Pro-gun activists in the United States will be holding an event called Gun Appreciation Day on January 19. (file photo)
Pro-gun activists in the United States have announced that they will be holding an event called Gun Appreciation Day on January 19.
The organizers of the event say that on January 19, people should go to local firearm stores, gun shows, and shooting ranges with their rifles, US flags, the US Constitution, and signs saying “Hands off my gun.”
On Friday, Larry Ward, the chairman of the group organizing Gun Appreciation Day, said the event would be a day to demonstrate against President Barack Obama’s “post-Sandy Hook assault on gun rights” and a day to “honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” who was killed by a racist gunman in 1968.
“I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history,” Ward said.
However, anti-gun activist Maria Roach called Ward’s remarks “ridiculous” and said that the statements contradict historical reality, since slaves actually did mount many armed uprisings in the US, although all failed and were followed by heavy retaliation by the slave owners.
In addition, many people find it offensive that the pro-gun activists are trying to claim some kind of connection with the legacy of civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King, Jr., who was a pacifist, by staging Gun Appreciation Day on the weekend before the Monday holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The organizers of Gun Appreciation Day have estimated that 50 million US citizens will back the proposal and say that there are more than 70 listed sponsors on its website, including sports stores, magazines, and political groups.
The discussion on gun control has greatly intensified in the United States since the massacre of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town of Newton, Connecticut on December 14.