(NBC News) One Southern California man is doing his small part to help end gun violence – by smashing his AR15 to pieces with a sledgehammer.
Chad Vachter is a gun owner and gun enthusiast from Riverside County.
His AR15 assault rifle was one of his most prized possessions, but Vachter says the growing number of mass shootings in the United States, including one last week in Rancho Tehama, have hit too close to home. He’s had enough.
“I can’t do it. 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 says.
Vachter is now challenging other gun owners to destroy their assault weapons as well.
After smashing the AR15, Vachter told KMIR, “It makes me feel like I’ve been a small man to think that I needed one of these,” Vachter said. “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 the people and all the victims affected, I feel like I’ve done the only thing that I can do in this equation.”
Vachter says he wants to make it clear that he still supports the Second Amendment rights, and he’s still keeping his shotgun and pistol, but he wants to challenge other gun owners to destroy any deadly assault weapons by using the hash tag #NotWithThisGun.
Would you do the same?