“The Humanium Metal Initiative was launched in El Salvador in November,” abcnews.go.com reports. “It aims to take guns off the streets and have the metal recycled and sold, with the revenue being funneled back into anti-violence programs, according to IM Swedish Development Partner, the group behind the initiative. ‘Humanium’ is the name it gives to the metal produced from recycled guns.” Aside from Abba, is there a single Swedish name you’d recognize? ‘Cause chances are it’s this guy, the human behind Humanium . . .
Hans Blix (above), the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a supporter of the gun initiative, said that when you see an ingot of the recycled gun metal you understand how it can be used for different purposes.
“You can make a pistol or a revolver of it and it’s lethal,” Blix said. But the same metal also “can be used for very good purposes.”
For those of you born after ABBA’s heyday, Mr. Blix was the head of the IAEA in 2002 when the commission tried and failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And his heroic disarmament efforts in North Korea have been immortalized for all time (video NSFW):
So you can kind of understand how Hans has it in for actual “there it is” weapons. As for creating and marketing humanium, IM reckons they’ve only just begun.
IM Swedish Development Partner so far has several tons of the metal between existing stockpiles in El Salvador and Guatemala. The last weapon destruction in El Salvador destroyed 1,825 guns. The organization plans to scale up its work as demand grows for the metal.
“We hope that the Humanium Metal Initiative will also be an incentive for world leaders to promote weapons destructions program, as part of the commitments made under the Sustainable Development Goals/agenda 2030,” IM senior adviser Peter Brune said in an email.
The organization says it is currently negotiating with several global brands. The metal could be used for items ranging from jewelry to smartphone cases. The metal will not initially be available on the open market, but rather to specific commercial partners.
“These are the weapons from which people get killed every day,” Blix said. “In the Bible, they say you can make swords into ploughshares. So it’s a famous, old, thousands-of-years wisdom, and that is what we should do.”
Alternatively, as Abba pointed out, The winner takes it all, the loser has to fall, it’s simple and it’s plain. Why should I complain?