When I was growing up, my parents wouldn’t let me play with toy guns. I didn’t appreciate their stand for non-violence, I was just annoyed and had to go find a well-shaped stick to play with the other kids in my neighborhood. A more idyllic version might’ve been the rest of the gang I played with having parents that were as adamant about saying that guns aren’t exactly toys, and iconic splitting-into-opposing-sides games like cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians is one thing, but becoming casual about a weapon is another thing entirely.
The Non-Violence Project is beginning a Knot Violence World Tour, a traveling art show with non-violence sculptures interpreted by artists and celebrities, as well as youth artists and kids in the cities where the tour visits. The Tour will start in Mexico and then continue to Brazil, The United States, The United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, China, and Sweden. Yoko Ono has joined the campaign–a logical fit since the symbol of the Non-Violence Project, a revolver with its barrel tied in a knot, was originally created by the Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd as a memorial tribute to John Lennon after he was shot and killed on December 8, 1980. The organization began in Switzerland to educate and motivate youth to take a stand for change.
I am not anti-gun, but I am absolutely anti any gun ever being pointed at a human being. If you hunt for your food and that is how you and your family survive, fine. If you shoot clay discs as sport, also fine. I don’t think an appropriate target for target practice (unless you are a police officer or member of the military) is the silhouette of a person–that strikes me as grossly irresponsible, and the kind of first step toward kids thinking a gun is casual, cool, and earns them bragging rights. A gun is, of course, none of those things. Kids, and adults, who are confident and clear about themselves, and past the point of operating out of fear, would never need a weapon as specific as a gun.