Oregon Man Parts Ways With Guns In Viral Change Of Heart
An Oregon man’s difficult sleep after the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting led him to give away his guns to local authorities.
Ben Beers, a resident of Hillsboro, Oregon, called for action on gun violence and shared his experience giving his firearms away on TikTok. Beers’ action comes after 19 children and two teachers died in a school shooting on Tuesday, the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.
Beers said he gave his AR-15 and handgun to the Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon. The department confirmed to The Oregonian that Beers surrendered the weapons.
“I no longer want them,” he said in the TikTok.
“I know this will not change legislation or anything to do with gun culture in America, but hopefully it’ll be a form of symbolism and hopefully America can wake up because no other country has the problems that we do with gun culture and ideation and gun violence.”
The video has racked up nearly 200,000 views on TikTok as of Saturday morning.
You can watch Beers’ TikTok below.
Turning in my guns to have destroyed by Police. #uvalde#guncontrol#koin6#texas#teachersoftiktok#portlandpolice#parentsoftiktok#shootings
♬ original sound - Ben Beers
Beers told KGW in Oregon that the viral nature of his video was a good sign.
“Hopefully, soon we can all wake up and realize this needs to be done. … This is an idea,” Beers said. “Guns are not as precious to us and nor are my Second Amendment rights as the lives of my children in school.”
Beers, a father of two, told KGW he understands that selling the weapons could have made him money.
“But that’s the problem,” he said. “[Guns] already have too much of an economic impact in this country. It’s already a big moneymaker and that’s the root of the problem.”
Beers, an ex-Marine and now-former “lifetime” gun owner according to Newsweek, said he’d like to see the U.S. ban semi-automatic weapons.
“That’s what this country needs,” he said. “We’ve already dug ourselves in this hole and we are destroying ourselves.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.