Standing in front of Providence's Federal Courthouse in Rhode Island is an unusual monument constructed out of steel, concrete and 1,000 used handguns. Dubbed the Gun Totem by its artist, Boris Bally, the imposing obelisk was constructed in 2001 with guns from a firearm buy-back program called Guns for Goods, founded by Dr. Michael P. Hirsch.
When Hirsch and Boris Bally met, eventually the conversation morphed into a notion of making artwork out of the reclaimed guns - which typically would have been sent to a local metal shop for demolition. Gun Totem is a result of this coalition. More than 1,000 guns went into the construction of the pillar, which was commissioned by the Providence Parks Department.