SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Gun violence has wreaked havoc in communities across the country. On Saturday, the Springfield community took a stand.
Church groups have come together in partnership with a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization, Swords to Plowshares Northeast. The group transforms abandoned gun barrels into gardening tools.
Doug Fisher, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, told 22News, “The great thing about today is that it’s real change. It really takes a gun and turns it into an agricultural tool, but it’s also a symbol of the changes we need to make.
Those who fought for change used heat and metal working tools to reshape gun barrels.
The frequency of school shootings has hit close to home for the community, and some have come out to try to bring about meaningful change.
Lainey Hurlburt of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts said, “Where these senseless murders of innocent children tear my heart out. I have grandchildren and they are the joy of my life. I needed to be here. I just wanted to participate.
On Saturday, President Joe Biden signed a new bipartisan gun bill into law. Local leaders say it’s a start, but more needs to be done to protect communities like Springfield.
“You know, I think it’s a good start. President Biden himself said it didn’t contain nearly all the things he wanted to do,” Fisher continued.
Councilman Jesse Lederman, Springfield City Council President, said: ‘I think until we see these weapons of war having stricter purchase requirements in other states, similar to what we have in Massachusetts, we are going to see these guns entering our communities. .”
The bill provides grants to states for “red flag” laws and improves background checks to include records of minors.