Keep your gun and quit worrying. As long as you don’t use it to deprive another person of their rights, there is no reason for you to even consider giving it up.

No matter what is employed, whether it’s a military-style rifle or bare hands, a killer is depriving another person of their rights. As centuries of experience have shown, giving up one’s weapons never seems to prevent a killer from carrying out their crime — even on a national basis.

For virtually all of known human history, killings have been blamed on the killers. It is only fairly recently that we have developed some national angst and blamed the means and, by extension, others who possess similar instruments.

If that’s your reasoning, then you might as well give up your kitchen knives because people use them to kill. In fact, people use knives far more often than they use all types of rifles and shotguns combined.

You bear no responsibility for those who misuse guns or any other weapon. You can feel grief for the loss of those killed or injured; that’s normal. But believing that you must shoulder the responsibility for every miscreant is not only not rational, it’s not healthy. Do not accept a burden that isn’t yours to carry.

Please note that those who would demonize guns and gun owners and demand they take “ownership” of tragedies never seem to be willing to take responsibility for their advocacy of measures that would not have averted them. They always seek to blame someone else, even when their own failings are just as culpable.

A case in point is the Parkland killings that led to the March for Our Lives movement. Rather than place the responsibility on a school board policy that prevented Nikolas Cruz from being arrested and charged for his violent behavior, the FBI for failing to act on multiple warning of Cruz’s intentions or the dereliction of the deputy sheriff assigned to the school, the focus was on a rifle Cruz had purchased a year earlier. Had Cruz’s earlier episodes been charged as criminal offenses, he would have had a record that would have allowed the NICS to deny the sale — and the seven additional sales of guns to Cruz. In fact, had Cruz been charged with his violations, it’s quite possible that he would have been in jail on February 14 instead of at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. If anyone is to blame, other than Cruz himself, it would have to be the Broward County School Board, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

Never succumb to emotional blackmail. Enjoy your grandfather’s legacy. Feel free to express shock and sorrow when you encounter tragedy. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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