The latest in the seemingly never-ending string of mass school shootings has inspired at least one owner of an AR-15 assault rifle to destroy his previously-prized weapon in an attempt to rid the world of at least one weapon of mass destruction (video below).
In a video since gone viral since he posted it on the Facebook page he shares with his wife, Scott Pappalardo, a gun enthusiast in New York, takes his cherished AR-15 and destroys it to make sure that at least his weapon will never be used to kill anyone.
Tagging the video with hashtag #oneless and labeling it with the caption “My drop in a very large bucket,” Pappalardo’s sincere attempt at taking any step to prevent a recurrence of mass gun violence has been seen by millions of people now.
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Before cutting his rifle into pieces with a power saw, Pappalardo explains why he felt he had to take such drastic action.
He introduces his rifle as a pre-assault weapons ban AR-15 which he bought over 30 years ago and declares his firm belief in the 2nd Amendment, which he even has tattooed on his arm.
He admits that even though he’s not a hunter, has never killed anything, and only uses the rifle to shoot at targets, the AR-15 is a lot of fun to shoot. His memory of the shootings at an elementary school in nearby Sandy Hook, Connecticut, when his reaction was to wish he could trade his weapon to bring back the lives of any of the innocent victims, inspired him to take action and make a personal statement in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shootings.
With a noticeable catch in his voice as he speaks to the camera, Pappalardo notes that in the five years since the Sandy Hook massacre, over 400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings. Rather than have his comments be just “empty words on the spur of the moment,” he asks “when do we make laws that say that maybe a weapon like this isn’t acceptable in today’s society?”
Reciting a list of the usual excuses gun apologists make for gun violence — video games, the internet, bad parenting, mental illness — Pappalardo perceptively notes that “ultimately, it’s a gun like this one that takes away the lives,” while brandishing his AR-15. He correctly states that the Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, like the Las Vegas shooter, was a legal gun owner and that any legal gun owner can snap and commit a horrific act.
He then goes on to explain why he didn’t just sell the rifle to at least recoup the money he spent on it, saying that he couldn’t dismiss the idea that someone could still eventually get hold of the gun and use it to shoot up a school. Instead, he decided to make sure that the gun would “never be able to take a life,” and proceeds to render the AR-15 permanently inoperable by cutting it into pieces.
You can watch Pappalardo’s heartfelt and emotional video in the Facebook link below.