The Parkland school shooting inspired a Florida gun owner to turn his beloved AR-57 over to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
"As I struggle to make heads or tails of another senseless mass shooting in the USA, I can no longer offer only my ‘thoughts and prayers,’" Ben Dickman wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. "I can’t stand idly by and say ‘It’s only the crazies.’ It’s time to actually do something. It’s been time to actually do something. It’s long since past time to actually do something."
Dickman decided to follow through with his declaration and donated his AR-57 rifle to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
"I am a responsible, highly trained gun owner. (I am NOT a Police Officer or Sheriff’s Deputy). However I do not need this rifle. No one without a law enforcement badge needs this rifle. This rifle is not a "tool" I have use for," Dickman wrote in a viral Facebook post Friday with photos of him making the donation.
As of Monday morning, the post has been shared more than 215,000 times with more than 533,000 reactions.
Dickman said he now knows people who have been "directly affected" by the Las Vegas shooting, the Northern Illinois University shooting and now, the Stoneman Douglas High school shooting, where Nikolas Cruz is accused of fatally shooting 17 people and wounding 15 others on Valentine’s Day.
"This makes me sick," Dickman said in a Facebook post Thursday. "This makes me mad. I’m tired. I’m tired of hearing about thoughts and prayers. I’m tired of hearing now is not the time to talk about gun control. I’m tired of hearing there is too many guns in the market that we can’t control it. I’m tired of hearing it’s purely a mental health issue. I’m tired of hearing it’s purely an ‘assault rifle’ problem."
The Broward Sheriff’s Office thanked Dickman for his donation and provided instructions for others interested in donating their guns to law enforcement agencies.