From Firearm To Fine Art

Crime is falling steadily throughout the nation, but violence in America's schools and on the streets is fueling the debate over gun control. In Michigan, two artists are taking a very different approach to this issue, as CBS News Correspondent Drew Levinson reports.

Scott Lankton is a blacksmith. He heats and hammers metal into ornamental designs in his small Michigan shop. Builders and collectors pay a lot of money for his work.

But it's what he and his partner Jim Roth are doing for free that they hope will get noticed. For the past two years, they have been collecting guns to smash into sculptures, a modern version of beating swords into plowshares.

Some of the creations are startling, some stark, and some border on cartoonish. Roth is a hunter, and not against guns, but he says what is happening in American streets and schools disturbs him.

"I have two kids and I think it's ridiculous that as Americans we stand by and watch our kids shoot each other," he says.

When there is extra money, Scott and Jim gather the guns at shows and from dealers. They are not wealthy, but they have the time, the tools, and certainly the talent to turn pistols into protests.

"What is going on with guns and violence in our society is unacceptable," says Lankton. "We don't have to take this. We can do something together to change it."

The pair don't pretend to have a solution. They're just two artists asking questions, and they realize there will always be more guns than can be smashed in a lifetime.

"This is about us giving up some of our time and money, what we can afford, to do something positive, to say, you know, cut it out already," says Lankton.

The goal is to widen the work: align with police departments and smash ceased guns into great big sculptures. They not only want to get people's attention, but get them thinking.