Every day when I put on my earrings, my watch and wedding ring, I slip a hammered stainless steel bangle on my right wrist with the serial number 17805 engraved on the side. That’s the serial number of the gun the metal in the bracelet came from. That’s my one small step toward helping eliminate guns from the civilian population. Canadians, fortunately and wisely do not share the Americans’ preoccupation with guns. We operate under the assumption that if only the good guys (police, military and qualified hunters) are allowed to have guns we don’t need guns to ‘protect our family’. It’s not easy to get a gun in Canada and the system generally works.
When I started blogging in 2013, one of my first posts was about a gun amnesty program started under then-Mayor Cory Booker (now Senator) of The City of Newark, New Jersey. Here’s an excerpt:
The City of Newark, New Jersey joined forces in 2012 with a jewelry designer to recycle the metals from guns collected during a paid gun amnesty program and seized during crimes to create bracelets and other jewelry made from steel and brass parts. Each bracelet has the serial number of the original gun inscribed on the piece. A portion of the profits produced from this program is returned to Newark to continue the program. The bracelets are available in three sizes for a custom fit and the one I bought fits perfectly. I currently have a steel one and plan to order a brass one as well.
The Caliber Foundation aims to offer support to victims and families of illegal gun violence.
When a community is affected by gun violence there are many unforeseen and unplanned-for expenses, in the worst cases; funerals, and for those lucky enough to survive there are; medical bills, wheelchair ramps, and lost income. Churches and community organizations struggle to meet these needs, just as the Caliber Collectionâ„¢ creates opportunities for those who may never have walked the streets of Newark to participate in making the city a safer place, the Caliber Foundation connects anyone who donates with the organizations and people on the front lines of re-building lives one small act at a time.
Six Years Later . . .
It’s now 2018 and crime involving guns has only increased. The recent school shootings in Florida and similar acts of violence prompted me to revisit the site and see if the program is still in operationâ€”and it is. The Caliber Foundation takes parts from guns seized at crime scenes and guns turned in by citizens and recycles the metal parts into unique jewelry. The proceeds are returned to the community and police organizations to assist in furthering the removal of guns from the streets and provide assistance for victims of gun violence.
When I originally posted this piece, I sent a copy to the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department suggesting they adopt a similar program, but received no reply or acknowledgement. Maybe we could all send it to them again as a suggestion they create a similar program. It may be a small step, but it’s one thing we can do to demonstrate our opposition to guns in society. I’ll make it easy. Copy this blog posting and forward it the Chief of Police. Here’s the link:
I’ve worn my bangle every day for the past five and a half years. Every time I put it on I think about the ongoing struggles with gun control. At the very least, check out the website to learn more about the program. I encourage you to think about purchasing a piece of jewelry or item of clothing to show your support. Here’s the link: