AP Photo/Mark Baker

Right now, a lot of American lawmakers are watching what happened in New Zealand last week and are licking their chops. They’re convinced this is the time, that this is precisely the moment when they should step up their efforts to enact stricter gun control regulations.

To those lawmakers, I present this open letter.

Dear Anti-Gun Legislators,

I’m willing to concede that perhaps you’re motivated by altruistic desires and not a blind lust for control like many of my friends on this side of the aisle argue. I say this not because I support what you’re doing, but because I’ve seen too many people legitimately driven by what they see as noble intentions.

That said, I have to ask what the hell are you thinking right now? Why on Earth would you use New Zealand to push for gun control in this country?

I ask because a simple look at the alleged killer’s manifesto makes his goal clear. For him, the act wasn’t about the act itself. He was trying to create a lynchpin event, a single moment that would create far-reaching effects.

His goal? He wanted you all to push for more gun control. He wanted you to win.

His reason was simple. He knew that we, the American gun owners, have long said that any attempt at gun confiscation would result in civil war. He was taking us at our word. That’s what he wanted.

So his goal was to get you to do exactly what some of you are doing, banking on us to do precisely what we’ve warned for years would happen.

You are giving him exactly what he wanted. You’re not doing anything to stop this kind of thing. On the contrary, you’re showing that his efforts worked. That only encourages the next nutjob looking to start an ethnically divided civil war.

In your efforts to stand on a soapbox made of the bodies of the slain, you didn’t bother to look and see what the ramifications of your actions might be. You were so laser-focused on guns being evil that you never bothered to think that maybe, just maybe, the way to save lives was to not push for gun control.

Yes, I know, you don’t agree with me that guns save lives. I get that.

But couldn’t you at least accept the fact that if a violent maniac explicitly states he committed an atrocity to get you to do something, it might be a wise idea not to do it?

What bothers me the most is knowing that if you manage to get the votes and come for our guns, you’ll blame us for giving the jackwagon what he wanted. You’ll never bother to note your own role in this. You’ll put it all on us, like you always do.

Either way, we’re not rolling over. We’re standing firm.

It’s not that we’re not sympathetic to what happened in New Zealand, either. We maintain that it’s a problem with people, not guns, and you can’t legislate people not to be maniacs no matter how much you try. Timothy McVeigh is a household name despite having been executed, and he never fired a single shot.

We understand that. Why can’t you?