For the third or fourth time since the Parkland shooting, a story about some “moral high ground” gun owner handing his AR-15 over to the police has crossed my social media news feeds. I get that this is an empty gesture intended as virtue-signal theater, but I’m going to take the earnest ones’ actions at face value, and ponder the deeper implication.

A gun, locked in a box, is just an assembly of metal, plastic, and/or wood. It’s not going to spontaneously murder people on its own. As Gunnery Sergeant Hartman noted in Full Metal Jacket, “it is a hard heart that kills.”

Perhaps, these earnest ones are turning in their guns because they don’t trust themselves. Perhaps, they have some dark thoughts in their heads, and fear that, at some future date, they might use their guns for ill purpose. Perhaps, their gesture is a revelatory one – conscious or subconscious.

If we want to be prudent, we should consider this possibility, no matter how unlikely or low-probability. After all, if it could save just one child, we should act. We should consider the turn-in as an admission of uncertainty, as a declaration of lack of self-trust, and add the turner-in to the NICS “do not buy” list.

We’ve been told that every man is a potential rapist. Analogously, every gun owner is a potential mass murderer, no? It would behoove us not to repeat the mistakes of the past and miss the signs, no matter how subtle or iffy, and especially when they are voluntarily offered. Lets take away their rights. Better safe than sorry, I say.


While it pains me to do so, I feel I must, in today’s time of Poe’s Law uncertainty, point out that this is sarcasm.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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