A Colorado group promoting social justice and sustainability is using the Bible as justification for recycling assault rifles to create garden tools.
The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission on Monday announced that it was partnering with Mike Martin of RAWtools -- which is "war" spelled backwards -- to launch the "Guns-to-Garden Tools" project.
The group said that the idea was based on Isaiah 2:4 from the Bible: "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Colorado Springs lawyer Mike Warren, who purchased an AK-47 assault rifle after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, donated his weapon to kick off the project.
“I always had it in the back of my mind, there might be something I needed it for," Warren said on Monday. "Sounds stupid now."
Warren brought his gun to a bike shop in Colorado Springs on Monday to have it destroyed. In video captured by KRDO, sparks fly as a buzz saw cuts through the rifle's barrel. The gun's high-capacity magazine was also pounded flat with a hammer.
The fisherman and hunter explained that he bought the rifle out of fear and it had been "guarding my fishing hole for terrorists."
But the mass killing of 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut was the "last straw," he said.
"I offer this up for my own penance," Warren remarked. "It's worth some money but I couldn't very well turn it back over into the system. I would then become an arms trader myself."
"This thing will turn a human being into rags," he added. "The fact of the matter is, upon reflection, I concluded that it would be stupid for me to keep thing. And now it's gone."
Artist Mike Martin told The Gazette that the remains of Warren's firearm would be "heated, reshaped and turned into a garden trowel, a cultivator and a weed puller." The tools will then be donated to Ranch Community Garden, a non-profit project that provides plots to local residents who do not have garden space.
Anyone wishing to donate weapons to the "Guns-to-Garden Tools" project can contact the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission.
"Thank God I’m free of the damn thing," Warren said at the conclusion of Monday's event.
Watch this video from KRDO, broadcast Feb. 11, 2013.