Today I went to my local police station and asked for them to take my guns and have them destroyed.
The task was fairly simple. I explained I had guns I wanted to get rid of at the front desk. They made a copy of my driver's license and then walked out to my car with me to retrieve them. We went into the station to an interview room where we looked at the guns and they wrote down the serial numbers. They looked up the serial numbers to check for any issues, found none, and I left, no longer a gun owner.
Over ten years ago, I saw an ad in the paper for a WW II rifle on sale for under a hundred bucks and decided to buy one. As an engineer, almost everything about firearms is interesting; the history, the design, the operation, and the effects. I took it to ranges and shot it several times. I let friends shoot it. A few years later, I got the idea that I needed a shotgun to go hunting and shoot clays with. I took it to ranges and shot it alongside the rifle a few times. I even took photos of myself with them as gags on social media.
Most of the time, they sat in my attic, locks in place, with the ammo in another place. For a time, I pondered getting a handgun and browsed the internet.
Last week, I sat in a hotel room and watched the President talk about the latest mass shooting and how they had become routine and the concern that nothing would change. I started to shrug it off and pretend in my mind that there was nothing I could do. But the idea that gun culture doesn't bear some responsibility for these killings didn't make sense to me. I didn't want to be a part of gun culture anymore.
I was never going to use these guns for self-defense, they were safely locked and out of reach. I don't hunt. I don't shoot clays. There are no dangerous animals where I live. There are no zombies. I'm not a police officer or soldier. I am not part of a well regulated militia. There's no reason for me to have them.
So I got rid of them. Firearms are no longer a hobby of mine.