In the aftermath of the tragic Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida last month, Americans have begun taking to the internet to film themselves destroying their weapons as a show of solidarity with the students and to hedge against Republican inaction.
Trump’s Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has launched an investigation into Karen Mallard, a school teacher and Democrat running for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District after she posted her own video destroying a rifle she owns.
Mallard, who has been a teacher for 30 years, is running for Congress on a platform of commonsense gun reform.
“Our job is to teach children. It’s not to protect them from gun violence. That is the government’s job, and they’re failing at it,” said Mallard.
In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, Mallard explains that she and her husband became uncomfortable having their own AR-15 at home– and wanted to make sure it didn’t end up in anyone else’s.
“So, today, we’re going to destroy it,” Mallard said, before taking a power saw to the rifle.
Republicans, willing to forego the lives of countless students but unable to accept the loss of a single firearm, pushed back against what they viewed as an affront to the life of a beloved rifle.
Several others said Mallard broke federal law by taking a legal firearm and altering it, making it into an illegal one. Many of them referred to details contained within the Sawed-Off Shotgun and Sawed-Off Rifle Act which, in part, prohibits people (except for those permitted by the act) from having a rifle that has been “modified to an overall length of less than 26 inches.”
Mallard, for her part, assuaged her detractors by confirming that she did indeed follow legal procedure.
“And yes for all the NRA trolls out there, I finished the job according to regulation and turned it over to the police. Why are you more outraged about me taking a gun out of circulation than about our children being murdered in our schools?” she wrote on Facebook.
Master Police Officer Tonya Pierce, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, confirmed that the rifle was in the department’s possession, corroborating Mallard’s claim.
Perhaps Trump’s federal agencies would be well served to divert their limited resources to the dangers of gun violence in this country, for which they are wholly complicit, instead of violence against guns.