PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's an innovative idea, turning guns that have been confiscated into garden tools.
It's the brainchild of activist Shane Claiborne and gun re-purposer Mike Martin and friends at Raw Tools, Inc. in Colorado
Mike Martin says,'We've been doing this for six years, Raw Tools started after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. And ever since then, we learned how to blacksmith."
Martin, a Mennonite Pastor turned blacksmith and his collaborator Claiborne are the authors of the book, 'Beating Guns.'
Friday night at the Broad Street Ministry Church in South Philadelphia, they kicked off a 35 city tour taking confiscated guns and turning them into tools that can be used to plant and grow food.
"Taking something that brings death into something that brings life," says Martin.
The tour also features stories from victims of gun violence like Gary Robbins, formerly of Wilmington, Delaware.
Robbins confides that "Coming to this event allows me as an individual that doesn't have a voice to stand up to these big people with money to say, 'Hey, I lost two sons behind this, not only that, I almost lost my own life.'"
Claiborne and Martin say America has become a country in which mass shootings have become almost commonplace, better at protecting guns than protecting people.
Martin adds, "We believe it's not just a gun problem, it's a heart problem, that it's both. And that swords to plowshares is a unique way to bring both of those ideas together."
Martin concludes that "We have to all come together as a community like the one we saw earlier and say, 'Hey, this has to stop. Too many people are dying.'"
Turning guns of violence into garden tools