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Wear it don’t bear it!

Wear it don’t bear it!

posted on Wednesday May 1, 2013 | in The Crystal Tearoom | 0 Comments

Often when a tragedy of violence occurs we come together as a nation to provide comfort, wisdom and support. We heal, we continue on. How many of us can say that our spirits were roused so intensely that we decided to take action? Toby Milstein a junior at Barnard College in New York City used her passion towards the victims of the Aurora movie theater shooting. Struck by the use of weapons, skulls and spikes as edgy symbols on jewelry, she was concerned by its contribution to the culture of guns and violence. She headed to the jewelry district here in New York to create a few pieces that would soon send a politically conscious message, as well as gain the attention of fashion industry notables including Kenneth Cole and Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller. Toby opened the option for the purchase of her jewelry following the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. She was aiming to increase awareness on gun control. The pieces are labeled “Wear It Don’t Bear it,” the namesake of Milstein’s view on gun violence. She encourages wearing the edgy, avant garde weapon-inspired jewelry, but making a conscious decision not to partake in the catastrophic criminal behavior causing pain and heartache to families nationwide. The jewelry is kept at an affordable price point: $29.95 for a necklace and $25.00 for a bracelet. All profits made are given to support the Bereaved Parents of the U.S.A. This organization though little known, makes a tremendous impact on the support of families who have lost children. Milstein notes that she is very proud that she has engaged her peers, as well as starting a dialogue on gun control. She spreads useful information such as the Assault Weapons Ban expiration and how it could have prevented the massacre in Newtown from happening. Regarding the gun used in the Newtown shooting she states, “A gun that could load so many bullets in such little time is unnecessary to possess unless you frequently participate in hunting game or recreation. Adam had a gun used for war, the entire shooting happened in less than five minutes because he didn’t have to reload his weapon too often.” Toby supports the 2nd Amendment but feels that our founding fathers would be horrified to see that damage that guns have caused. She encourages young people, especially young women to educate themselves and go beyond penning a thoughtful Facebook or Twitter update, and joining in on the political conversation. She is pushing for cracking down on gun loopholes and letting politicians know we have a voice and opinion on gun legislation. Not only is she spreading the word in the states, she has taken her advocacy abroad to Europe. Although she is currently studying abroad in Rome, her humble campaign continues on. Milstein is often faced with fielding confusion from her European acquaintances, as guns are illegal in both Italy and France. She adds that though they make it a point to stay informed on topics such as the Aurora and Newtown shootings, the violence is foreign. Waking to learn about shootings in parking lots for political campaigns and movie theaters aren’t the norm; and jewelry intended to combat violence isn’t either. The acts of violence in the U.S. have caused somewhat of a fascination with our gun culture. Her message is a clear call to action not only for Americans, but humanity. Learn from tragedy and develop a voice that works to prevent it. Wear it Don’t Bear it stands as a genuine effort to support families of the deceased, evolved into a relevant political outcry. As each day’s unfolding is guaranteed to be unpredictable, a small effort could create waves of impact, making a difference in safety measures, legislation and most importantly hope.



Text: Jonee Nunes

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