AR-15s and other similar styles of semi-automatic rifles have become a major target of the gun control advocates who believe that ownership of them should not be protected by the Second Amendment because of their use in some mass shootings in the U.S. Now two AR-15 owners have been convinced to take extreme action to do what they believe to be their part to end these kinds of attacks.
According to local NBC affiliate WFLA, a Riverside County, California gun enthusiast who owns an AR-15 says he was devastated to hear that a gunman had used a similar weapon to murder multiple people in a rural town in Northern California last week.
So what did Chad Vachter do? He filmed himself destroying his $3,000 AR-15.
He explained to local NBC affiliate KMIR that he initially began to regret his decision to purchase the gun after two radical Islamic terrorists used a couple AR-15s — among other weapons — to kill 14 people at a government benefits building in nearby San Bernardino back in 2015. His autistic son has received treatment at that building but was not present for the attack.
“So when my son is old enough to realize that someone went in there and shot up that place, and he sees that gun in my possession and asks me ‘Why do you have it, daddy?’ I don’t have a good answer,” he said in a video interview with KMIR.
“I can’t do it. I can’t have something in my house that so easily could become part of another situation like that, and I’m not going to [become] desensitized to it,” Vachter, who stores his rifles in a gun safe, said. “I refuse to. It makes me feel like I’ve been a small man to think I needed one of these.”
“The other night, when I read the thing about the school in northern California, I cried and I haven’t felt good since. And although I’m still sad for all those victims and all the people affected, I feel like I’ve done the only thing that I can do in this equation. Even if it’s just a small thing, I did my part to make things better,” Vachter explained.
Watch his video and the interview below:
Vachter is not the first AR-15 owner to send this message. Last month, in response to the Las Vegas shooting, Aaron Lawrence of Wilmington, North Carolina also filmed himself smashing his AR-15 in order to send a message to other semi-automatic rifle owners, according to local NBC affiliate WECT.
“This is one gun that won’t kill any person,” Lawrence said in his cell phone video as he hit his rifle with an ax.
As for why he made his destruction of the gun so public, he explained, “If I was going to get rid of it, I was going to make a big stand. And I was going to show people that what we’re doing right now, commonly, is not working. And that we need to do something different.”
Watch Lawrence’s video and his interview below:
In the interviews, neither gun owner mentioned the prevalence of illegally obtained, modified, and handmade weapons in mass shootings or the actions of Texas church shooting hero Stephen Willeford, who used his legally obtained semi-automatic rifle to stop the gunman.
What do you think of all of this? In other news, Dog the Bounty Hunter is asking for your prayers as he gives an update on her wife’s serious health battle.