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

November 6, 2017

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

January 24, 2017

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

November 9, 2016

Are guns saturating the American life?  How would we measure this?  Would we use data that says there are as many guns as there are people?  That’s true, but it’s also true that a minority of gun owners own half of those.  From the article in Fortune,  “Half of those guns belong to just 3% of the adult population. These super-owners have anywhere between eight and 140 guns each, with the group average being 17, according to the study.” You… Read more

April 28, 2016

When we beat our swords into plowshares, we make a commitment to resources that are of no use for war: garden tools, necklaces, victim-offender dialogue, economies of grace.  We plot for peace.  We imagine, design, and plan for a time when we will not fear one another.  As Shane Claiborne often says at our events together, “What if God is waiting on us?”  Jesus didn’t walk around Galilee telling everyone to wait for the eschaton. RAWtools plans to be actively plotting… Read more

October 29, 2015

  I recently went to a one man play at The MAT theatre in Colorado Springs called “Stick Guns.”  Actor/Co-Director Jim Jackson grew up in Canon City, a city southwest of Colorado Springs that is home to several prisons and a retirement home-that Jim’s 10 year old character, Jimmy, jokes may as well be a prison.  The audience joins Jimmy on his cops and robbers, war games, and paper route.  He emulates his movie war heroes by sneaking one of his mom’s cigarettes… Read more

April 6, 2015

A few months ago I sat in a room with more than a dozen women in a Restorative Justice Mediator training through Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council.  High School Teachers, Professors, college students, social workers, coaches, and community leaders – these women were eager and excited to learn how to bring victims, offenders, and their communities together to repair harm.  I was the only male.  Lynn Lee taught the class and said this happens often and its not unusual to have… Read more

September 29, 2014

The recent movie Noah (2014) pits Tubal-Cain as the antagonist, organizing an army to take the Ark. Genesis 4:22 states he was “the forger of all implements of bronze and iron.” Josephus regarded Tubal-Cain as, “[exceeding] all men in strength, and was [an] expert and famous in martial performances, … and first of all invented the art of working brass.” What would it look like if we used the skills of Tubal-Cain, a metal smith, and fashioned them with the moral imagination… Read more

March 7, 2014

It’s Lent. So you have already seen the lists and posts of what your friends and family are trying to give up for this season – or add in some cases.  Whatever it may be this is a time where we try to be more Christ-like and less me-like.  It’s when we take time to notice the little everyday habits and things that consume us.  We know when we let this happen it paints over our “created in the image of God”-ness…. Read more

January 31, 2014

Its been just under a year since RAWtools officially started. One can expect controversy when stepping into the conversation on guns. While our background is rooted in the Anabaptist tradition, we certainly do not limit our vision to the Anabaptist envelope. In fact, most of our events have taken place with other denominations and faith groups. It has been a wonderful experience to work with such a diverse and gifted group of people. RAWtools has also received much criticism from… Read more

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