Combatting gun violence: local blacksmiths transform guns to garden tools

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Special Hen
Aug 21, 2021
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Chuck Waite and Ragnar Crowson are hobbyist blacksmiths who typically create small items like decorative crosses or bottle openers, but they’re about to embark on a bigger task: transforming guns to garden tools.

Hearing about the growing movement in other cities, forging guns to garden tools is something Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries has wanted to pursue for quite some time. They called on Tulsa City Councilor Crista Patrick to help, because Crowson is Patrick’s husband. They all agreed 2022 was the year to make it happen.

“After this summer, some of the tragedies we’ve had in our city, we decided it was time to do some healing,” said Patrick.

That’s what this event is all about. Often times, families who lost a loved one to suicide or other traumatic event don’t know what to do with the weapon involved. Organizers believe transforming the gun into a more useful, positive tool is a cathartic step in the healing journey.

It’s important to Patrick that Tulsans don’t perceive this event as “anti-gun,” but about responsible gun ownership and making sure weapons don’t wind up in the wrong hands. Patrick says it’s not only for victims of gun violence. There are many reasons people want to get rid of guns.

“We have a couple [coming to the event] who bought a used car and they found guns in the trunk,” said Patrick. “They didn’t know anything about guns and didn’t want the guns, but they just wanted to be safe and give something meaningful to someone else.”

Waite is looking forward to using his hobby for a good cause. “I can see where, if someone had a weapon that was used in an ill-manner, to transform it to something else would be very helpful,” he said.

The type of garden tool they turn out to be will depend on the type of gun and material they are given. However, whatever outdoor function they may serve, the real work will be on the inside.

If you’d like to donate an unwanted gun, a no-questions-asked collection site will be set up on Saturday, November 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 7830 E. Admiral Pl. Donors will get a gift card in exchange.


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