Gun enthusiast makes powerful statement with his AR-15


A gun owner has become an online sensation after posting a video of himself destroying his AR-15 - the same weapon used in the February 14 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Pappalardo said he has legally owned the gun for more than 30 years.

He said: "Is the right to own this weapon more important than someone's life?"

"In the back of my head I say, 'What if whoever buys this weapon, their child gets hold of it and brings it to school one day and shoots a bunch of people?' Could I live with that?" The video has been viewed about 17 million times as of Tuesday morning.

"Now, people have always said, 'There's so many of them out there.' Well, now there's one less", Pappalardo said. He also shrugs off claims that desensitization from video games, bad parenting or mental illness is the blame for the spate of mass shootings.

Pappalardo, who says he believes strongly in the right to bear arms, talks about Sandy Hook and last week's school shooting in Parkland. "I don't think I could", Pappalardo said.

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Nikolas Cruz is accused of killing 14 students and three members of staff during the 14 February shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, near Miami.

Amanda Meyer, a gun owner for five years, made a decision to destroy her handgun and discussed her reasons as she did so.

He also delivered a riposte to the NRA and other gun ownership advocates who say that legal gun owners shouldn't be penalised for the acts of criminals. I mean look at the pictures of those victims.

"I'm going to make sure this weapon will never be used to take a life", he said, before proceeding to saw off the barrel. Is that right (the right to own guns) more important?,' he said in the video.

Using the hashtag #OneLess, Mr Pappalardo said he wanted to ensure the weapon will never be able to take a life as he sawed off the barrel of the gun.

"I'll be honest, it's a lot of fun to shoot". In his video, Pappalardo takes on common thoughts about gun ownership and why he made a decision to destroy his gun rather than sell it.