A Drop in a Very Large Bucket: From Florida to Las Vegas

Scott-Dani Pappalardo, a firm believer in gun ownership laws, has owned an AR-15 rifle for over 30 years. “The right to keep and bear arms” is even tattooed on his arm.

According to CNN, the recent event of 17 lives lost in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, pushed Pappalardo over the edge.

Three days after the shooting, Pappalardo posted a video on Facebook in which he destroys his gun, captioned “My drop in a very large bucket. #Oneless.”

“After Sandy Hook happened, I said to my wife, ‘I’d gladly give this gun up if it would save the life of just one child,’” Pappalardo said in the video. Since then, more than 400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings, according to The New York Times.

“Now here we are, 17 more lives lost.” Pappalardo said. “When do we change? When do we make laws that say maybe a weapon like this isn’t acceptable in today’s society?”

Despite Pappalardo’s sympathy for legal gun owners, himself included, he recognized that until this shooting, Nikolas Cruz was a legal gun owner. As was Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 people in Las Vegas.

Although there is blame that can be put on video games, the internet, bad parenting, and mental illness, “Ultimately, it’s a gun like this one that takes away the lives. This is the end result.” he said.

“Think about it, is the right to own this weapon more important than someone’s life? A weapon like this that can cause so much death and destruction?” Pappalardo said. “… I don’t think so.”

With that, he stood up, walked to the saw located behind him, and sawed his rifle into three pieces, giving the gun the inability to ever take a life, or stare into the eyes of an innocent child. Just as these semi-automatic style weapons have done countless times before.

Knowing that there are others out there that will kill one way or another, Pappalardo finds comfort in knowing that it will never happen with his weapon. He hopes that someone will watch his video and do the same thing he did.

His final words to those who might disagree: “I hope, and I pray, that it doesn’t take the barrel of one of these guns pointed at your child’s head to change your mind.”