December 14th 2012, a horrible act was thrust upon the town of Newtown, CT. 20 children and 6 adults lost their lives at the hands of an unstable young man with a gun. Gun violence in schools is an all too common occurrence lately. For me, a mother of a young son it hits way to close to home. Children are sent to school to flourish, grow and find themselves. They should be safe first and foremost.
Peter Thum, an entrepreneur was in the process of creating a company when the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting took place. Those events only acerbated the process and Liberty United was created. He collects and destroys illegal guns, then uses the material from that process to create wearable art. Each piece is hand stamped with the serial number from the guns it was created from. Their motto is More Beauty, More Jobs, Less Gun Violence. A portion of each sale is donated to local organizations that help reduce gun violence.
Thum created a similar business back in 2009 named Fonderie 47 that makes high-end jewelry from illegal AK-47 rifles in Africa. Many of these confiscated guns are from child soldiers. They have been able to remove over 32,000 guns from circulation in Africa. As a mother and a humanitarian, this makes my heart happy. No child should be on the other end of a gun- in any fashion whatsoever.
In the wake of such a tragedy, I can only imagine despair and hopelessness were some of the emotions running wild. Although nothing can take away the pain from the day, I feel these pieces bring a sense of hope and positivity. When you wear these bracelets, you can feel good about knowing that gun or bullet can no longer hurt anyone. I wish for the world to have more Peter Thum’s and for more people to be reminded of how a community should unite in the wake of a tragedy. You are all my heroes.