SCOTCHTOWN, New York — A gun rights supporter posted a five minute video that showed him destroying his AR-15.
The video, which Scott Pappalardo posted on his Facebook page, has been shared more than 300,000 times.
Pappalardo said he is a supporter of the Second Amendment, which protects Americans’ right to bear arms. He even has a faded tattoo he got 30 years ago that says “the right to keep and bear arms.”
The video showed Pappalardo cutting his weapon with a saw. He said he had to do something after last week’s deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
“A lot of people have said to me, ‘Well, what do you need to own a weapon like that for? It’s only purpose is to kill,'” he said in the video.
“I’ll be honest, it’s a lot of fun to shoot,” he said. “I’m not a hunter, I’ve never killed anything with it except a bunch of targets.”
Pappalardo said he told his wife after Sandy Hook that he would give up his gun if it would save the life of just one child.
That shooting happened five years ago.
“I guess my words were just empty words in the spur of the moment,” he said.
He said in that time more than 400 people have been shot in more than 200 school shootings. (Fox 8 was unable to verify that information.)
“Now, here we are, 17 more lives lost, so when do we change?” he asked. “When do we make laws that say maybe a weapon like this isn’t acceptable in today’s society?”
“There’s a lot of blame people can put on desensitizing with video games and the internet, bad parenting, mental illness, but ultimately it’s a gun like this one that takes away the lives,” he said.
He said he knows people are going to think he’s “stupid” for destroying his rifle.
“I can’t live knowing that my gun’s out there and it can one day possibly commit a horrific act like the other day in Florida,” he said.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder after police say he shot and killed 17 students and faculty at his former school. Police say he confessed to being the shooter.