By Michael Abeyta

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Fred Martin and his son Mike are getting ready to do some smithing on the front lawn of the Beloved Community Mennonite Church in Englewood.

Co-pastor of the church Cole Chandler explains, “We’re turning guns into garden tools today.”

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They have guns that some community members donated and stripped them down to the raw materials.

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“A large part of the gun is being re-purposed into something that can be creatively used to feed people rather than something that is destructive to other people,” said Fred Martin.

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The Martins started their work shortly after the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting as their way to try to stop gun violence. At first they didn’t know what they could do, but inspiration came from their Christian faith.

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“We got it from scripture where the Old Testament prophets talk about turning swords into plow shears,” said Fred.

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So, the father and son learned how to smith and started their crusade. Chandler invited them from their home in Colorado Springs to Englewood on Sunday to help inspire his congregation.

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“We really feel like as Christians it’s our call to bring peace to the face of the Earth,” said Chandler, “Another way is possible. A way beyond violence and killing and getting rid of people is possible. We could actually love our neighbors.”

Cole Chandler (credit: CBS)

As the Martins hammer away, the crowd watches intently.

“They’re excited to see that something good could be created out of this,” said Fred.

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Meanwhile, Chandler hopes this demonstration in their front yard will help change the world, “Fred learned how to blacksmith because they wanted to turn guns into garden tools and we all need to re-learn some things.

Fred Martin (credit: CBS)

“We need to change our hearts, yes, but we also need to change the laws that are not protecting our children, are not protecting our schools, are not protecting public spaces.”

(credit: CBS)

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.


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