Nearly three decades after her 3-year-old son was killed in a drive-by shooting that shattered the silence outside a Denver duplex, Sharletta Evans was the one piercing the stillness as she eased some of her pain by hammering the melted barrel of a rifle into a garden tool.
The event held at a Denver church was part of a program run by the Colorado Springs-based nonprofit RAWtools, which draws inspiration from the Bible verse “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”
“To see one more gun off the street is so comforting. I love the idea of something that could potentially cause harm being turned into a garden tool that’s going to be something used for productivity,” Evans said while holding a photo of her son Casson, who was killed just before Christmas in 1995.
RAWtools has disabled more than 1,000 firearms across the country since its inception in 2013, shortly after a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Many of the resulting garden tools are donated to participating…