One man’s video, showing him sawing his AR-15, which he purchased legally “over 30 years ago,” in half in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has gone viral on social media. The clip, posted by Scott-Dani Pappalardo, has already gathered over 13 million views and nearly 270,000 shares since being posted on Saturday afternoon.
[Scroll down for video]
Pappalardo is a self-described supporter of the second amendment, saying in the video that he even has it “tattooed on my arm,” and even admits that his AR-15 “is a lot of fun to shoot.”
He continues, stating in the video that he is not “a hunter” and has “never killed anything” with the firearm. He also mentioned that, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, he said to his wife that he would “gladly give this gun up if it would save the life of just one child.”
Since Sandy Hook, Pappalardo says that “over 400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings,” calling his previous statements to his wife “just empty words in the spur of the moment.”
“And now, here we are. 17 more lives lost, so, when do we change?” he asks. “When do we make laws that say maybe a weapon like this isn’t acceptable in today’s society?”
Pappalardo continues, “There’s a lot of blame people can put on the 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. This is the end result.”
“And a lot of people will say well, if we change the laws, the criminals are still going to get the weapons, so why should we punish legal gun owners, which I am one of,” Pappalardo adds. “But I’m going to give you a news flash, until the other day, Nikolas Cruz was a legal gun owner. Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas, killing 58 people, was a legal gun owner until that night.”
“Any legal gun owner is capable of snapping and committing a horrific crime, even without mental illness,” he continues. “So now, what do I do with this? How do I get rid of it?”
Pappalardo mentions selling his AR-15, and that it could net him “$600 or $800,” but adds, “What if, whoever buys this weapon, their child gets a hold of it and brings it to school one day and shoots a bunch of people? Can I live with that? I don’t think I could.”
“So, 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.”
Pappalardo then proceeds to destroy the AR-15, using a chop saw to cut it into two pieces.
“Now people have always said, there are so many of them out there, well, now, there’s one less,” he says. “And I know a lot of people are going to say I’m stupid for doing that, but this was a personal choice. 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.”
“Now, I’m not saying that this is for everyone, and this isn’t the answer to solve all of the problems, and, quite frankly, there is no answer. No one thing is going to change it, and there’ll always be people that want to kill, and will do it, one way or another, but they’re not going to do it with this gun.”