RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – One group is offering a new approach to combat gun violence.
The group, called RAWtools, said its mission is to “disarm hearts, forge peace.”
Mike Martin showed CBS North Carolina how they use a hearth to melt the metal and a hammer to reshape it. The end result was homemade garden tools.
“They’re largely donated. Some of them come from police departments when we do an event when we go from place to place. Some of them come from individuals who don’t want it anymore,” Mike Martin, founder and executive director of RAWtools said in Raleigh Sunday.
Martin started RAWtools following the massacre at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, during which 20 children and six teachers were killed.
While Martin is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he’s been traveling across the country.
“Essentially to show people that there’s a different way to do life and that it doesn’t have to have a gun as a part of it,” Martin said.
Martin brought his tool shop and his message to the Raleigh Mennonite Church.
“There’s this strong biblical narrative where Mike’s work comes from. That it isn’t just that weapons are cast aside but they’re actually used, they’re transformed and used for something that can create, that can be beautiful,” Raleigh Mennonite Church Pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler said.
Pastor Florer-Bixler said the art fair being held on Veterans Day weekend was no coincidence. They’re hoping to raise awareness about the higher rates of depression, PTSD, and suicide among veterans.