‘Conservative leaning, gun-owning’ man gives up his weapon to make a stand on semi-automatic rifles
Ben Dickmann decided it was time to take a stand.
The owner of an AR-57 semi-automatic rifle has handed in his gun to be destroyed by police in dismay at the carnage wreaked by a similar weapon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday.
In a Facebook post written two days after 17 people were killed at the high school in his state, Floridian Ben Dickmann expressed his opinion on public ownership of semi-automatic weapons and better training for gun owners.
A day after that, he penned another post showing him handing over his own AR-57, a variant of the AR-15, and stating his reasons for doing so.
The posts have gone astronomically viral, with over 200,000 shares.
AR-15-style rifles have been used in many of the US’ most deadly mass shootings, including Las Vegas (58 dead), the Orlando nightclub shooting (49 dead) and most recently at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to kill 17 teachers and students on Wednesday.
Dickmann calls himself a “conservative leaning, gun-owning, middle-aged, financially stable white male”, and says that until more people like him stand up for better gun reform, nothing will get done.
He goes on to say he feels that semi-automatic weapons have no place being owned by the average American.
“They are fun to shoot at the range, and cheap, but that’s about the extent of their usefulness,” he wrote.
“People will argue them as a hunting rifle, but, I’m sorry, this is not a good hunting rifle if you are a true sportsman. If you are a true hunter, you want the most accurate rifle you can buy, and short barrelled, semi-automatic rifles are not the most accurate things out there.”
Next Dickmann goes on to say he is in favour of proper training for gun owners and more checks.
Following his post talking the talk the day before, on Saturday Dickmann walked the walk, handing in his own semi-automatic rifle to his local police station in Tamarac, Florida.
Posting pictures of him handing over the weapon, Dickmann wrote: “This is an AR-FiveSeven, I own this rifle. It’s a caliber variant of the AR-15.
“I am a responsible, highly trained gun owner. However I do not need this rifle. No one without a law enforcement badge needs this rifle.”
He goes on to reiterate his last post, saying the AR15 and similar weapons have no purpose as a useful “tool”, and therefore he would be leading the 8 million AR-15 owners in the US by example and handing in his weapon.
“I could have easily sold this rifle, but no person needs this. I will be the change I want to see in this world. If our law makers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example.”