Murals to End Gun Violence
NMPGV works closely with our young people because we feel that their voices are crucial in the fight to end gun violence.
Murals to End Gun Violence is a program we started in 2016 to help raise awareness with our young people on the issue of gun violence prevention. Creating gun violence prevention murals gives students an opportunity to articulate and express their concerns about gun violence in a positive environment. The murals are an effective way to raise social awareness about the issue, as hundreds of students and adults pass by the murals daily. The program also teaches our young people about the importance of civic participation and gives them a space to voice their concerns about an issue that directly impacts their safety.
The experience of creating the murals offers the participants an opportunity to learn the skills needed to create a mural. NMPGV hired Warren Montoya of Rezonate Art as the artistic director for the murals. Under the tutelage of Mr. Montoya, students learn graphic design, painting techniques, how to work with different kinds of paint, and grid work. They also have the opportunity to learn how to problem solve with their peers, work together as a team, build leadership skills and take responsibility as a collective whole to finish the project.
The Guns to Gardens Project
New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) wants to take the thousands of unwanted working guns in New Mexico and turn them into shovels and spades for community gardens, but we need your help.
In the summer of 2016, we raised the money to begin conducting gun buybacks in New Mexico. We held our first buyback in Santa Fe County and our second in Rio Arriba, New Mexico. NMPGV partners with the sheriff and police departments to buy back working guns. RAWTools then forges firearms into gardening tools and the Santa Fe Community College Art Department creates art out of the gun scraps. We will continue to hold gun buybacks and forge the guns throughout New Mexico.
RAWtools is a Colorado based project that travels around the country repurposing firearms into hand tools. Michael Martin founder of RAWtools Inc. explains, “These firearms are now used in the creation of something new, preventing the guns use for violence and creating a cycle of peace. RAWtools, Inc. intends to partner with communities in an effort to repurpose weapons for productive lifelong purpose.”
Why a Gun Buyback?
Changing circumstances – children in the home, a suicidal family member, substance abuse or a loved one dies leaving an unwanted firearm in a home or other dangerous situations – can convince many gun owners it’s time to let go of their firearm but they might be afraid to sell it because of the possibility it will end up in unsafe hands or even the hands of a criminal. Under the buyback program, they can turn the gun over to law enforcement anonymously and receive $100.00-200.00 for their working gun.
Since 2014, NMPGV has partnered with the creator of the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence, Mary Lewis Grow, to implement the Pledge in schools throughout New Mexico.
The Student Pledge Against Gun Violence is a national program that honors the role that young people, through their own decisions, can play in reducing gun violence. This campaign against youth gun violence culminates each year on a Day of National Concern about Young People and Gun Violence. The program provides a means for beginning the conversation with young people about gun violence. It refers teachers, counselors, and community leaders to valuable resources, includes curriculum suggestions that can be integrated with existing academic programs, and contains information about how your school can participate. Since 1996, over 10 million students have signed the pledge!
NMPG has worked directly with hundreds of students and thousands have signed the Pledge. Since working in Santa Fe Public schools there has been a 54% drop in our students bringing the weapons to school.
For more information on the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence go to: www.pledge.org/