On Feb. 14, Nikolas Cruz took his AR-15 into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 people. In response, many are calling for tangible change as opposed to the routine “thoughts and prayers” of people across the nation.
A Facebook video entitled “My Drop in a Very Large Bucket,” which shows a man destroying his own AR-15, went viral after it was posted less than a week later.
Scott Pappalardo has been the legally registered owner of the AR-15 for 30 years but he proceeds to saw it to pieces in the video to ensure “this weapon will never be able to take a life — the barrel of this gun will never be pointed at someone.”
Watch the video below:
“I’d gladly give this gun up if it would save the life of just one child,” Pappalardo recalls telling his wife after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 innocent people in Newtown, Connecticut.
Last week’s massacre accounted for “17 more lives lost,” the man says in the video, which has gotten almost 30 million views. “So when do we change? When do we make laws that say maybe a weapon like this isn’t acceptable in today’s society? … Ultimately, it’s a gun like this one that takes away the lives.”
“Think about it, is the right to own this weapon more important than someone’s life?” Pappalardo continues. “I don’t think so.”
Pappalardo, a “firm believer” in the Second Amendment, even got a tattoo that once legibly read, “the right to keep and bear arms.”
“I still believe in this but also believe there needs to be much tougher gun laws,” the Facebook post featuring his tattoo states. “We are not taking away your rights but there is no way anyone can tell me things don’t need to change.”
Pappalardo also shared a photo of his dissembled rifle with the hashtag #Oneless in the hopes that other gun owners will do the same.
Some owners have started expressing their support of this Oneless gun movement by either destroying or turning in their rifles.
“The only way that I can know for sure that this gun will never hurt anyone is if it doesn’t exist.”
Connecticut resident Amanda Meyer is the latest gun owner to destroy her weapon in support of the “one less gun” movement in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida. pic.twitter.com/o49ePCKq5q
— ABC News (@ABC) February 20, 2018
— Jim Elefantis ??✡️ (@Alefantis1488) February 20, 2018
— iBthatdood (@ibthatdood) February 19, 2018
Pappalardo told Metro that he didn’t expect his Oneless gun video to go viral, and he has gotten an “overwhelming outpouring of support.” Survivors from the 2017 Vegas and 2016 Pulse nightclub shootings have reached out to him, and people from all over the world have expressed their gratitude.
One mother from Canada whose little boy asked her why people would want to own weapons that “can turn people into meat,” thanked Pappalardo for making a video that “shows a responsible gun owner.” The man cites this as one response in particular that stuck out the most.
Pappalardo also revealed that destroying his AR-15 the way he did was actually against the law according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) — and he’s right. You can view the “Machinegun Destruction” guide on the ATF site.
After posting the video, he turned the dismantled gun in to the police and has also been in contact with ATF. So, the man urges gun owners who wish to support the cause to surrender their firearms to law enforcement, “not follow my example.”
One AR-FiveSeven owner, Ben Dickmann, posted to Facebook even before the viral Oneless gun video.
“I have surrendered this rifle to The Broward Sheriff at the Tamarac Post,” he wrote. “I could have easily sold this rifle, but no person needs this. I will be the change I want to see in this world. If our law makers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example.”
Dickmann confirmed to Metro that he was not influenced by Pappalardo’s Oneless gun video but declined to give further comment.
In a fiery Facebook post shared prior to giving up his gun, Dickmann lays out the steps manufacturers and lawmakers need to make moving forward.
He begins and ends the post with this standalone phrase: “It’s Time. It’s been Time. It’s past Time.”