In Wake of Parkland, Some Are Destroying Their Firearms

'Ultimately, it's a gun like this one that takes away the lives'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 26, 2018 4:18 PM CST
In this Feb. 16, 2018, photo provided by Ben Dickmann, a deputy at the Broward County sheriff's office in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., processes paperwork to take possession of and destroy Dickmann's AR-style...   (Ben Dickmann via AP)

(Newser) – One man in upstate New York sawed his AR-15 rifle into pieces and posted a video of it on Facebook. A woman in Connecticut did the same with her handgun. Not far from the scene of the Florida high school shooting, another man brought his assault weapon to police and asked them to destroy it. In response to the killings of 17 people by a 19-year-old with an AR-15, some gun owners are waging personal protests against mass shootings. The AR-15 is the gun drawing the most scorn during these public displays of destruction playing out on social media. Their owners say they love to shoot it, but enough is enough. Scott Pappalardo is one such gun owner. Sitting in the backyard of his home in Scotchtown, New York, cradling the Eagle AR-15 rifle he'd owned for 30 years, Pappalardo called himself a firm believer in the Second Amendment who considers the rifle his favorite, but said he's pained by the steady drumbeat of mass shootings.

"Here we are, 17 more lives lost. So when do we change? When do we make laws that say maybe a weapon like this isn't acceptable in today's society?" he said in a video on his Facebook page. People blame mental illness, video games, bad parenting and other reasons, but he said "ultimately, it's a gun like this one that takes away the lives." With that, he turned around and put a saw to his rifle, and posted the video with the hashtag #oneless, calling it "My drop in a very large bucket." That was Feb. 17, and 5 days later, it had received more than 375,000 likes and been shared more than 425,000 times. Pappalardo, who has a tattoo on his arm showing a firearm with the words "the right to keep and bear arms," tells the AP he believes the AR-15 has become a weapon of choice for too many mass shooters and he no longer wanted to be associated with it. Click for the AP's interviews with him and others who have destroyed their guns.

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