He’s trying to start a movement.
THE GOOD NEWS:
Some gun owners are destroying their rifles and asking for stronger gun control laws.
There’s been a predictable pattern after every mass shooting in America. After the tragedy, Republicans send their thoughts on prayers while Democrats call for stronger gun control laws. Conservatives respond by saying “it’s not the time to talk about gun laws”; then Congress does nothing and Americans become more frustrated.
But it feels like something different is happening this time.
American teens are speaking out and planning rallies to end gun violence, and some gun owners are taking steps to make sure their weapons are never used to take a life. Could the #OneLess movement lead to sensible gun laws like the #MeToo movement is helping turn the tide against sexual harassment and assault?
New York gun owner Scott Pappalardo used a saw to cut up his AR-15, a rifle similar to that used by the Parkland shooter to “make sure his weapon will never be able to take a life.” He posted a video of it on Facebook and it’s been viewed over 18 million times.
“There’s a lot of blame people can put on the desensitizing with video games and the internet,” he said in a video filmed on the deck of his house. “But, ultimately, it’s a gun like this one that takes away the lives.”
Pappalardo addressed gun rights activists who believe these laws only punish law-abiding people, saying, “I’m gonna give you a news flash: Until the other day, Nikolas Cruz was a legal gun-owner.”
He ended the video asking other owners to destroy their weapons as well. “I’m hoping maybe someone will see [this video] and say, ‘maybe I’ll do the same thing.’ ”
Pappalardo’s video was posted not long after Ben Dickmann handed over his rifle, an AR-57, to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. “I will be the change I want to see in this world,” he said in a Facebook post. “If our lawmakers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example #outofcirculation.”