A Hudson Valley gun owner has gained attention after posting a video that has been viewed millions of times of him sawing his AR-15 rifle, similar to the one used in last week's school shooting that claimed 17 lives in Florida.
Middletown resident Scott-Dani Pappalardo, an admitted supporter of the Second Amendment posted the video on Facebook on Saturday afternoon, and it quickly gained national attention, with more than 360,000 views in just two days, and now, views in the millions.
Pappalardo said that he purchased the gun more than three decades ago, but the recent rash of school shootings throughout the country have given him pause and caused him to reconsider.
“I’m not a hunter, I’ve never killed anything with (this gun) except a bunch of targets,” he said. “I remember after Sandy Hook happened, that I said to my wife that I’d give this gun up if it would save the life of just one child. That was five years ago now and since then there have been more than 400 people shot in more than 200 school shootings.
“My words were just empty words in the spur of the moment and now here we are, 17 more lives lost, and when do we change. When do we make laws that maybe a weapon like this isn’t acceptable in today’s society.”
Pappalardo’s video quickly went viral, as the nation continues to mourn the latest school shooting, leading to several other gun owners throughout the country to dispose of their weapons. Pappalardo said that it was important to destroy the weapon because he couldn’t control who ultimately came to possess it.
Citing the fact that Nikolas Cruz and Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock were once legal gun owners when they committed their atrocities, Pappalardo said that “in the back of (his) head, what if whoever buys this weapon, a child gets a hold of it and brings it to school and shoots a bunch of people. Could I live with that? I don’t think I could, so I decided today that this weapon will never take a life.”
“It’s a personal choice, I can’t live knowing that it could be out there and could possibly commit a horrific act like the other day,” he said. “I’m not saying that this is for everyone, and this isn’t the answer to solve all the problems. There is no answer, no one thing can change it. And there will always be people who want to kill and will do it, but they’re not doing it with this gun.”
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