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Guns for a good cause: Artist melts 1,527 guns and turns them into shovels

Mexico is a country which is no stranger to violence and killings. The city of Culiacán has the highest number of deaths in the whole world due to guns hence it was expected that someone would take a stand against weapons. Pedro Reyes, a creative artist from Culiacán, melted down an approximate 1,527 guns and make them out into shovels to be used for digging trees.


Reyes likes to focus on the failures of the modern culture and turn them into a positive outcome altogether. Reyes does not believe in giving up and considers failure as the outcome of a certain kind of mindset. He has the special ability to transform and create things which people consider as broken into useful things.


Hence, the artist thought that something positive could also be derived from guns. He started a campaign and asked people to hand over their guns in exchange for a coupon, which they could use to buy electronic appliances.

For the campaign that he named as Palas pro Pistolas, Pedro collected a total of 1,527 guns, melted them down and made 1,527 shovels! These new shovels were then distributed to public schools and institutions to help in planting a minimum of 1,527 trees. This is what Pedro said:-

“If something is dying, becoming rotten and smelly, I think there is a chance to make a compost in which this vast catalog of solutions can be mixed in an entirely new way,” he told BOMB Magazine. In Palas por Pistolas he was aiming to show “how an agent of death can become an agent of life.”


Forty percent of all the guns that Pedro collected were automatics of military caliber. These guns were taken to a military base, smashed with a steamroller and then melted down into shovels. These shovels contained wooden handles and are now being used to create life and shelter, rather than death and destruction!


The artist has certainly communicated a silent message to the violence craving and stricken world; there is hope still left to do good.



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