When gun rights advocate Larry Ward tried to defend planning a national Gun Appreciation Day to coincide with the weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed in 1968 by an assassin's bullet, he only prompted more outrage with his comments.
"I believe that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of Dr. King," said Ward, chairman of the event and president of Republican consulting firm Political Media Inc, on CNN. "We are looking for a peaceful protest. 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."
The event, scheduled Jan. 19, falls on President Barack Obama's inauguration weekend, and just two days before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. On that day, a coalition of conservative and gun rights groups are calling on gun owners to "go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your constitution, American flags, and your 'Hands off My Guns' signs to send a loud message to Congress and President Obama," according to the event's web site.
Maria Roach, founder of United for Change USA, an organization that advocates for prison reform and gun violence prevention, said Ward's comments were "ridiculous" and called it "theater." Her group started a petition on SignOn.org to stop Gun Appreciation Day. It has almost 28,000 signatures.
"Slavery means that you are a possession," Roach said on CNN. "Slaves were a possession, just like a gun...Gun appreciation day is really a power play."
Via the Huffington Post