Multiple studies have shown that the fewer guns in a society, the safer its people. With that in mind, the Belgian police have collected more than 22,000 guns from citizens and melted them into 60 tonnes of recycled steel.
About half of the collected firearms were handed in by owners from across the country, some of whom had inherited them, but didn’t want them anymore. The other half were outdated police weapons.
The three-day-long operation took place at a steel melting plant in Ghent, run by steel giant Arcelor Mittal. It was the third time the Belgian government partnered with the steel company to transform firearms into something useful. You can watch a satisfying video of the gun melting by following the source article.
“The result is impressive: 22,457 firearms have disappeared from our society,” said Carina Van Cauter, the governor of East Flanders province. “It is obviously positive for the security of our citizens that these weapons are no longer in use.”
A famous study from the 1990s found that the presence of a weapon in the house increases the risk of someone being killed at home threefold. More than 30 subsequent studies have confirmed those findings, which counter the notion held by many Americans that an armed society is a safer one.
Now that these weapons have found new life as recycled steel, they can be made into a multitude of items, ranging from building materials to paper clips, and reduce the amount of virgin steel required for production.