I witnessed how a disarming event–how literally dismantling weapons of violence–transformed not just weapons, but all of us who were there, too.
On June 13 I drove to Boulder, Colorado, to gather in the parking lot of Community United Church of Christ just blocks away from the King Soopers where a gunman took the lives of 10 people on March 22, 2021. I had been invited to be part of a disarming event the church was hosting, where people in the community were invited to bring their firearms to be sawed into pieces.
The first person who drove up was an elderly woman who had several firearms in her home that had been her husbands and that she no longer wanted. Another person who came was a man who brought his firearms because his kids asked him to for their safety. There were others as well. Each had a story, and several of them cried with relief at handing over their guns to be dismantled.
What I wasn’t expecting was what a spiritual experience it was–for those of us hosting the disarming event, for many of the people who brought their firearms, even for a police officer who was present who said that this was an act of community safety. There was something about the act of physically breaking down guns and knowing we were making the community safer from the violence those weapons could have caused. That changed something in us as well. We were taking small but meaningful steps toward creating the kind of world we envision, the kingdom of heaven to be: a world without guns, a world where safety and protection comes from caring for each other.
That day we disarmed 34 guns by sawing them into pieces.
We’re asking people of faith to host disarming events on September 4th so that,
together, we can transform 150 guns into garden tools.
This work of spiritual and physical transformation is the work of the Church. Will you join us?
Rev. Deanna Hollas, Gun Violence Ministry Coordinator