A father and self-proclaimed “responsible gun owner” in California destroyed his weapon following the mass shooting in Oregon.
Steve Elliott wrote an emotional Facebook post explaining his decision to dismantle and destroy his gun following the Oct. 1 massacre that left nine people dead.
“In the years before I could legally drive, I'd tie the Browning across the handlebars of my bike and ride to the fields outside town to hunt,” Elliott, who bought his first gun at age 12, wrote. “I've owned several guns since, and own a handgun now. I bought that gun to keep my family safe, and lock it up to keep them safe from it.”
Elliott went on to explain that his grandmother "shot and killed herself" several years ago, and his father also "shot and didn't quite kill himself." His step-brother died in a murder-suicide involving a gun, and the husband of his sister’s co-worker was a mass-shooting victim.
“None of that happened with my gun, of course, but after every new mass shooting, I'm reminded that I bear a portion of the responsibility for our nation's gun violence,” Elliott wrote. “There are too many guns to do anything about it, the gun lobby says. Regulations are a slippery slope that only limit the rights of responsible gun owners, they say.
"My gun is being used to argue against common-sense laws and policies that could reduce gun violence in America, arguments I find unconscionable. That's what being a responsible gun owner means today — I'm responsible. I've been uneasy about that for a while now, and ashamed to admit it's taken two more mass shootings for me to do anything about it.
"That ended today. Today I disassembled my handgun, a 9 mm Ruger, clamped the pieces in a vice and cut them in half with an angle grinder. I'm sending the proper paperwork into the state to report it destroyed."
Elliott concluded his post by saying that nobody can stop gun violence in the United States alone, but he would no longer be “used as a justification for doing nothing about it.”
“Today I did what I could. Today there is #ONELESSGUN.”
Elliott’s post quickly went viral, with many expressing their support for his actions.
“A great example for us all,” Facebook user Sanders LaMont commented, according to Daily Mail. "I no longer own guns. I just decided some time ago I did not need one for any good reason."
"I wish I could convince loved ones to do the same," Monica Diaz Rodin commented. "It isn't the Wild West and we can't think it's OK to carry one if we don't plan on using it on someone."