In the last month, I’ve begun to wonder if progressives in this country are trying to make virtue signaling an Olympic sport or something. Everywhere I look, it seems someone is trying to virtue signal even harder than before in order to top someone else’s virtue signaling. Proggies are trying to tell everyone all about how virtuous they are.

In the art of virtue signaling, one of the more tried and true methods is to get rid of your guns in a public and showy way. Destroying them is a favorite, of course. Unfortunately, there can be problems.

With that in mind, a Florida man did something that still signaled his virtue without running the risk of an arrest.

Steve Hemmert lives a mile away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

He said Feb. 14 — the day when a former student gunned down 17 people at the school — was “surreal.”

Hemmert, who was a member of the Army Reserves, is familiar with guns. He said he used to enjoy going to the shooting range, sometimes with his teenage daughter, firing two of his AR-style rifles.

But now, after the Parkland shooting, the fun is gone.

And soon, too, will his guns: Hemmert sold the guns back to the Miami Police Department this weekend as part of its gun buyback program.

“It was like a transformation between thinking of guns as kind of a fun hobby, to my God, these exact types of rifles just killed kids in my community,” he told ABC News.

Actually, unless Hemmert was planning a mass shooting of his own, him selling his gun to the Miami Police Department did nothing to avert tragedy. Nothing at all.

That’s because his gun wasn’t going to be used in something like Parkland.

Unless he has something to confess.

However, here’s something Hemmert said that really struck me (emphasis mine).

Hemmert, who got a $250 Visa gift card for each of his guns, said he hopes that “owning ARs becomes toxic, almost like wearing fur or owning ivory. It just becomes socially unacceptable to own AR rifles.”

Here we go. Someone is admitting what we already knew, that goal is to stigmatize gun ownership. Oh, Hemmert may only be talking about ARs, but he’s deluded if he thinks it’ll stop there. It won’t.

You see, if they can make it socially unacceptable to own an AR-15 or similar rifle, then they can easily ban it. Demonizing a weapon and the people who own it, making them incredibly unpopular with society as a whole, is a solid way to get the change you want.

But the endgame has never been the AR-15. That’s just a popular patsy of the moment.

Once they get that, then they’ll start working on other weapons. They’ve already shown their hands with a semiautomatic ban proposal. That covers a lot more ground than just AR-15s.

And Hemmert is playing right into it.

The thing is, he accomplished nothing. None of the gun crowd is looking at what he did and thinking, “You know, I should do that too.”

Instead, we’re laughing at him. We’re laughing because we see the virtue signaling for what it is. It’s an empty gesture designed to make him look good in the eyes of his leftist neighbors.

And he’s free to make it. Don’t get me wrong.

But we’re also free to remind the anti-gunners that despite what they may want to see, we’re not just rolling over. We’re here to fight. More than that, we’re here to win, and that means no one is getting our ARs or any other guns. Period.