A man in Phoenix, Arizona called up the police on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and told them he would like to turn in his guns. He was driven to do this after at least 58 people were killed by gunfire in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.
Jonathan Pring, a 10-year U.S.-resident with dual citizenship in the U.K., said that after seeing the carnage wrought by 64-year-old Stephen Paddock at a Las Vegas country music festival, gun ownership wasn’t for him.
“People on social media and in the news are asking questions and looking for answers. I have an answer. If civilians do not have guns then mass shooting events will occur less frequently,” he wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post, according to NBC affiliate KPNX.
Pring said he enjoyed taking his guns to shooting ranges and doing Rambo poses in the mirror with them. But when he thought about what was really important to him, he realized his guns didn’t even make it to his top 10 list.
“I like my son and my wife more,” Pring told Fox 10.
“I would hate for [the shooting] to happen to my family and it suddenly made me think how ridiculous this whole gun debate is in America,” he said, according to KPNX.
But when Pring tried to turn in his guns, he raised alarm bells with the police dispatcher.
“When I phoned dispatch and I said, ‘Hi, I’ve got some guns I’d like to get rid of,’ the dispatcher panicked a little bit,” Pring told Fox 10. “‘You’ve got guns? How many guns? Are there people in the house with you now? Are the guns loaded?’”
— WDTN (@WDTN) October 6, 2017
He said he could have gotten a few thousand dollars by pawning them, but he felt that turning them into the police was the right thing to do as it would ensure they didn’t go back on the street.
Doing the “right thing” hasn’t been easy, however.
His post, which was shared hundreds of thousands of times, garnered positive reactions from the first thousand or so people who commented on it, he said.
But later the comments started getting negative, and he began to get death threats, he said. He decided to take the post down and left town with his family for a few days.
“I tried to be diplomatic in what I wrote,” he told KPNX. “I didn’t want to alienate people and I didn’t want to make this about me.”
He’s aware he doesn’t have a gun to protect his family anymore, he said, but he’s willing to take that risk, saying he doesn’t “need a gun to be a man.”
“To any would be home invaders, watch out. I just bought a brand new Slugger,” he wrote in his post.
The Facebook Post
“Hello. My name is Jonathan Pring. I am a proud United States Citizen.
Until this morning I was a gun owner.
In lieu of the recent mass shooting event in Las Vegas, this morning I phoned my local police station (Phoenix, Arizona) and asked for an officer to visit my house and collect my firearms.
People on social media and in the news are asking questions and looking for answers. I have an answer. If civilians do not have guns then mass shooting events will occur less frequently.
That clever old Indian Gandhi once said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Small steps really can make a difference and we can all do small steps, even babies.
I will miss my guns. I enjoyed taking them to the range and doing Rambo poses in front of the mirror. I paid a lot of money for them. However, if I was to write down the 10 most important things in my life the guns wouldn’t make the list.
I hope my actions inspire others. If we can achieve a safer world for our children, we will have done a good thing.
Be the change.
To any would be home invaders, watch out. I just bought a brand new Slugger.”