Legal Gun Owner Destroyed His AR-15 Rifle After The Florida School Shooting
A gun enthusiast posted a video of himself on Facebook sawing his favorite AR-15 assault rifle into pieces in anger after the Florida high school massacre.
Scott Pappalardo bought and registered the gun more than 30 years ago, and he is such a firm believer in the Second Amendment that he even has tattooed it on his arm.
A video message to Congress
The proud New Yorker has a tattoo of a rifle on his arm with the faded slogan "the right to keep and bear arms."
But after Nikolas Cruz, 19, massacred 17 people in a bloody rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with the same model of gun, Pappalardo said enough is enough. Speaking in the video, he says:
I’m not a hunter, I’ve never killed anything with it. Except for a bunch of targets. I’ve decided today; I’m going to make sure this weapon will never be able to take a life. The barrel of this gun will never be pointed at someone. I mean, think about it. Is the right to own this weapon more important than someone’s life?
He then gets up, walks over to a power saw, and cuts his rifle into pieces proclaiming: “Now, there’s one less."
He then adds that although mental illness, violent video games, and bad parenting can contribute to gun crime, it's ultimately "a gun like this one that takes away the lives."
He also delivered a riposte to the NRA and other gun ownership advocates who say that legal gun owners shouldn’t be penalized for the acts of criminals.
He later posted a photo of his gun cuts into pieces with the caption #oneless.
The #OneLessGun movement
Since Pappalardo's video went viral, other legal gun owners have posted similar videos or photos of themselves destroying their weapons, along with the hashtag #onelessgun.
A woman named Amanda Meyer posted a video of herself sawing her handgun into two pieces on Facebook. "I keep saying that people don't need rapidly firing guns," Meyer wrote in the caption for the video. "Today I made it a reality, at least for myself. If you destroy a gun, be sure to report it to local law enforcement."
Another man named Jonah Manning shared a photo of his handgun cut into two pieces. "Tomorrow the world will have one less gun in it," he wrote on Facebook.
Many people see the American gun control debate as a helpless stalemate dominated by the tenacity of the National Rifle Association (NRA). President Trump once supported a weapon ban. Though the president is a close ally of the NRA, which spent $30m to put him in the White House, it is not clear he has any ideological commitment to gun rights.