Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian Lieutenant-general famous for being the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, who publicly stated before his death that “he created the weapon to protect his country and couldn't be blamed for other people's actions,” privately feared that he bore some responsibility over the deaths of innocents killed by those brandishing his design.
Fox News reported on Jan. 13, that just prior to his death, Mikhail Kalashnikov wrote a letter to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church “asking if he was to blame for the deaths of those killed by the guns.”
The Russian daily Izvestia reported Monday that Kalashnikov, who died last month at 94, wrote to Patriarch Kirill and told him he keeps asking himself if he's responsible.
Alexander Volkov, a spokesperson for Izvestia, said that Patriarch Kirill tried to comfort the arms designer and “praised him as a true patriot.”
Translated excerpts from Kalashnikov’s letters, provided by Izvestia, include:
"My heartache unbearable same insoluble question: if my rifle deprive people of life, and therefore I, Michael Kalashnikov, ninety-three years old, the son of a peasant, and Orthodox Christian according to his faith, responsible for the death of people, let even an enemy?"
"Yes, an increasing number of churches and monasteries in our land, and evil still does not decrease! .. Good and evil live side by side, fighting and, worst of all, resign themselves to each other in the hearts of people - that is what I have come to the end of his earthly life. It turns out some perpetual motion, so I wanted to invent in his younger years. Light and shadow, good and evil - two opposites of a whole can not exist without each other? And is the Almighty and all arranged? And humanity languish forever in a ratio?”
"And the Lord has advised me to approach in his later years with the help of my friends to the holy sacraments of Christ, to confess and receive Holy Communion Body and Blood of Christ."
Volkov also said that Patriarch Kirill tried to further allay Kalashnikov’s spiritual and ethical concerns when he told the designer that because the AK-47 was designed for defending “… the Fatherland, the Church supports its creators and the military, which use it.”
Kalashnikov was hospitalized on Nov.17, 2013 and died on Dec. 23, 2013 at the age of 94.
Rest in peace Mikhail Kalashnikov. Remember, “guns don’t kill people, people do.”
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