Steve Elliott of California is a self-proclaimed "responsible gun owner."
In a recent a Facebook post, he explained how he saved up money from a paper route and working at a restaurant to buy his first Browning 12-guage shotgun at 12 years old "in time for dove season."
"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," he continued.
Since his youth, Elliott said that he owned several guns, most recently a handgun for protection. He kept this firearm locked in a safe.
"Like I said, responsible," he wrote.
"And so while I’d like to believe I’m not part and party to the gun violence that stains America, I can’t. My grandmother shot and killed herself with a gun, and a few years ago my father shot and didn’t quite kill himself with one. My stepbrother died in a murder-suicide with a gun, and the husband of one of my sister’s co-workers was killed in a mass shooting."
While none of these tragic events involved his gun, Elliott said that with "every new mass shooting, I’m reminded that I bear a portion of the responsibility for our nation’s gun violence. 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."
Going on to say that he's felt uneasy about his gun ownership for a while — his responsible firearm ownership being used to "argue against common-sense laws and policies that could reduce gun violence" — he wrote that he's "ashamed to admit it’s taken two more mass shootings for me to do anything about it."
"That ended today."
That day being Monday when Elliot disassembled his gun and cut the pieces of it in half with an angle grinder, including photographic evidence along with his Facebook post.
"None of us individually can stop gun violence in America, but as a responsible gun owner, I will 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 has been shared nearly 2,000 times. Some in the comments called his action an "admirable gesture" and others said they "hope more people follow your example."
(H/T: Daily Mail)
Front page image via Shutterstock.