CCSGA Weekly: A Call to Repurpose Guns

By JOHN CAPERS ’21

Sophomore Representative of the Class of 2021

Member of the Outreach Committee

A small group of students and I visited an organization called RAWTools on Dec. 6. RAWTools is a restorative justice organization with a focus on the victims of gun violence. Restorative Justice is  defined as a system of criminal justice that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large. This organization started five years ago after the Sandy Hook School Shooting, where 26 people were killed, including 20 first graders. This organization is also in the Mennonite faith, a branch of the Protestant church. However, they welcome everyone from any faith to work with them. 

RAWTools’ response to gun violence was to form this non-profit that turns guns into gardening tools as their form of activism. From this experience, the students and I were able to assist in turning a barrel of an AR-15 into a tool. This amazing experience, however, is not just a one-time event. The organizer, Michael Martin, expressed a strong interest in finding volunteers to help with blacksmithing and creating tools. Martin is open to Colorado College students coming to their blacksmithing shop to help with their work. In addition, he expressed an interest in jewelers for future projects involving the more malleable parts of a gun. 

If you have any interest in learning basic blacksmithing, applying your arts and craft skills to a unique form of restorative justice, have a strong itch for restorative justice, and/or want to participate more in the Colorado Springs area, please reach out to me by email at c_capers@coloradocollege.edu. Keep in mind this is an interest request and plans will be solidified Block 5 or 6.  

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