A gun owner in New York's Hudson Valley has attracted nationwide attention with a viral Facebook video in which he cuts his AR-15 rifle into pieces.
He said: "Is the right to own this weapon more important than someone's life?"
He said he knows people are going to think he's "stupid" for destroying the gun.
"Here we are, 17 more lives lost, so when do we change?" he asks in the video, which has since garnered 17 million views and been shared over 300,000 times.
Pappalardo recalls that, after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 young children and six adults, he told his wife, "I'd gladly give this gun up if it would save the life of just one child".
Pappalardo says he's heard the arguments blaming video games, mental health problems and other issues for the mass shootings. He has a tattoo on his arm that says "the right to keep and bear arms" (which he says was legible when he got it 30 years ago).
He said he chose to destroy the weapon to make good on a promise he made in December 2012 after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn. Adam Lanza had killed his mother at home then took her Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, a semi-automatic rifle comparable to the AR-15, and used it to kill 20 students and six staff members at the school.More news: Anirban ends tied 26th, Watson wins at Riviera
More news: Turkish premier hints at new era in German-Turkish ties
More news: Auburn's Anfernee McLemore carried off on stretcher after dislocated ankle
The outrage about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has inspired people across the country to take a stand.
Student survivors of the shooting have since demanded that elected officials take action on gun control. "Is that right more important?".
"I mean, think about it".
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", he said.
"I can't live knowing that my gun's out there and it could one day possibly commit a horrific act like the other day in Florida", he said, adding he hopes the video might cause others to do the same as him.