Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set:
Over the long years, people would forget about the inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov. And then an AK-47 would end up in a news story, next to a teenager in the Ivory Coast maybe, and people would ask him again, “Are you troubled by your invention?”
And then, upon the death of Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov at the age of 94, was the revelation of a letter, written by Mikhail Kalashnikov to the head of Russia's Orthodox church with the help of his local priest. The letter, typed onto Kalashnikov’s home stationary, was published by the Russian paper Izvestiaand patchy translations soon found their way into the international media. It was the anguished confession of a terrified old man on his deathbed.
“My spiritual pain is unbearable,” he wrote. “I keep asking the same insoluble question. If my rifle deprived people of life then can it be that I … a Christian and an orthodox believer, was to blame for their deaths?
“Yes! An increasing number of churches and monasteries in our land. And yet evil does not decrease! … Light and shadow, good and evil, two opposites of a whole, that can't exist without each other?”