Others started to join in. People sent us their disabled guns from all over the country. Did you know its common for a gun to be returned to next of kin after a suicide? Sure its property. But its not just a gun sitting in the safe any more. A person at my church gave us a gun he had held onto for decades after his father’s suicide. Suicide accounts for 2/3 of gun violence. New numbers were released this week that tell us 109 people PER DAY are lost to gun violence. Nine of those are kids under the age of 19 according to the CDC database. That means every 3 days we lose another classroom of kids to gun violence. These deaths are spread across the country instead of concentrated in one place so they go under the radar.
After Parkland, teachers sent us their guns because they didn’t want them as part of their life, or anyone else’s. 2 years ago a priest bought raffle tickets for an AR-15 just so he could destroy it. People connected us to him and we made a garden tool out of it. He was then invited to the national gun violence vigil in Washington D.C. by the Newtown Foundation. This planted seed.
Last fall we helped train inmates to make garden tools out of 140+ guns obtained through a buyback in New Haven, CT. In the spring of 2019 we’ll present over 100 fully functional tools to be spread across community gardens and high school gardens in Connecticut. They’ll help grow fresh food for local food banks. Out of this another seed is growing as two blacksmith stations will be working throughout New England to turn more swords into plowshares.
Its long overdue that we lay our guns down. We don’t need them to solve conflict. You or someone in your home is more likely to be harmed by the gun in your home than to use it against an intruder. We must lean into each other with open arms instead of opening our doors while bearing arms. We must have dialogue with each other, especially outside of social media. We can talk to our legislators and vote every other year, but we must also do the hard work in between.
-Two of the tools are going to a gun donor. If you donate a gun, we’ll make a tool for you out of it for free. We are building a national disarming network to help turn guns into garden tools. Join!