Hudson Valley Man Becomes National Sensation For Destroying AR-15
A Hudson Valley man with a tattoo that supports the Second Amendment made national headlines for destroying his AR-15 in the wake of the Florida school shooting.
In a Facebook video that went viral, Scott Pappalardo of Scotchtown destroyed his AR-15 military-style assault rifle, the same weapon used in the Florida high school tragedy.
Pappalardo said he legally purchased the gun over 30 years ago, adding he’s a firm believer of the Second Amendment and even has it tattooed on his arm that reads, "the right to keep and bear arms."
In his Facebook video, Pappalardo recalled telling his wife after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, C.T., he’d give up his AR-15 rifle if it could save the life of just one child.
“That’s 5 years ago now. Since then over 400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings,” Pappalardo said in a Facebook video. “So, I guess my words were just empty words. And now here we are, 17 lives lost. So when do we change? When do we make laws that say a weapon like this isn’t accepted in today’s society?”
Pappalardo stressed there are many factors that go into a shooting tragedy, but he believes, at the very least, they all have one thing in a common, an AR-15 rifle.
“It’s a gun like this one that takes away the lives," he said while holding up his AR-15. “This is the end result.”
Pappalardo also talked about claims that banning an AR-15 would only punish legal gun owners.
“Nikolas Cruz was a legal gun owner. Stephon Paddock in Las Vegas was a legal gun owner. Quite frankly, any legal gun owner is capable of snapping and committing a horrific crime,” he said. “Even without mental illness.”
After seeing the faces of those killed in last week's mass shooting, Pappalardo knew he wanted to get rid of his deadly weapon.
“I could sell it,” he said. “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 it?”
Pappalardo decided he couldn’t live with it.
“I decided today, I’m going to make sure this weapon will never be able to take a life,” he said. “Is the right to own this weapon more important than someone's life? A weapon like this that can cause so much death an destruction. I don’t think so.”
Pappalardo then sawed off the barrel of his weapon.
“People always say ‘there is so many of them out there,’ well now there is one less,” he said after sawing off the rifle.
As of this writing, the video has been watched over 17 million times.
- Hudson Valley 'Hero' Stops Potential School Shooting
- Hudson Valley Man Becomes National Sensation For Destroying AR-15
- Hudson Valley Man Arrested For Fleeing Scene of Fatal Accident
- Have You Seen This Missing Hudson Valley Man?
- Police: Hudson Valley Man Leaves Prison, Robs Bank
Here are this week's Top 5 news stories from the Hudson Valley