“Anti-Violence” Sculpture Made from Buyback Guns Now on Tour

(courtesy connecticut.cbslocal.com)

“It just does something to me to know that those were guns that were used to kill people,” Henrietta Beckman told courant.com, standing in front of artist Michael Kalish’s “anti-violence” sculpture. “Those are guns that won’t be used ever again.” Well she got it half right. The chances that any of the “buyback” firearms assembled to create the artwork were used in a homicide are lower than the morals of the anti-gun pols gathered at the unveiling. And if they were, that just shows the stupidity of the “no questions asked” collection process, which destroys potential evidence of criminality. But you can understand her confusion . . .

Ms. Beckman, whose son was shot and killed in 2002, is a “vocal anti-gun-violence activist” and member of Mothers United Against Violence. For whom all, all guns are evil death dealers. The idea that some of the broken-ass firearms that went into the sculpture were used for hunting or self-defense or defense against government tyranny is an anathema.

There was plenty of that kind of “thinking” on display at the event, which included Connecticut Governor Dannel Molloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and U.S. Rep. John Larson. Yup, the gun-grabbing gang was all there, spouting the usual anti-ballistic B.S.

“Maybe a beautiful piece of art won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Murphy said, referring to the need for stronger anti-gun legislation. “But gatherings like this — where we re-commit ourselves to the idea that through any means possible, political action, civic action or cultural action that we will get this done — gets us a little closer to that day when the streets of Hartford are truly as safe as they can be.”

By depriving Americans of their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Gotcha.

Of course, a more careful reading of the Constitution State Senator’s comments – pining for the day when the streets of Hartford “are truly as safe as they can be” – leaves me wondering: how safe can the streets of Hartford be if residents are denied their gun rights? Not so safe now (23 murders per 100k population). And a lot less safe later.

Murphy pledges to pursue this agenda by “any means possible?” How great is that? But you expect that from a statist. What really gets me going is this comment from the artist: “I hope it starts a conversation.” That’s anti-gun agitprop speak for “encourages a push for civilian disarmament.”

OK then, let’s start that conversation with this: Do you want to live in a society where only the police are armed? Sorry. I know. They’ll say yes. Liars. Every one of them. Let’s see how this line of thinking goes down at the sculpture’s next stop, in Detroit, where residents are taking up arms in their own defense.


  1. avatar Gs650g says:

    Nice to see they limit their belief to gun violence only. Knives and blunt instrument get a pass.

    1. avatar Andrew says:

      The Iron Throne comes next, but too many people would try to sit on it.

      1. avatar Random_Commenter says:

        Cool. Looks like the next steel target stand I’m gonna build.

        1. avatar Jeff says:

          +1 on that! It would be an awesome steel range!

          I also wonder if they are going to have a vehicle turn-in program, no questions asked? We really do need to stop the vehicle “violence” that claimed 33,561 lives in 2012 on American highways (according to the NHTSA). 2,362,000 people were also injured, and 3,950,000 crashes resulted in property damage only. And they call the shooting sport violent . . .

  2. avatar Komando says:

    Pfft. This has nothing on the Glorious Murdercube.

    1. avatar A samurai says:

      All Hail Mudercube!

      1. avatar BDub says:

        Saluto Nex Alea

        1. avatar John Butler says:

          Ave Nex Alea.

  3. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Yes. Let’s start a conversation Senator. Why are their Capitol Police with guns in DC guarding your entrance? Let’s get rid of them. Why are their state troopers with guns in Hartford guarding the entrance to the state capitol and governor’s office. Let’s get rid of them. Why are their armed private security protecting all of those rich white elites in those shiny office buildings in downtown Hartford and Stamford. Disarm them I say! Stop being racist! Trayvon Martin! For the Children!!

    C’mon Senator. Let’s have the conversation

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      How much electricity or natural gas was used to melt that gun steel?

      How much CO2 was carelessly dumped into our planet’s fragile atmosphere to manufacture something that has zero practical value?

      How many cute, adorable mincemeat baby pups are senselessly slaughtered each year to make mincemeat pie?

      (Sniffling Uncontrollably)

  4. avatar juliesa says:

    Besides being a stupid idea, it’s an ugly sculpture, and will have no effect on Hartford’s horrendous crime rate. If I were a CT resident, I’d be yelling at my public servants for wasting their time on this.

    1. avatar Kyle in CT says:

      Malloy won the last time around by 6000 votes. I know there are a lot of PO’d gun owners who may have voted for Malloy that will likely be changing their votes or withholding their votes this go around. Now if the Republicans could just field a half-decent candidate. My dog leaves better candidates on the front lawn every morning, which is why Visconti is getting traction as an independent.

      1. avatar Matt says:

        CCDL has endorsed Foley so I’m not sure how that places Visconti. He certainly seems like a much better pro 2A candidate from reading his site than Foley.

        I’d hate for the vote to split and we get stuck with Molloy again.


        1. avatar Ralph says:

          Visconti is a Trojan Horse. He’s only in the race to divide the vote and re-elect Malloy.

        2. avatar Matt says:

          Idk if I’d call him a Trojan horse but I think, and most definitely worry, the effect will be the same.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      And I see a child over there! No one seems to be paying attention! What if those guns GO OFF?

    3. avatar Larry says:

      The design looks like a third grade diversity studies homework assignment. I was born in the Hartford hospital though raised in the very rural northeast of the state and I am greatly saddened by what has happend to the erosion of rights their. I can recall when my dad took me to the state police barracks in stafford springs in 1964 to get me my pistol permit and being invited to shoot at their range with their guns…. A very different world

      1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        Wow, I can’t imagine what would happen if you tried to do that today. Probable be invited to the jail cell instead.

  5. avatar Gregolas says:

    “…lower than the morals of the anti-gun pols at the unveiling.”
    Good one, RF!

  6. avatar Roscoe says:

    Oh, great “sculpture”:

    ‘Gimme your hand brother…now gimme your money…and your life.’

  7. avatar PeterC says:

    Jeez Louise! If they want the streets of freakin’ Hartford to be safe, never mind the guns…get rid of the people!

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    I wonder if the same people who feel good looking at melted guns feel bad looking at ore that could yet still make into guns. Do they know there is iron in their bodies? While we’re at it, that sculpture could still be made into guns. Or I could just tip it over and crush somebody to death.

  9. avatar KingSarc48265 says:

    Well as much as I love my Detroit, there is no shortage of the ignorant that will eat this crap up. I expect the turnout to be just as large and derpified. Only no New England polititians. Detroit scares the shit out of rich white folk.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Let’s be honest, you don’t have to be rich and white to be scared shitless by Detroit.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Doesn’t scare me a bit. A thousand miles away, not likely to get closer. Wait! You mean me go there? Not damn likely. Dunno that means I’m skeered, just isn’t any reason for anyone to go there.

  10. avatar Smack says:

    “I’m only laughing on the outside, my smile is just skin-deep. If you could see inside, I’m really crying, you would join me for a weep.”

  11. avatar Deadeye says:

    They better post armed guards arround that thing or it will be covered with graffiti.

  12. avatar Shane in Chandler says:

    “through any means possible” tells you everything you need to know about this grabber.

  13. avatar Narcoossee says:

    How about buying that thing, melting it down, and making some guns out of it. I read they did that in WW2. 🙂

  14. avatar General Zod says:

    It’s bad enough that it’s made from mangled firearms, but couldn’t they have at least created a sculpture with some shred of artistic merit or creativity? That thing looks like it was designed by a committee of 4th grade children.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      “…a committee of fourth-grade children.” Absolute bullseye!

    2. avatar maltwit says:

      Come on, where’s your sense of civic pride? /sarc

      This “sculpture” will be easier to erase the graffiti from that a Kumbaya sign.

  15. avatar Paco says:

    What an ugly waste of resources.

  16. avatar Cyrano says:

    Its Ironic that sculpture actually represents the gesture of two individuals who were armed but showing they have no hidden knives by using their sword hands in a greeting. You gave a man your sword hand in respect to show you weren’t going to stab him underhandedly in your meeting. I guess today’s equivalent gesture would be showing you don’t have a derringer in your hand and the only gun you have is on your hip.

  17. avatar Eric L says:

    That is beautiful work of art? ……even if it wasn’t made from firearms, that “thing” is horrendous. I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder

    1. avatar dlj95118 says:

      “A sculpture crafted from 2,000 pounds of disassembled guns has gone on display in Hartford’s Bushnell Park through early next year. Artist Michael Kalish spent four years turning the weapons into a handshake, symbolizing community unity.”

      The photo gallery displays the “art” with a white backdrop so the “handshake” is visible.

      Four years?!?!

      1. avatar Gene says:

        And 5 months of that was probably sober.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Well, I would have guessed at LEAST 20 minutes!

      3. avatar Marcus Aurelius Payne says:

        2,000 lbs? So it’s literally a ton of stupid.

      4. avatar Full Cleveland says:

        I think I have some clothes that have a union label bearing that handshake and for some reason I have a strong desire to watch the last 30 minutes of Animal House.

        1. avatar Wood says:

          Oh wouldn’t it be just superb if that thing violated copyright?

  18. avatar James says:

    How about parking it for a few nights on the south side of Chicago or north side of Milwaukee? The “artist” can explain and educate while there. Late night is the best time to reach a broader audience.

  19. avatar Seth Hill says:

    Here’s an idea; let’s have a “buy back”, we divide the good guns among us (along with any good parts), take the crap and have it melted down, then have what was melted down turned into brand new guns. We could call it the Circle of Life “buy back”.

  20. avatar Pulatso says:

    Wait…if guns are inherently evil, disassembling them and mangling them into a public specticle (sorry, I count several artists as friends, I know art, and that ain’t it) is not going to change what they really are: demonic killing machines. I fully expect a string of suspicious bad luck for anyone who touches this thing, it’s nothing but pure evil.

  21. avatar Ing says:

    When an artist says “it’s supposed to start a conversation” or (even better) takes refuge in the old saw that says great art is confrontational, it’s a clue that regardless of the artistic talent it took (if any) to make the object under view, you’re dealing not with art, but with ideological hackery in visual form.

    1. avatar Paco says:

      exactly, and the conversation most likely started will begin with something like wtf is that ass ugly thing?

  22. avatar Bob says:

    Hmmm…seems the only response is to make a pro-gun sculpture from anti-gun people?

    1. avatar Wood says:

      Great idea! I propose a rebarrel job or snub nose conversion for the UN revolver “sculpture”:


  23. avatar vernowhereman says:

    The ATF will raid it as a zero% lower…

  24. avatar Ralph says:

    Connecticut should have an Art Buy-Back Program. Everybody should be encouraged to turn in all their unwanted, broke-ass pseudo artwork for an ammo coupon, no questions asked.

    Velvet Jesus? Check.
    Crappy Monet prints? Check.
    Anything by Peter Max? Quadruple check.
    Kalish Sculpture? No. That’s where we draw the line.

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      You can have my “Dogs Playing Poker” when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

  25. avatar Anonymous says:

    Yea… those antique single shot breakover 410 shotguns are really popular with the criminal element.

    They wanted an “Anti-Violence” sculpture, when really it just looks like the symbolization of an arms deal. Guns + handshake. Honestly like I it. The only thing I don’t like is the destruction of antiques that could have otherwise been restored/repaired.

  26. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I love that sculpture. Its practical application is a game changer for sure. Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

    Example application …

    Victim: “Excuse me Mr. Violent Attacker. Rather than savagely and brutally raping me, can we just shake hands and get along?”

    Rapist: “On second thought, I will not savagely and brutally rape you. I just needed a warm handshake to get my head on straight.”


  27. avatar Marcus Aurelius Payne says:

    “…through any means possible, political action, civic action or cultural action [or illegal action, if necessary]”

    Fixed it for him.

  28. avatar Btdsf2013 says:

    How fitting that the sculpture looks like the ones ubiquitous in communist/fascist police states

    1. avatar Bob says:

      In Soviet Russia, sculpture sculps you!

  29. avatar big blue says:

    While I don’t like the sentiment behind it, the sculpture itself is actually neat.

  30. avatar SIES says:

    Some people might have thought that — if the metalworkers had the insight necessary to have fashioned a more accurate representation of the Nanny-Nation Ideology, they’d have replicated an iron womb, safe enough for children to crawl into and play, of course.
    Others might think it to be a prudent idea to put a fence around it before some child climbs up on it and gets hurt, and as a preventative measure to keep Cult of Death practitioners from potentially using it as a display piece for chopped-off heads.
    For the record though, I’m not one of those people.
    But now that it’s been mentioned, a fence would be a good idea. Especially if they torched this thing into something useful as say, building material for fencing along the southern border.

  31. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

    I am always incredibly leery of people who are “anti-violence” or anti-some other abstract reality of life on planet earth as a human being; war, sickness, etc. More often than not these people are not only dyed in the wool nanny-state worshipers, but they are also more likely to bring violence (the very thing they claim to abhor) upon those who disagree with their over-emotional agenda in any way.

  32. avatar N8thecowboy says:

    I don’t mind the sculpture, but to say all those guns were used to kill someone is ludicrous.

  33. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Anybody want to start a pool to see how long it takes for somebody to steal it and sell it for scrap?

  34. avatar Tom says:

    Someone should make a sculpture with two hands holding bars signifying the end result of gun bans and follow around the anti gun agiprop art

  35. avatar Thomas Reed says:

    Henrietta Beckman said: “It just does something to me to know that those were guns that were used to kill people,” What an ignorant person. This woman believes the guns purchased in the police buy back program were used to kill people. Perhaps that is the problem, there are too many ignorant people out there with a totally false belief system when it comes to firearms.

    1. avatar Chase F. says:

      Actually, some of the guns MAY have been used in crimes… The “no questions asked” policy of buybacks means that a criminal could literally just drop off a gun used to perpetrate a crime, and it would be melted down to nothing before the cops could figure out what happened! Quite simply, the system has the ironic effect of promoting gun violence AND making it easier to get away with.

  36. avatar FoRealz? says:


  37. avatar Lurker_Of_Lurkiness says:

    It would be more useful as a swing set……

  38. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Ahhh……civil disarmament-cum-civic art….

    As Ronald Reagan said of the Berlin Wall, I think it’s as ugly as the idea it represents.

  39. avatar Todd says:

    When these guns are “turned in”, are they checked to see if they’ve been reported stolen or been used in a crime? If not, they could be melting evidence or destroying the rightful property of others. Anyone know if they process these?

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