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Grassroots Wisdom Book


“If we are no longer training for war, what else would we be doing?” The RAWtools website invites us to use our imagination to think of ways to “solve problems without guns and violence,” and the organization leads the way through example. Operating out of shops in Philadelphia, PA and Colorado Springs, CO, RAWtools accepts donated guns and transforms them into gardening tools, jewelry, and “talking piece” artworks. The two online shops also have t-shirts, hats, and stickers communicating their message of “turning swords into plowshares.”

The guns to garden tools effort, a hallmark of their Swords to Plowshares program, is one of three efforts the organization engages to change our thinking about how we resolve issues. In addition to Swords to Plowshares, their War No More program provides nonviolence trainings to promote peace and disarmament, and Vine and Fig works toward “welcoming neighbors and strangers with open arms instead of bearing arms,” first by addressing individual triggers rooted in fear and hate that lead to violent reactions. Vine and Fig provides links to resources such as victim support groups, resilience yoga classes, and community gardening as a response to trauma to enable individuals to challenge their own violent reactions and trauma.

What else could your community be doing to disarm and create a more peaceful environment? Visit the RAWtools website for a beautiful example of what is possible.



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