CD students, help the city put guns to better use

City officials and community leaders in January announce the first gun buyback event at Mount Zion Baptist Church

City officials and community leaders in January announce the first gun buyback event at Mount Zion Baptist Church

Students of the Central District, what have guns done to your community, and what would a CD without gun violence be like?

The city is looking for your thoughts, which they will then turn into pieces of art using the steel from guns purchased during a recent gun buyback event.

This is all part of the Weapons to Words program, funded with the help of Chihuly Studio and Schnitzer Steel. Deadline to enter is June 7.

Details from the city:

Weapons to Words is a program for students in Seattle sponsored by the Office of the Mayor and Office of Arts & Culture in cooperation with Chihuly Studio and Schnitzer Steel that encourages a violence free future for Seattle. Metal upcycled from guns recovered from Seattle’s gun buyback program will be tuned into plaques featuring quotes from Seattle students.

Students are asked to submit quotes that signify what gun violence in their community means to them, and what we can do to stop it. This program encourages kids to think about clear, simple actions and attitudes that they can take to contribute to the elimination of violence in schools and in our city. A panel convened by the Office of Arts and Culture will select one entry per school to be engraved on a publicly displayed installation designed by Chihuly Studio.

This contest is open to students in the City of Seattle in grades 1-12. One winner per school will be selected by a panel of judges. Entry deadline is Friday, June 7th. More information about the contest, including rules, eligibility and participation requirements can be obtained online at You can contact [email protected] or 206-615-1446 with any questions.

Contest Topic:

We’re asking students to think about what gun violence in their community means to them, and what we can do to stop it. What would a Seattle free of gun violence be like? How can we get there? How would life for young people in our city be different without fear of gun violence?

Contest Rules

  1. The contest is open students in the City of Seattle in the 1st through 12th grades.
  2. Contest submission must relate to the contest topic.
  3. Contest submission must be 50 words or less.
  4. Contest submission must either be your own original work or you must clearly cite and attribute the work of others.
  5. All submissions become the property of the City of Seattle. This includes the rights to edit and to publicly publish the essays at the contest sponsors’ discretion.
  6. Submissions containing language that in the opinion of the contest sponsor is abusive, threatening or otherwise inappropriate will be discarded without further consideration.
  7. Submissions must be submitted using the official contest website at
  8. Students must receive the consent of a parent or guardian to participate in the program.

3 thoughts on “CD students, help the city put guns to better use

  1. Oops. Mayor McGinn had the wrong information. It’s actually guns acquired from a FUTURE gun buy back that will be used for the plaques. The other guns have already been melted down into rebar for construction:

    May 10, 2013
    Seattle mayor’s omission: buyback guns now rebar
    Associated Press

    Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn apologized Thursday for making a deliberate omission this week when he announced a plan to turn guns from a buyback program into plaques carrying messages of peace.

    McGinn left the impression during a news conference on Tuesday that the 700-plus weapons collected at a highly publicized gun buyback in January would be used to make the plaques.

    But, as first reported by KIRO-FM (, the mayor knew those weapons had already been melted down into rebar.

    “I apologize for not being more forthcoming at our press conference,” McGinn said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “We will be using metal from guns acquired at our next gun buyback for our Weapons to Words youth outreach effort.”
    McGinn said he learned the morning before the news conference that the guns had already been recycled. He said he didn’t explain that at the news conference because “I didn’t want this piece of information to distract from the program or the incredible support” of the sponsors of the program, Schnitzer Steel and the studio of famed glass artist Dale Chihuly.

    Instead, the mayor said at the news conference: “We were inspired by the idea that we could take these weapons that were recovered, 750 at the first gun buy back, and do something meaningful with them — something of symbolic importance to our city, particularly after all the incidents of gun violence we have seen in this city over the years.”

    The mayor’s news release later Tuesday explained it this way: “The plaques, made from upcycled steel that includes the weapons we recovered, will be placed in Seattle parks.”

    Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a spokesman for Seattle police, said Thursday that the department had the guns melted down due to “a miscommunication.”
    The buyback program was announced a month after last December’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., by city leaders sick of hearing about gun violence. Private sponsors,, contributed tens of thousands of dollars so that people could anonymously turn in their weapons for shopping cards worth up to $200. The plan included using the collected guns in a public art project.

  2. McGinn is promoting the gun culture to kids as a consequence of his “contest.” Truly detestable.