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Bill Carver shoots one of his rifles in San­dusky, Ohio. | Courtesy of the Carver family

When my grand­father died in 2005, he left my elderly grand­mother with what could only be described as a small armory in their basement.

He col­lected guns — including a Union Army Civil War handgun, which my mother inherited — and built guns at his wooden work table. He even made his own bullets.

He was a member of the National Rifle Asso­ci­ation, and won 26 of the 100 national marks­manship cham­pi­onships he attended. He was inducted into the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Asso­ci­ation Hall of Fame in 1995.

Last week, the city of San Fran­cisco des­ig­nated the NRA as a domestic ter­rorist orga­ni­zation, claiming the group prop­a­gates the use of deadly weapons.

San Francisco’s res­o­lution says the NRA “spreads pro­pa­ganda” and “pro­motes extremist posi­tions.” It says the asso­ci­ation “through its advocacy has armed those indi­viduals who would and have com­mitted acts of ter­rorism.”

But not one NRA member com­mitted any of the recent mass shootings.

My grand­father began shooting from a young age, and he was a natural. Often, he would shoot all 10 shots into the center X of the target, even with his ter­rible vision.

He wasn’t a hunter. Like swimming or gym­nastics, my grand­father liked to shoot to perfect his form. And he was damn good at it, too. He often gave away his medals to the neigh­borhood children to play with, and all of his grand­children have a small col­lection of his shooting awards.

He and my grand­mother raised eight children in their small house in San­dusky, Ohio. Despite the mul­titude of unlocked arms in the house and the many hours my grand­father spent on the range, nobody was ever injured.

From the time my mother was able to toddle around, her father told her to respect the guns. She was allowed to look at them or hold them, but only if he was there to ensure her safety.

Guns don’t kill people, he told her. People kill people.

And if his children were ever caught touching the guns without his per­mission, they knew there would be hell to pay.

Mass shootings have deeply impacted the psyche of the American people. From school shootings to shootings in stores and at fes­tivals, hun­dreds have been mer­ci­lessly slaugh­tered in the past few years.

But des­ig­nating the NRA as a ter­rorist group is a polit­i­cally-moti­vated non-action. It does not, in any way, try to reduce shootings; instead, it targets law-abiding cit­izens ded­i­cated to pro­tecting Second Amendment rights.

Cal­i­fornia ranks No. 1 on the Law Center’s gun law scorecard, which scores states based on their gun control leg­is­lation. But even the state with the heaviest gun restric­tions is no stranger to vio­lence: in August, a gunman shot 17 people in Gilroy, Cal­i­fornia, leaving three dead.

Law­makers are feeling the pressure to act. They are searching for tan­gible solu­tions to an intan­gible problem.

But law­breakers will not sud­denly stop breaking laws once new laws are passed.

Gun vio­lence is not a gun problem; it’s a vio­lence problem. Take away all guns, and violent people will find ways to injure other people, leaving law-abiding cit­izens defenseless.

The NRA is not a ter­rorist orga­ni­zation, and labeling it as such is virtue sig­naling. It won’t reduce gun vio­lence. Instead, it shows an incredible depth of political division: that gun control advo­cates want to label a largely con­ser­v­ative group as ter­rorists.

In fact, the NRA offers gun safety edu­cation courses for both children and adults. It also pro­vides a link on its website for cit­izens to find their state’s gun leg­is­lation, so they can inform them­selves of their rights and their state’s gun restric­tions.

When my grand­father went to the range, he refused to shoot at human-sil­houette targets and would instead request bullseyes. He and all other members of the NRA were required to follow safety reg­u­la­tions: never point your gun toward another person, know what’s behind your target.

But if my grand­father had to protect his family, he had the armament and ability to do so.

My grand­father was not a very reli­gious man and seldom went to church. But he and my grand­mother taught their children to be good people, and to be good to other people.

In a March 1972 San­dusky Reg­ister news­paper clipping my mother found, my grand­father was inter­viewed about his guns. Reporter Cees Niceswanger doc­u­mented my grandfather’s stance on gun control and gun vio­lence decades before these issues reached national head­lines like they do today.

“…I am strongly in favor of hard pun­ishment for the criminal use of guns,” my grand­father, Bill Carver, said. “Maybe I’m more sen­sitive about it because they threaten my use of guns.”

I wonder what my grand­father would think about the shootings, and I wonder what policy solu­tions he would come up with to address the issue.

He def­i­nitely wasn’t a Repub­lican. He just liked his guns.