PHOENIX (WFLA) – An Arizona man said he was the target of death threats after a photo of himself went viral.
According to local affiliate KPNX, Jonathan Pring posted images on Facebook showing the moment he gave up his guns. In the photo, Pring poses with a Phoenix police officer as he willingly hands over a machine gun and a pistol.
Pring said he called the police department to hand over his guns after watching the Las Vegas massacre unfold last week.
“I would hate for that to happen to my family and it suddenly made me think how ridiculous this whole gun debate is in America,” Pring told KPNX. “So, one immediate thing that I could do was hand over my guns. I’m one less civilian that has guns.”
His Facebook post has since been shared thousands of times.
“The first thousand people that commented on it were supporters: ‘I’m so proud of you.’ ‘What a great thing you’ve done,’” Pring said. “And then it got really quite scary.”
He said the comments became overwhelmingly negative and he received a few death threats.
“As a result, we’ve left Phoenix for a few days,” Pring said.
Pring told KPNX he was leaving his home with a Louisville slugger in case he would have to defend his family.
He ended up deleting the post, but despite the backlash, Pring has no regrets.
“We just had a mass shooting, horrible, the worst ever and there are practical solutions that we can do immediately,” he said.
Read Pring’s since-deleted 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.