September 10, 2018

by Laurie Works @healingembodied on Instagram LaurieWorks.com In our work as humans, activists, and purveyors of nonviolence in our communities, it’s so easy to get caught up in the work. The work is important, vital, necessary. It can start to feel heavy and overwhelming, as if it all falls on us, as if we must get the next thing done and -save the world-.     We forget sometimes that nonviolence begins with us.   It is an act of… Read more

August 2, 2018

by Joel Shenk – Pastor of Toledo Mennonite Church I’ve been thinking a lot about the significance of tools.  There is a quote that says, “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.”  This quote is often attributed to media theorist Marsh McLuhan. It was actually stated by Father John Culkin, a Catholic priest, professor of communication, and friend of McLuhan’s. It is a profound theological statement if you think about it.  Human… Read more

June 5, 2018

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

June 1, 2018

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

May 25, 2018

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

April 25, 2018

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

April 6, 2018

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

March 28, 2018

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

February 15, 2018

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

December 20, 2017

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

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