UPDATE 2 Make that: 5 People Shot At 3 Different Gun Shows on Gun Appreciation Day
UPDATE: Via Think Progress: 4 People Shot At 3 Different Gun Shows On Gun Appreciation Day.
Today is Gun Appreciation Day. I’ll admit it sounds a bit odd to me, to “appreciate” a gun, but then, we treat other inanimate objects as if they were human. Cars come to mind. Gun or car or whatever, we even give them names. Or at least refer to them endearingly as, for example, “my baby.” So I guess “appreciation” does fit. In some cases, in fact, it might be more accurate yet to have a “Gun Loving Day.”
At the Gun Appreciation Day, or GAD:
On 01.19.13 go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags and your ‘Hands off my Guns’ sign to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama.
I note that they do include Congress, not just Obama. I’ve seen a lot of “Obama’s gonna take our guns away!”, so it’s good to see the understanding that the president can’t “take our guns away” all by him (someday her) — self.
But back to the language used related to how one thinks and feels about guns, this from GAD on Facebook:
Americans love their guns and their Second Amendment right to bear arms. On January 19, 2013 gun owners and tea party activists across the country will demonstrate their passions…Chick-fil-A style!
You remember the Chick-fil-A thing — when thousands showed up on the designated day to show their, well, “appreciation” works I suppose, of Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy, after he made (more) anti-LGBT statements. That’s not exactly a winning comparison for some of us.
I look for the thoughtful, reasonable, common sense, balanced approach in general, and certainly when it comes to gun and ammunition regulations. I don’t want a gun. I don’t care if other people do want a gun. I do care, very much, that since it’s obvious we’re going to have lots of gun owners in this nation, that we have strong laws and regulations which — like laws and regulations for many other things, from who can drive a vehicle to professional licensing — make public safety a priority.
Reading at the GAD website, there’s no doubt guns are very much “appreciated.” For example, there’s the post entitled Guns are Safe & Sexy: Let’s Show our Appreciation on January 19th :
I love guns and the fact that we live in a country founded on rugged individualism. … These (law abiding gun owners) patriots respect our Second Amendment right to bear arms as the chief means we have of ultimately protecting our individual liberties … .
If you know anything about guns, you know they’re sexy (because they represent power and power is sexy) and they’re safe.
Rugged individualism. Ultimate means of protection. Power and sexy and safe — that’s a perspective some have.
Cars are also powerful. And they’re “safe,” too, when they’re just sitting there. It’s when they’re used — by law-abiding citizens or “crazies” either one — that they can become dangerous. So we have rules and regulations, to help minimize (because we aren’t going to prevent) the damage. I mean, you could stretch the “well regulated militia” argument to mean that an effective militia had to be able to get to where they’re needed, as quickly as possible. At the time the Second Amendment was written, that would probably mean riding a horse. Since the “arms” of yesterday are assumed (by some) to cover assault weapons today, then by extension we might argue that the “well regulated militia” of today should also be able to have and drive armored and armed vehicles on public roads.
Okay I know, that’s a very big stretch, and less than perfect comparison. But the part I really don’t get is the idea that private gun ownership 1) is treated by some as a near, if not actual, God-given right, and so 2) owning guns is a right above all others.
GAD has paid some attention to not associating itself with the “crazies”. For example, Media Matters reported, accurately, that “Gun Appreciation Day Is Sponsored By A White Nationalist Party,” the American Third Position. They also reported it when GAD removed ATP as a sponsor. From GAD:
We have removed the group and reiterate this event is not about racial politics, it is about gun politics. We believe in equal rights of ALL Americans in every race, gender, religion, location and economic class to keep and bear arms as guaranteed to them in the Bill of Rights.
So good that the overtly racist ATP was removed. That we have “gun politics” as a major factor … one can interpret what that means about us as a nation, too.
The conversations regarding gun ownership and regulation are, obviously, extremely important, with the emphasis on “conversation” and not simplistic exchanges of labels and judgments. I don’t agree with much of what I’m reading from proponents, but have a Gun Appreciation Day. And have counter-protests, with which I’ll more likely agree. Contact your Electeds, whatever your position. Join organizations that reflect that position.
All the while remembering the thousands who are killed, every year, through the use of guns. Whatever your perspective, whether you “appreciate” or not, “love” or “hate,” want more or less regulation … whatever. From the University of Texas tower to Columbine to Sandy Hook, to the larger numbers of daily deaths by way of guns … those people deserve to be at the center of our conversations and decisions.
(Gun Appreciation Day sign via GAD)