Detroit/ Community & Society
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Published on June 19, 2024
Metro Detroit's "Guns and Crafts" Campaign: Episcopal Churches to Turn Firearms into Art as Part of Gun Violence InitiativeSource: Google Street View

In a concerted effort to address gun violence, Episcopal leaders in Metro Detroit have set forth a campaign to transform unwanted firearms into artwork. According to CBS News Detroit, six churches in the area will host events where individuals can bring their guns to be dismantled and later used in creative pursuits at what they've dubbed the "Guns and Crafts" tent.

The campaign kick-off was marked by a ceremonial blessing of the tools that will dismantle the guns. "Holy one, bless this saw and this saw and the hands of all who operate these saws that they may take these weapons of destruction and turn them into plowshares, turn them into other objects, turn them into dust where they can no longer do any harm or ill," Bishop Bonnie Perry was quoted saying in a story by Detroit Free Press.

Participants who surrender their firearms at these events can expect to receive gift cards in exchange, with rates specified by The Very Rev. Chris Yaw at a news conference. Target and Meijer are listed as the providers of these gift cards, offering different amounts based on the type of firearm surrendered. Yaw expressed the community's urgency to repurpose these tools of violence, stating, "We're bringing events of unity and creativity and conductivity to these communities," as reported by Detroit Free Press.

The buyback initiative comes on the heels of several mass shootings in the area, reinforcing the necessity for such actions. Yaw, alongside over twenty Episcopal leaders and the support of civic figures, underscored the aim of the campaign as a bipartisan effort, respecting responsible gun ownership yet acknowledging the pressing need to reduce the number of guns potentially available for misuse. As per a Michigan State Police announcement earlier in March, ensuring that guns collected in these programs are wholly destroyed forms a critical element of the initiative.

Each event is estimated to cost around $30,000, and public donations are being sought to cover these expenses. Information on how to support can be found on St. David's Episcopal Church's website or by mailing checks to their Southfield location. The events are scheduled to take place at various Episcopal churches from July 13 through November 9.