One Southern California gun enthusiast decided he had to do his part to put a stop to mass shootings.
By destroying his prized AR-15 ‘assault’ weapon with a sledge hammer, according to KMIR.
“I can’t do it,” Chad Vachter said. “I can’t have something in my house that so easily could become a part of another situation like that, and I’m not going to be desensitized to it. I refuse to.”
Vachter, of Riverside County, first noticed his feelings toward the weapon changing after the San Bernardino, Calif., attack that killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center in 2015. His son was being treated for autism there, KMIR reports.
“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 that, Daddy?’ I don’t have a good answer,” Vachter told KMIR.
Then, last month, 58 people died in the Las Vegas shooting at an outdoor music festival, and 26 people were killed this month in a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
The final straw for Vachter was the Rancho Tehama, Calif., shooting last week that killed five, according to WKRG.com. It hit too close to home.
“The other night, when I read the thing about the school in Northern California, I cried and I haven’t felt good since,” he said. “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.”
Vachter made it clear that he still supports the Second Amendment and owns a shotgun and pistol, KMIR reports. But he hopes to inspire other gun owners to get rid of their assault weapons, according to KPRC 2, and has even come up with a hashtag: #NotWithThisGun.
“I challenge anyone anywhere to destroy their personally owned assault weapons,” Vachter said on Facebook. “… Every decommissioned assault rifle destroyed .. is one that cannot fall into the wrong hands.”
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