Bermuda Dunes, Calif. (NBC NEWS) – Chad Vachter has always loved guns. “I think everyone has a right to defend their home, their way of life,” he said. Vachter has been a supporter of The Second Amendment since he was young. “I first got into guns when I was a kid hunting with my father,” he added.
Among his prized weapons is an AR-15, but not anymore. Vachter decided to destroy his AR-15 with a sledge hammer. Blow by blow, the semi-automatic weapon crumbled to pieces.
Vachter said he started having second thoughts after the San Bernardino terror attack at the Inland Regional Center, where his autistic son received treatment. “So when my son is old enough to realize that someone went in there and shot up that place, and he see’s that gun in my possession and asks me, ‘Why do you have that, Daddy?’ I don’t have a good answer,” Vachter said.
However, Tuesday’s shooting in Northern California was the final straw. “I can’t do it. I can’t have something in my house that so easily could become another part of a situation like that, and I’m not going to be desensitized to it. I refuse it,” Vachter added.
After smashing the AR-15 to pieces, Vachter said it felt like a weight had been lifted. “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 said he still supports The Second Amendment. He’s still keeping his shot gun and pistol. He just wants to challenge other gun owners to destroy any deadly assault weapons by using the hash tag #NotWithThisGun.