From Ryan, a recent gun donor: This Winchester Model 61, a slide-action .22 caliber rifle, was passed to me by my father, after being passed to him by his father. All three of us Nazarene ministers.  All three of us captured by the teachings of Christ, seeking to follow him. I grew up in a gun-owning family culture, where hunting, and gun safety, and target shooting was normal.  I received my first guns in early adolescence, instilled with a sense… Read more

Many folks are wearing orange today, June 1st, and gathering together over the weekend for Wear Orange Weekend for gun violence awareness.  It’s one of many forms you can take action on to show solidarity in your community. Orange was chosen because it’s the color hunters wear to protect them against other hunters.   June 1st and the month of June were chosen because it’s the birth month of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed just one week after performing… Read more

It feels like a transfer of power is happening.  An older generation is giving way to new generation.  Youth familiar with school shooting drills are able to vote.  High-school graduates are holding baby boomers to account for the America they are inheriting.  Has America ignored their parents?  Parents who lost kids in these shootings?  And not just mass shootings, but also teen suicide?  How has the structure of America allowed this to happen? RAWtools just got back from an event… Read more

Below is a story submitted by James.  We asked James to tell his story about his journey from military veteran to donating his guns to RAWtools.  Trigger Warning: suicide, combat Our AK-47 gun donor had @preemptivelove shirt on. Perfect. His gun will be a garden tool in 5 hours. @JCourt #SwordsToPlows pic.twitter.com/Rg3EIu6g0y— RAWtools (@RAWtools) March 10, 2017 Radical Red Letters – My Journey from Soldier to Pacifist   Those red letters. Those inconvenient, beautiful, challenging, and freeing red letters will… Read more

RAWtools runs into a lot of creative folks in our work of turning swords into plowshares.  One of the most creative is Lead  to Life.  Led by Brontë Velez and Kyle Lemle, Lead to Life is described as a “people’s alchemy for regeneration.”  They take tools made from guns by various artists and metal smiths and use them in ceremonial tree plantings.  We sent them some tools for events they are hosting this week in partnership with the King Center… Read more

As a Christian faith based organization, we at RAWtools have a lot of conversations on what the Bible says about guns.  But really, swords.  Most have heard of the call of Micah and Isaiah to turn swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.  It’s expected that dialogue is driven to use Luke 22:36 in defense of owning a gun.  So let’s talk about this on the eve of Maundy Thursday, when we remember the last supper-but also what happened in… Read more

To those who say its a heart problem…. You take a complex issue and simplify it. You turn gun “control” into the inability to own a gun at the expense of having the ability to own any type of gun and its variations.  As much as you can modify your AR-15 with accessories and still have an AR-15, you can modify the responsibility of gun ownership and still own a gun.  Background checks do nothing to hurt responsible gun owners. … Read more

In 2018 RAWtools will be training inmates at the New Haven Correctional Center in partnership with the Newtown Foundation, Newtown Action Alliance, New Haven Police Department, and artist Gar Waterman, to make garden tools to be used in local community gardens. The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary sent shock waves across the country.  Many thought it would be a turning point in federal gun legislation.  That didn’t happen.  Many states took local action by passing background check laws and magazine… Read more

We make guns into garden tools by taking their barrels and steel parts and introducing them to a forge that burns at about 2000 degrees.  Its in this heat range that steel glows at a bright orange, just right for shaping it and not too hot that it begins to spark and burn away.  The steal now is malleable, vulnerable to 30-90 seconds on the anvil as its transformed into something new. Its not so much that we find ourselves… Read more

It was my first time visiting Washington, D.C.  RAWtools had been there 3 years ago at the National Cathedral with the Children’s Defense Fund, but my son was about to be born so I gladly missed that one.  This time we were invited by my friend Shane Claiborne to be a part of a Death Penalty abolition event in partnership with Abolitionist Action Committee.   On Monday January 16th we accompanied an evening program hearing from “Voices of Experience” with… Read more

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