Advertisement

Motivated by Parkland shooting, Crownsville man crushes his AR-15, AR-10 on video

Jamie Jeffers wanted to start a discussion about gun violence. So, he perpetrated some gun violence of his own. Jeffers, who lives in Crownsville, wasn’t interested in violence with guns. Rather, he was intrigued by the idea of violence against guns.

Jamie Jeffers wanted to start a discussion about gun violence.

So, he perpetrated some gun violence of his own.

Advertisement

Jeffers, who lives in Crownsville, wasn't interested in violence with guns. Rather, he sought to provoke a reaction by some violence against guns.

After the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead and 17 wounded, Jeffers decided to get rid of some of his assault rifles. The accused shooter used an AR-15.

"The Florida high school shooting was the biggest thing," he said. "That inspired me more than anything. I could imagine in my head what that was like for the kids in that school, because I've shot those guns and I know how devastating they can be.

"It made me think, 'I don't need those guns.' "

In a video he posted on YouTube taken at his Texas ranch, Jeffers used heavy farm equipment to crush his AR-10 and AR-15 rifles for all the world to see.

He figures the two guns together cost him about $5,000. After he and his heavy equipment were finished doing their damage, all that remained was shattered pieces of the once-deadly firearms.

"The money was nothing," said Jeffers, 55. "It was worth it to spur some dialogue. That's why I did it and I feel good about it."

He knew that crushing those guns would get the attention of his neighbors in Tyler, Texas, where he spends a chunk of his time each year (Tyler is about halfway between Dallas and Shreveport, Louisiana). It would be a stretch to say his videos went viral; he's gotten about 500 views from the two of them combined. There have been surprising — and predictable — reactions on Facebook, too, where the videos were posted as well.

But Jeffers says he's had good discussions about gun ownership, gun rights and overkill — both online and with a dozen or so of his Texas neighbors. Some folks ask him why he did it, others chide him for not selling the guns instead.

But at least it got people talking.

"It's definitely spawned eight to 12 really good conversations with people down here," he said.

Jeffers knows all about the Texas gun culture; he grew up in it. But he left the Lone Star state at 18 to join the Navy where he trained in computers. When he got out, he became an entrepreneur and did well enough to start and then sell his own IT consulting company and retire before he turned 50.

Although he and his wife Janet live in Crownsville (she's a local photographer), he has recently spent a lot of time at the Tyler ranch, which he bought about five years ago. Some guys turn 50 and buy a vintage Mustang; Jeffers bought a couple hundred acres, built a corral and installed nine miles of fence around the property.

"The ranch was a mid-life crisis," he said.

Advertisement

As a practical matter, guns were necessary equipment for a guy with all that land and a couple hundred head of cattle. Coyotes and other predators are a real problem, so a man's got to be able to protect his investment, he said. High-powered firearms are generally the method of choice.

"Everyone had multiple ARs down there," Jeffers said. "It's just how they live. As I used them over the years, I realized they were just overkill, based on what I needed."

Often the first shot of any gun is enough to scare off whatever's around, he said. And, even though the AR-10 and the AR-15 have a range of hundreds of yards, it's not like you can shoot accurately and hit anything that far away.

"They're a blast to shoot because they're so powerful," he said. "As fast as you can say 'Bam! Bam! Bam!' that's how fast those guns can shoot."

As big a rush as he got from firing off a couple of rounds, though, Jeffers realized he didn't need anything that powerful.

He's got the videos to prove it.



Advertisement
Advertisement