun ownership, and the deep hurt that can occur every time a gun goes off. I think When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough is a book that anyone can and everyone should read. Taylor makes it accessible to read alone or together by including discussion questions (at the end of the book) for each section and by including footnotes of her research, gives a jumping off point for readers to research further. It is not an easy read; the content is serious and weighty. It’s an important read and I hope someone else’s mind can be changed or heart can be softened, even in a small way, by reading this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Richard Propes

    Taylor S. Schumann was already an empathetic person before the April 2013 shooting at a college in Christiansburg, Virginia that would alter the course of her life both in the short-term and in the long-term. As school shootings go, the event went relatively unnoticed except for those immediately involved and those in and around Virginia. These days, it seems like if it's not a mass event with mass casualties we hardly take notice. In this case, Schumann was one of two victims - both survived th Taylor S. Schumann was already an empathetic person before the April 2013 shooting at a college in Christiansburg, Virginia that would alter the course of her life both in the short-term and in the long-term. As school shootings go, the event went relatively unnoticed except for those immediately involved and those in and around Virginia. These days, it seems like if it's not a mass event with mass casualties we hardly take notice. In this case, Schumann was one of two victims - both survived the attack by an 18-year-old gunman who was captured and disarmed by an unarmed man. Schumann's injuries were the kind of injuries where you're tempted to say to yourself "Wow, you got lucky. It was just your hand." I mean, heck, I lost my own left leg last year and even I get people looking at me and saying "It could have been worse." Schumann is, of course, aware that it could have been worse but that doesn't change the impact of the shooting itself including a significant and lasting physical injury that has resulted in multiple surgeries and a likely permanent impact. The shooting happened right before Schumann's wedding to Eric, a wedding that went on as scheduled with a marked impact that is noted simply yet powerfully in the pages of Schumann's memoir meets manifesto "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough: A Shooting Survivor's Journey Into the Realities of Gun Violence." The timing of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" is perhaps sublime. Schumann is several years away from her shooting event. She's married now, to Eric, and they have a child and a life back in Virginia. She's devoted herself to her healing journey, emotionally and physically, and she's also increasingly committed herself to involvement in the issue of gun violence and gun reform while also committing herself to the often frustrating journey of getting the church involved in the issue. "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" is far enough away from Schumann's incident that we can understand and feel her subsequent journey, yet it's also in many ways close enough that there's a rawness in the pages of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" that you can't help but ache for Schumann and the ways in which this one small piece of one day in her life has imprinted itself like a quilted square on the tapestry of her life. These types of incidents can, of course, detour one's life to just the opposite direction. An already empathetic Schumann became more empathetic. She moved from someone who might read about such an incident and say "I'm going to pray" to someone who says "I want to do much more because that's what I believe Jesus would do." There are those, of course, who would disagree with her. She believes they are wrong and has zero hesitation to say so. As someone who has long been engaged in violence prevention activism, I most resonated with the beauty and wonder of the first half of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough," the portion of the book during which Schumann largely shares her own story from before the day of her shooting to the shooting itself and finally to the days, weeks, and months that followed of healing and, at times, realizing that she's now a different woman from the person who was innocently at work when an 18-year-old college student aimed a shotgun at her and pulled the trigger. What some may see as a "lucky" incident because she survived has, in fact, altered the course of her life, her love, her activism, her parenting, and many of her relationships. With the second half of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough," Schumann largely devotes herself to the realities of gun violence itself and her own shift into activism. While these chapters are equally as engaging and the balance of them within the entirety of the book is quite remarkable, as an existing activist I found them perhaps slightly less involving simply because I was largely dealing with familiar information and familiar arguments for which I'm already in agreement. While I found the early chapters of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" emotionally resonant and immersive and often requiring stops and starts for my own self-care, the latter chapters of the book I read more breezily and found myself mumbling "I Agree" or "You go, girl!" They are both powerful, but there's an exhilarating strength and vulnerability in the more memoirish parts of "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" that really grabbed me and refused to let me go. It's hard to say if "When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough" will change hearts or minds about the issues involved with gun violence and gun reform, but Schumann has done the Christian church and society as a whole a tremendous favor by writing this, you guessed it, memoir meets manifesto with equal parts vulnerability and strength, intelligence and empathy. She beautifully and courageously shares her own story, then she allows that story to grow her into the woman she's become and becoming and wonderfully constructs an intelligent, informed, and compassionate discussion about gun violence in America. It's a discussion we need to have and Schumann is clearly ready to be a part of it all.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Holt

    When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough is an honest, gracious, love thy neighbor conversation. This is the book I wish I’d had after the shooting at my school in 2019 when people asked what they could do to help or how they could best support me. This is the book I would have asked them to read then, and this is the book I highly recommend you read now. For those who ask how they can best support or love someone struggling through the aftermath of gun violence, or what steps they can take to s When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough is an honest, gracious, love thy neighbor conversation. This is the book I wish I’d had after the shooting at my school in 2019 when people asked what they could do to help or how they could best support me. This is the book I would have asked them to read then, and this is the book I highly recommend you read now. For those who ask how they can best support or love someone struggling through the aftermath of gun violence, or what steps they can take to support an end to gun violence, this precious resource is a great place to start. Throughout the book, author Taylor Schumann weaves together her personal story—surviving a shooting, her recovery from a gunshot wound that nearly took her hand, her spiritual development in the wake of horror, and how it opened her eyes to what it means to love your neighbor as Christ loves you—with the realities of how gun violence affects human lives every day in the United States. With love, compassion, and grace-filled honesty that is unafraid to tackle hard conversations, Schumann uses the second half of her book to discuss research and evidence based ways to promote a society that values human life over the endless violence we see on a daily basis. Schumann does not shy away from presenting the current loopholes and lapses in our laws, and how we might go about reforming them. As Schumann discusses the gun violence epidemic in our country, she also engages the idea of what it looks like to be a responsible, law-abiding gun owner. Schumann believes that armed and un-armed individuals alike have a responsibility to work together to end gun violence, and details evidence-based methods of how this is possible. With every word, Schumann’s belief in the dignity of human life and love for her fellow human beings is apparent. Like Schumann, I believe that the church should be on the front lines of this issue, offering an example of love, peace, and compassion for the suffering and hurting among us. Gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis, and caring for others means that we must care about this issue which affects our communities. In the United States, 58% of American adults (a number that does not include teens or children, who are also severely affected by gun violence) or someone they care for has experienced gun violence. That is more than half our society. Over 330 people in the United States are killed or wounded by guns per day, a statistic that does not even count those mentally and emotionally hurt by the trauma of gun violence, or the families and friends left grieving their loved ones deaths, injuries, and/or traumas. Schumann invites us to consider that the weapon matters, as much for its unique ability to cause massive, debilitating harm (a fact that doctors have discussed time and again as firsthand witnesses of the damage guns can do to the human body) as for the value society places upon them. Schumann invites us to consider what happens when guns become idols, and what role our desire to love like Christ ought to play in how we treat and handle firearms. Although such discussion can be difficult and uncomfortable for many, Schumann’s gracious, conversational tone invites us to unite in seeking goodness, harmony, and peace. Ultimately, Schumann’s book is not looking to frame gun violence and gun safety as a partisan issue. Too often co-opted by politics, the effects on human life matter far too much to relegate this issue to mere partisan opinions. Here, Schumann demonstrates the life or death nature of this issue, and reminds us that it is not one where we can be silent. There is too much at stake—for ourselves, our children, our communities, our country, our world—to shut our eyes to the daily reality of the society around us. Yes, gun violence is a difficult conversation; however, it is a conversation that is not only worth having, but that we have no other option but to have. We cannot close our eyes to this issue any longer. With so many in our country being killed or harmed by this epidemic every single day—whether through gun homicides, firearm suicides, accidental shootings, mass shootings, or school shooting— we must look the issue in the face with courage and honesty and say, “I am willing to have this discussion, and I am willing to learn.” I firmly believe that reading this book is one step you can take toward loving your neighbors. It belongs on the shelves of church libraries, on the desks of pastors, in the hands of psychologists, social workers, and teachers. It deserves to be read by those in or desiring leadership positions. Most of all, it belongs in the hands of people who know that something is not right with the violence around us. May we have the integrity to have this conversation. May we have the humility to seek to learn. May we have the passion to seek change. And finally, may we, like Schumann, have the courage to say that “I’m going to choose even the hope for life over the current reality of lives ravaged by guns and bodies and minds torn apart by bullets. Every day we are given a choice and I’m going to choose life” (109).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tara Nichols

    I care deeply about gun violence in our country. I grieve and get angry every time there is another shooting in the news, or when my students experience anxiety and fear each time they do a lockdown drill in the classroom. I have followed Taylor on Instagram for awhile, and always appreciated her measured and clear take on gun reform, so when I saw that she was writing a book about her experience with gun violence, I preordered immediately, and then joined the launch team so I could read the boo I care deeply about gun violence in our country. I grieve and get angry every time there is another shooting in the news, or when my students experience anxiety and fear each time they do a lockdown drill in the classroom. I have followed Taylor on Instagram for awhile, and always appreciated her measured and clear take on gun reform, so when I saw that she was writing a book about her experience with gun violence, I preordered immediately, and then joined the launch team so I could read the book early and help promote it. (I received an ARC from the publisher but purchased a finished copy.) The book is part memoir, part practical guide. Taylor was a victim of a college shooting, and tells her story with candor and vulnerability. I’ve often wondered about the trauma that has to come with surviving a shooting, but I’ve never heard someone tell their story so completely. Taylor’s story is devastating and hopeful, gutting and encouraging. She tells of what happened to her, and how she slowly learned about the realities of gun violence, and then slowly began to advocate for gun reform. But don’t let me lose you there. Taylor never says she wants to take all of your guns away. Instead, she presents practical reforms that could absolutely lower rates of gun violence in our country, and reforms that most Americans would likely support if they took the time to learn about them. Please, take the time to learn about them. We don’t have to accept gun violence as a part of what it means to exist in America. We don’t have to throw up our hands each time a shooting happens and say, “well, that’s terrible but there’s just nothing that can be done.” Something can be done, and Taylor specifically calls on Christians to do something. “I want to end gun violence. I want no one else to have to suffer as a result of this horrific crisis. But what I want even more than that, is for Christians to take up their place in this fight. I want them to finally open their eyes to this injustice all around them, and to show the world we are here and we care and we will work to protect each other.”

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hillary Renner

    I almost never give a book a five star review, but Taylor really earned this. I wish every one of my friends would read this book. I grew up very similarly to Taylor and have spent that last 5 years of my life working as a trauma nurse in the gun violence decimated area of West Philadelphia. The pain and destruction I have witnessed has made me ask SO MANY TIMES what I can do about it. I feel differently about guns now having seen this side of things for so long. Her description of urban gun vio I almost never give a book a five star review, but Taylor really earned this. I wish every one of my friends would read this book. I grew up very similarly to Taylor and have spent that last 5 years of my life working as a trauma nurse in the gun violence decimated area of West Philadelphia. The pain and destruction I have witnessed has made me ask SO MANY TIMES what I can do about it. I feel differently about guns now having seen this side of things for so long. Her description of urban gun violence specifically resonated with me. She is not wrong about any of it. Her description of the Black Lives Matter movement resonated with me. I appreciate her steadfastness in holding her to position, and it has encouraged me to do the same. Seriously, even if you only want to read this book to discount it, laugh at it, or tell me all the reasons it’s actually wrong, I’m okay with it. This is easily one of the best books I have read in a long time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Moore

    I listened to the audiobook. The first half is Taylor’s story of her school shooting and her unending road to recovery. She tells it with grace and humility. I was captivated by it. The second half is about guns - laws, statistics, beliefs, etc. She has done extensive research on this subject and feels passionately about it. I will admit I got a little distracted listening to some of the statistics, but it was still worth listening to, no matter which side you’re on. She has a strong faith and k I listened to the audiobook. The first half is Taylor’s story of her school shooting and her unending road to recovery. She tells it with grace and humility. I was captivated by it. The second half is about guns - laws, statistics, beliefs, etc. She has done extensive research on this subject and feels passionately about it. I will admit I got a little distracted listening to some of the statistics, but it was still worth listening to, no matter which side you’re on. She has a strong faith and knows scripture well. I admire her for sharing her story, knowledge, and beliefs so openly and honestly and humbly.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bethchurchill

    I'm not sure why I decided to purchase this book, but I'm glad that I did. The first half of the book is an account of the events around the shooting. The author does an amazing job of explaining the impact of the shooting on her. For that reason alone, I have given this book 5 stars. It was powerful to get a glimpse into an average young woman's life and then in an instant it was changed. The second half of the book talks about the issues surrounding gun ownership and gun laws in the US. The ch I'm not sure why I decided to purchase this book, but I'm glad that I did. The first half of the book is an account of the events around the shooting. The author does an amazing job of explaining the impact of the shooting on her. For that reason alone, I have given this book 5 stars. It was powerful to get a glimpse into an average young woman's life and then in an instant it was changed. The second half of the book talks about the issues surrounding gun ownership and gun laws in the US. The chapter on common arguments against gun reform was clear and persuasive. I do not like guns and have never understood the desire to hunt. However, I didn't have strong opinions about gun ownership. This book has given me a better understanding of the issues.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsey Medford

    From the title, I thought this book would be a huge bummer. But instead of making me angry, guilty, or despairing, this book has made me feel less alone and more empowered. Schumann's story is hard, but it's told beautifully and hopefully. I felt honored to follow her journey, and wanted to honor her story in return by taking better action on this issue. The second half of the book includes practical tools for taking action on common sense gun reform; helps readers understand all the wide-ranging From the title, I thought this book would be a huge bummer. But instead of making me angry, guilty, or despairing, this book has made me feel less alone and more empowered. Schumann's story is hard, but it's told beautifully and hopefully. I felt honored to follow her journey, and wanted to honor her story in return by taking better action on this issue. The second half of the book includes practical tools for taking action on common sense gun reform; helps readers understand all the wide-ranging consequences and costs to our communities; and gives tools to have truthful, respectful, kind and productive conversations. I'm so glad to have this beautiful story and these amazing tools on my shelf.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joelle

    Joelle Still Reads Her Bookcase #50 A beautiful book about heartbreak, loss, redefining your entire life, and the essence of the Gospel. I was already a pacifist before reading this book, and it definitely gave me more reasons to continue as one. Schumann doesn't throw facts at you; nor does she slap you with her opinion. She simply shares the unimaginable tragedy she endured, personally, and the reality of what is happening in our country. Whether you are simply "pro - gun," "2nd Amendment gung- Joelle Still Reads Her Bookcase #50 A beautiful book about heartbreak, loss, redefining your entire life, and the essence of the Gospel. I was already a pacifist before reading this book, and it definitely gave me more reasons to continue as one. Schumann doesn't throw facts at you; nor does she slap you with her opinion. She simply shares the unimaginable tragedy she endured, personally, and the reality of what is happening in our country. Whether you are simply "pro - gun," "2nd Amendment gung-ho," or a pacifist, you need to read this book. Most importantly, you need to read it with an open mind and a heart ready to hear from the Holy Spirit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Strehlow

    I expected When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough to be good - and it is certainly that. It's full of good information, good storytelling and good arguments for why the Christian church should be actively caring about the issue of gun violence. The writing? The writing is not just good. The writing is excellent. Taylor crafts an incredibly compelling and page-turning read on a very difficult, heartbreaking and polarizing topic that many of us want to stay far away from. Reader beware: you will I expected When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough to be good - and it is certainly that. It's full of good information, good storytelling and good arguments for why the Christian church should be actively caring about the issue of gun violence. The writing? The writing is not just good. The writing is excellent. Taylor crafts an incredibly compelling and page-turning read on a very difficult, heartbreaking and polarizing topic that many of us want to stay far away from. Reader beware: you will no longer be able to turn a blind eye to gun violence after reading When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Crouthamel

    Thankful for this book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alice' Harper

    I think when 2021 is over, this book will be in the top 3 of my favorite reads. When I received an ARC of this book, I was nervous to read it. I was afraid that when I read this book, I would be shamed. I was nervous to jump into a book that was so opposite of the way I was raised. The last few years I started to question gun ownership, so I did approach this book with an open mind. I am SO glad I read this book. There was no shaming of gun owners in this book. As other reviewers stated, this bo I think when 2021 is over, this book will be in the top 3 of my favorite reads. When I received an ARC of this book, I was nervous to read it. I was afraid that when I read this book, I would be shamed. I was nervous to jump into a book that was so opposite of the way I was raised. The last few years I started to question gun ownership, so I did approach this book with an open mind. I am SO glad I read this book. There was no shaming of gun owners in this book. As other reviewers stated, this book is thoughtful and kind. The author never once stated anything unkind or condescending toward people who choose to own guns. I really liked the way the book was laid out. The first 100 pages shared Taylor’s story as a victim of gun violence. I don’t know anyone personally who has been a victim of gun violence so it was hard to read the details of what she has been through physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am thankful Taylor used her story to share her faith that has brought her through a very hard number of years. I think believers and non-believer alike will learn about God and His kindness in hard times in this book. The second half of the book is filled with research on gun violence and gun reform. I liked the talking points at the end of the book to engage with others. I think the loopholes used to obtain guns are the point that will stick with people the most! I found this book well researched and gracefully written. It informed me as I have been changing my views on gun ownership. I have been recommending this book to family and friends.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Grace T

    A lot to think about and chew on. Schumann presents both her story and her statistics with compelling sincerity and love for God and other people. Educational, moving, and thought-provoking.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    When I first became aware of this book, I expected it to be like the gun control threads that I have read on Twitter. The memoir element of the book greatly interested me, but I didn't want to put myself through two hundred pages of manipulative, poorly argued, ad hominem attacks on anyone who didn't share the author's political views, so I waited to get an idea from early reviews whether this would be worth reading or not. Thankfully, the general consensus was that this author wrote about her c When I first became aware of this book, I expected it to be like the gun control threads that I have read on Twitter. The memoir element of the book greatly interested me, but I didn't want to put myself through two hundred pages of manipulative, poorly argued, ad hominem attacks on anyone who didn't share the author's political views, so I waited to get an idea from early reviews whether this would be worth reading or not. Thankfully, the general consensus was that this author wrote about her challenging topic with grace, nuance, intellectual honesty, and sincere compassion for other people. I decided to give this a try, and I am so glad that I did. A Powerful Memoir When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough is an intense and powerful book. Schumann shares her personal story in a vivid, meaningful way, and she gives a sense of the trauma that she went through without including too many graphic details for sensitive readers. This book is appropriate for both teenagers and adults, and throughout the first half of the book, Schumann shares the heart-wrenching story of the shooting she survived, her many challenges in recovery, and the emotional and spiritual struggles that she faced because of her trauma. I related to aspects of her struggles from the perspective of my own, very different life issues, and even though this book could be very triggering for someone who has been through a shooting or any other severe trauma, Schumann writes with deep empathy, insight, and care. Schumann also shares about unique challenges that she has faced as a Christian speaking out about gun violence. She expresses her disappointment with the American church's reluctance to address this issue, and she writes about the frustrating experiences she has had with both Internet trolls and personal friends judging her motives and dismissing her arguments unfairly. Throughout the book, Schumann makes a case for why Christians should care about gun violence, emphasizing that we cannot love our neighbors without being deeply concerned about the things that harm them. She also focuses on ripple effects that go beyond individuals and their affected families, making a case for why gun violence is such a severe issue in all of American society. However, she maintains respect for those who disagree with her, knowing that they often share the same goals while approaching them from different perspectives. A Balanced Perspective In the second half of the book, Schumann writes clearly and succinctly about legal and social issues related to guns, making a case for reform laws. She respects responsible gun owners, many of which are her own relatives and friends, and this book never becomes a political screed. Schumann writes in a data-based style, sharing facts and supporting them with stories. She makes a strong case for why Americans should support gun laws that are proven to reduce the level of violence in homes, towns, and cities, regardless of their opinions on personal gun ownership. Schumann conducted an extraordinary amount of research to write this book, but she doesn’t deluge the reader in too much information. She focuses on the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, children and teens, and mentally ill people with patterns of erratic behavior, and she shares examples of reasonable, protective gun laws that have reduced levels of violence in the states that have them. She also writes about the importance of safe storage laws that help protect kids and adults from guns in their homes. Even though some people will disagree with her conclusions or wish she had addressed additional perspectives, she writes in a facts-based, informative way that encourages an honest appraisal of social issues and what we can do to alleviate them. She doesn't make sweeping claims about completely ending all gun violence, and points out that we don't avoid other protective laws just because they aren't perfect. We try to prevent traffic deaths not because we think that we can have perfectly safe roads, but because common sense laws can make the roads safer than otherwise. She encourages people to not dismiss gun reform laws based on standards they wouldn't hold other public safety laws to. One Main Critique What greatly disappointed me about this book was Schumann's unfair take on the idea of a "good guy with a gun" stopping a shooter. Although she makes a data-based argument for why we should want fewer guns around, not more, she doesn't take into account very real examples of people using their concealed carry guns at exactly the right moment, using their training, preparation, and courage to take down an open shooter. She actually refers to this concept as a "myth," and I was horrified. It is one thing to say that these instances are statistically insignificant in comparison to the number of shootings that happen in America or the danger that guns pose, and it is quite another to claim that it is a myth, when there are a lot of real people out there who have saved people's lives with their concealed carry guns. Considering how well-reasoned and accurate the rest of this book is, I would attribute this to very poor wording and nothing more, but given how much this turned me off, people who are not sympathetic to Schumann's other arguments will be much more disturbed by this. I would still recommend this to people who disagree with Schumann's politics, because this book has a lot of great information to offer, but this will justifiably damage her credibility in many people's eyes. Conclusion This powerful, well-written book is a wonderful resource for people who want to learn more about gun violence. The first half makes people aware of common experiences that shooting survivors face during attacks and in the aftermath of violence, and the second half provides a carefully researched, balanced take on reasonable reform laws that can reduce levels of violence and keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. Due to Schumann's general respect and balanced perspective, I would recommend this to people regardless of their political affiliation, since the data-driven, compassionate approach can help people refine their own views and arguments with information they may have never known or considered. I would recommend this book to anyone with an open mind and concern for justice, regardless of their personal opinions on guns. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    Taylor shares her story with honesty and vulnerability. The first half of the book is her story of getting shot during a shooting at her work, as well as her sharing the aftermath of that day and how she processed what she had experienced. In the second half of the book, Taylor shares compelling statistics and information about current gun laws in America, making a strong argument for the need for gun reform. From page one Taylor does not shy away from her feelings and beliefs about guns, but sh Taylor shares her story with honesty and vulnerability. The first half of the book is her story of getting shot during a shooting at her work, as well as her sharing the aftermath of that day and how she processed what she had experienced. In the second half of the book, Taylor shares compelling statistics and information about current gun laws in America, making a strong argument for the need for gun reform. From page one Taylor does not shy away from her feelings and beliefs about guns, but she is so gracious and kind throughout the book. She shares with nuance and acknowledges that just having no guns is not an adequate answer to the problems we are experiencing in this country. No matter what side of the gun debate you fall on, I highly recommend this book! I was given an electronic ARC by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pat Patterson

    An expanded and more personal version is found on my blog found here: https://habakkuk21.blogspot.com/2021/... Taylor Schumann took advantage of the opportunities that came her way. She had earned a degree in social work, was deeply involved in her church, and was one day away from her bridal shower. The buckshot that mangled her hand and entered her chest changed those opportunities forever. The day was Friday, April 12, 2013. It was the last morning she would ever wake up without physical pain. He An expanded and more personal version is found on my blog found here: https://habakkuk21.blogspot.com/2021/... Taylor Schumann took advantage of the opportunities that came her way. She had earned a degree in social work, was deeply involved in her church, and was one day away from her bridal shower. The buckshot that mangled her hand and entered her chest changed those opportunities forever. The day was Friday, April 12, 2013. It was the last morning she would ever wake up without physical pain. Her book is not really about the shooting, and it’s not about the shooter. If you are looking for some methodological police procedural, look elsewhere. True crime junkies will not fawn over this book; neither will those who are rabidly anti- OR pro-gun. That’s because this book presents us with a closely observed experience of a person who saved her own life (literally) by hiding in an unlocked closet, and then was (figuratively) forced to save her life again by fighting her way out of locked closet she was placed in against her will. Time and again, as I was reading Taylor’s story, I wished she had someone at her side, to explain to her what was happening, what she could expect, what the outcomes might be, and mostly, to explain her choices to her. Actually, at SOME steps of the process, she had people to fill that role. She commends the police investigators, and representatives of the victim’s assistance program, for guiding her through some of the rough spots in the immediate aftermath. At other times, she was able to rely on family members to help her with procedures and paperwork that were required due to her injuries. Those just covered specific points in her recovery, however. I wished Taylor had someone to sit with her, providing comfort, support, knowledge and advice; most of all, someone who understood what Taylor was going through. Except for the immediate aftermath, Taylor was ignored by too many of the people who meant the most to her. Her background is one that could be described as firearm-friendly, not firearm-hostile. I find myself unable to describe it, other than solidly Southern middle class. People didn’t carry a gun to the dinner table, but there could very well be hunting rifles in a gun cabinet and perhaps a pistol in the drawer of the bedside table. It wasn’t a big part of the lives of her friends and family, but everyone believed in the Second Amendment. And because of that, when Taylor got shot, too many of those she cared for simply didn’t know what to do with that. SO, she got ignored. And so, she suffered another loss, in addition to the physical loss of the use of her hand. That is the figurative closet she was locked into, against her will. This book is the story of how she saved her life, a second time. It is also a story in progress. Taylor offers some action steps, for those who hear her story. Some of those will NOT work for me, but others will. And may we all find something that will ease the pain.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gilmore

    Can we talk about gun violence? In our polarized and defiantly dug-in world it is difficult to address a variety of topics. This one is near the top of the list. But it shouldn’t be. And now there is a tool to help it not be. Taylor Schumann has written a book about how gun violence radically shaped and shapes her life and the lives of so many others. She shares her journey in deep, transparent ways, inviting us into her struggles of body, mind, and spirit. She shares how she feels called to lead Can we talk about gun violence? In our polarized and defiantly dug-in world it is difficult to address a variety of topics. This one is near the top of the list. But it shouldn’t be. And now there is a tool to help it not be. Taylor Schumann has written a book about how gun violence radically shaped and shapes her life and the lives of so many others. She shares her journey in deep, transparent ways, inviting us into her struggles of body, mind, and spirit. She shares how she feels called to lead the Church and the nation into a better, more life honoring and Jesus like way. And she shares some black and white, data driven information that should stop us in our tracks and cause us to reconsider any and all of our previously held opinions. Like the fact that we (and our families) are more likely to die by our own guns than the gun of someone else. I know there are a lot of minds already made up. I know there are a lot of us who would rather not have this conversation. In response, I’d offer two thoughts: 1) If we are unwilling to even listen it may reveal areas or things that are lowercase g gods in our lives. 2) Even if something doesn’t change our mind it’s good to know the full story. It makes us better to have the full picture. I can also promise you that Schumann is gracious, that she will not advocate rounding up all the guns or burning the 2nd Amendment, and that we can come away from this with different action steps. Still, we will all come away from this better if we will allow it. I believe in this book. So much so that I’ve offered to to purchase a copy for friends and family who may be skeptical of what it’s offering, but is willing to enter the conversation. I join with Taylor in expecting the Church to lead the way on this. Gun violence is not part of the world God dreams of. I am willing to push a little and demand we take this conversation away from partisans and talk like the friends and family that we are about the ways this problem has impacted our country. We experience gun violence at a rate not seen in other places. Even places that have guns and mental health struggles and video games. There has to be more we can do. There is. It will not be foolproof. It will not be perfect. And it won’t always be immediately clear to us. But it can be better. “I’m tired of prayer being the end of our work and not the beginning.” Let’s get to work. And lets read and process and discuss this book. I love it and I thank Schumann for offering her live to us so we can offer a better future to the world around us. (I received an Advance Reader's Copy in exchange for a fair review, under no obligation to leave a positive review) [I've also ordered it so I have another copy to loan out]

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dasha Slepenkina

    A big thank-you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for giving me a copy of this book for an unbiased review. 4/5 - Liked this quite a lot. This is an important book which presents a personal, well-researched narrative on the topic of mass shootings and gun control in the United States. Normally, I leave thorough and lengthy reviews for the books I've read but this one leaves me without much to say. I am very liberal and am strongly in favor of gun control legislation, so largely I just found A big thank-you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for giving me a copy of this book for an unbiased review. 4/5 - Liked this quite a lot. This is an important book which presents a personal, well-researched narrative on the topic of mass shootings and gun control in the United States. Normally, I leave thorough and lengthy reviews for the books I've read but this one leaves me without much to say. I am very liberal and am strongly in favor of gun control legislation, so largely I just found myself agreeing with Schumann on just about everything. Despite being passionate and (I think) relatively well educated on this topic, I found that there was still a lot I could learn from this book - namely in how the "other side" perceives this topic - as Schumann directs her narrative towards a conservative audience. The narrative presents both a deeply personal, courageous story, and a clear understanding of the current situation in the U.S. in terms of facts and figures. This is an important book and gives a great understanding of why gun control legislation is so critical. Where I got lost a little were the religious topics. I do identify as religious and share many of Schumann's frustrations with the modern church; however, I did notice a few times that she referenced some topics like abortion in a way that I felt was unnecessary to the further the conversation about gun violence. I think this is an important narrative regardless of where one might land on the political spectrum. Those of us on the left can use it to achieve greater understanding of those standing across from us along the ideological divide. Those on the right can expand their empathy towards shooting survivors and perhaps begin to see how an America that isn't ruled by the second amendment is one that is safer and more equitable. Schumann writes with a vulnerability and a clarity that is captivating, bringing light to a critical issue.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough was an eyeopening book that gives the reader a look into how gun violence has shaped our lives, especially in America. Taylor Schumann shares her story and then offers tons of research and practical tips to make things better in the future. She does so in a loving and gracious way but there is definitely a call to action. The first half of the book is the story of Taylor's shooting on a community college campus and her recovery from that shooting. She desc When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough was an eyeopening book that gives the reader a look into how gun violence has shaped our lives, especially in America. Taylor Schumann shares her story and then offers tons of research and practical tips to make things better in the future. She does so in a loving and gracious way but there is definitely a call to action. The first half of the book is the story of Taylor's shooting on a community college campus and her recovery from that shooting. She describes the horror she felt as the shooting happened and the struggle she endures daily with both physical pain and mental terror. She writes of learning to find her identity in Christ alone instead of finding her worth in a job or title. The second half of the book switches focus to gun violence and how it is so prevalent in our country. Schumann discusses all sorts of gun violence including domestic shootings, school shootings, suicide, accidental family shootings, gang related shootings and many more. She gives advice on how each of these areas could be improved with a few simple changes to the law. She is not suggesting that we take all guns from everyone everywhere but that we reform our laws so that we don't have to continue living in a world where people can get shot in a movie theater or at church or at school. I felt that Taylor Schumann navigated this conversation with much grace and love. She's not looking to strip people of their rights but she does want to make our world a safer place. She puts out a call to Christians specifically to ask some hard questions of themselves and realize that we can't just stop at "thoughts and prayers" for gun violence victims.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    I support efforts to curb gun violence and I've been disturbed by the Church's lack of leadership in this area. I picked up this audiobook because I wanted to educate myself about the issues surrounding gun violence and the arguments against gun control. The narrator has a pleasant voice that kept me engaged with the material without being distracting. My favorite thing about this book is how action oriented it is. The book begins with the author's experience of being wounded in a school shootin I support efforts to curb gun violence and I've been disturbed by the Church's lack of leadership in this area. I picked up this audiobook because I wanted to educate myself about the issues surrounding gun violence and the arguments against gun control. The narrator has a pleasant voice that kept me engaged with the material without being distracting. My favorite thing about this book is how action oriented it is. The book begins with the author's experience of being wounded in a school shooting. Her story is moving and I appreciated the way she shared her experience as a newly disabled person. It's easy to forget about the pain and suffering of shooting survivors once their stories are no longer front page news, and the author did a wonderful job of detailing all of the ways that her experience and her injury have continued to affect her life. The author goes on to educate the reader about the history of gun violence in the US and the laws that are in place to address gun violence. She compares laws and gun violence statistics in the US to laws and statistics around the world and breaks down what has worked and what has failed. The last section of the book is devoted to arguments against gun control. In this section the author outlines every major argument against gun control and gives the reader the information they need to counter these arguments. Thank you RB media and ChristianAudio for the advanced listening copy in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    Three words to describe When Thoughts and Prayer Aren’t Enough would be, well-researched, patient, and humble. In the book, Taylor reveals her story as a survivor of a gunshot wound during a school shooting. Rarely have I finished a book in the last three years (let alone 4 days!), but I found myself gripped by her story. Even in the second half of the book where she goes over common arguments for guns, I was entranced. The numbers she gave were numbers I wasn’t familiar with, however I knew thei Three words to describe When Thoughts and Prayer Aren’t Enough would be, well-researched, patient, and humble. In the book, Taylor reveals her story as a survivor of a gunshot wound during a school shooting. Rarely have I finished a book in the last three years (let alone 4 days!), but I found myself gripped by her story. Even in the second half of the book where she goes over common arguments for guns, I was entranced. The numbers she gave were numbers I wasn’t familiar with, however I knew their story. I have talked to women where a gun was pointed at them. Just yesterday, my family and I were talking about a road rage incident where a driver took out a pistol and pointed it at the other driver. In her own words, she “plants seeds of knowledge” for arguments against gun violence. The final chapters are some of the most well-researched evidence. To attempt to summarize them would not do her hard work justice. She tackles her own trauma and the trauma that continues in gun violence with poise and grace. Taylor’s book was a blessing to read and gave me a starting point for difficult conversations. “Get comfortable saying, ‘I don’t know.’ This is where we start.” Taylor Schumann’s book is released July 20, 2021, pre-order now!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Brockman

    When Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough combines personal experience with thought provoking data and statistics. Tayler asks us to stop and consider what loving our neighbor looks like in a country torn by gun violence. I appreciated the author’s candor as she tells of her experience as a gun victim. She walks through the recovery process and the things that people said and did that were unhelpful. The way it feels to live in a world with people viewing their rights above other’s lives. The auth When Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough combines personal experience with thought provoking data and statistics. Tayler asks us to stop and consider what loving our neighbor looks like in a country torn by gun violence. I appreciated the author’s candor as she tells of her experience as a gun victim. She walks through the recovery process and the things that people said and did that were unhelpful. The way it feels to live in a world with people viewing their rights above other’s lives. The author provides common talking points in the conversation about gun reform and provides important data that shows we can approach this a different way. Far from being a one-sided anti-gun book, she offers conversation starters and asks us to look at the issues from a different viewpoint than the common one side or the other approach. The author points out specific changes we can make, such as closing loopholes in the current laws, and the impact they can have. I would highly encourage everyone to read this and think about what we can do beyond praying for the victims of gun violence, what we can do to move forward, letting our love of our neighbors lead our actions as we move forward. I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Taylor shares her story in this unflinching, riveting, and honest account of being a survivor of gun violence. She begins the book with an intimate account of the day when she was shot - a day that seemingly would be the worst she would ever have to endure. However, Taylor discovers that the day of the shooting was only the beginning of a journey marked with chronic pain, trauma, and loneliness. A lifelong Christian, Taylor turned to her faith and community for support but was met with a silence Taylor shares her story in this unflinching, riveting, and honest account of being a survivor of gun violence. She begins the book with an intimate account of the day when she was shot - a day that seemingly would be the worst she would ever have to endure. However, Taylor discovers that the day of the shooting was only the beginning of a journey marked with chronic pain, trauma, and loneliness. A lifelong Christian, Taylor turned to her faith and community for support but was met with a silence more deafening and devastating than she could have ever imagined. Written with clarity and passion, Taylor invites all readers into a conversation about her experience and what she has learned along the way. She has the receipts for all her statements and arguments (footnotes, end notes, citations, and resources abound!) but is a graceful companion focused on starting a conversation, rather than closing her case. Through her book and advocacy, Taylor is writing a story of survival and hope for a better tomorrow. I loved this book, truly. *I received an electronic ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lori Lynn Tucker

    When Taylor put out a call for launch team members, I jumped at the chance. Having grown up in the Deep South, guns have always been a part of my life. Over the past few years, I have become less and less comfortable with the idea of how we do guns in the USA. And at the same time, I haven't had the words to articulate my nuanced feelings around this topic. After reading this book, I am better equipped to handle this topic with grace. When I started reading this book, I knew I was getting a thou When Taylor put out a call for launch team members, I jumped at the chance. Having grown up in the Deep South, guns have always been a part of my life. Over the past few years, I have become less and less comfortable with the idea of how we do guns in the USA. And at the same time, I haven't had the words to articulate my nuanced feelings around this topic. After reading this book, I am better equipped to handle this topic with grace. When I started reading this book, I knew I was getting a thoughtful and data based look on guns violence from a Christian perspective, I wasn't expecting the universal discussion about trauma. I personally have been working through trauma after trauma after trauma related to severe perinatal and postpartum depression for nearly three years. Taylor sharing her experience as a victim of gun violence was at its core so familiar to me, even though the nuts and bolts of our situations are so different. All this said, this book is simply for everyone, especially if one identifies as a Christian. I can't wait to press this book into the hands of so many people who are close to me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Leigh

    Taylor S. Schumann's boldness in sharing her experience as a survivor of gun violence provides valuable insight into one of the hot-button issues of the day. Her gentle approach as she describes how her viewpoint on gun control has changed feels like a friend-to-friend conversation, welcoming you in even when the discussion is hard. Readers on both sides of the gun control issue can benefit from reading not only Taylor's personal experience, but also the well-researched information she provides Taylor S. Schumann's boldness in sharing her experience as a survivor of gun violence provides valuable insight into one of the hot-button issues of the day. Her gentle approach as she describes how her viewpoint on gun control has changed feels like a friend-to-friend conversation, welcoming you in even when the discussion is hard. Readers on both sides of the gun control issue can benefit from reading not only Taylor's personal experience, but also the well-researched information she provides in the second half of the book. When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough: A Shooting Survivor's Journey Into the Realities of Gun Violence is partly memoir, partly a breakdown of each aspect of gun violence and the gun control argument, and fully an invitation for us to come together to solve the epidemic that threatens us all.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I appreciated how much time Schumann took in sharing her experience of being shot. I was not expecting that and it was helpful to understand more about the trauma a victim of gun violence goes through as well as the ripple effect to all the people surrounding the victim and their community. My views on gun restrictions didn't really change as a result of this book, mainly because I already agree with Schumann when it comes to gun reform. The thing this book did do was provide a plethora of data I appreciated how much time Schumann took in sharing her experience of being shot. I was not expecting that and it was helpful to understand more about the trauma a victim of gun violence goes through as well as the ripple effect to all the people surrounding the victim and their community. My views on gun restrictions didn't really change as a result of this book, mainly because I already agree with Schumann when it comes to gun reform. The thing this book did do was provide a plethora of data to support stricter gun laws. One chapter had over 70 data points/footnotes. Schumann really did her research on this book and took a lot of time to provide thoughtful responses to some of the most common reasons people push back against gun reform. Throughout the entire book, Schumann points to scripture. This book is not a "you need to give back your guns, you're terrible if you own guns" kind of argument. Her position is one of loving our neighbor as Jesus does. I would recommend this book to any Christian who is troubled by the amount of gun violence (mass shootings, suicides, and domestic violence) and wants to thoughtfully engage in gun reform.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shari

    This is one of the more powerful books that I’ve read in a long time. Taylor Schumann shares her story of surviving a shooting in April 2013. She describes her experience moment by moment, taking her reader through what happened and what she was feeling throughout the entire ordeal. She talks about the journey through healing her wounds and having to sit in the same courtroom with her attacker. She also shares all of the research she has done on shootings, gun laws, and gun culture in the USA. S This is one of the more powerful books that I’ve read in a long time. Taylor Schumann shares her story of surviving a shooting in April 2013. She describes her experience moment by moment, taking her reader through what happened and what she was feeling throughout the entire ordeal. She talks about the journey through healing her wounds and having to sit in the same courtroom with her attacker. She also shares all of the research she has done on shootings, gun laws, and gun culture in the USA. She addresses commonly held objections to gun reform using logic and statistics. Through it all, she returns constantly to her faith in Christ and how her views on gun laws have been shaped through her faith lens. If I could rate this book 10 stars, I would. This book is very well written, and will be the instigator for many important conversations for years to come. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the conversation about guns and gun control. Regardless of what your views may be, there is something in this book for you. I promise.

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