Despite the tragic shootings that occurred recently in Newtown, Connecticut, I have remained largely silent on the issue of gun control, although I do believe that if there were more regulations concerning assault weapons, the tragic shooting (along with many other deaths that are caused by guns and rifles) may have been prevented. No matter what anyone says, a gun is designed to cause damage, and many times, death. Therefore, I agree that guns should be left in the care of very few (e.g. policemen and members of our armed forces). To add fuel to the fire Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association made some very ridiculous comments, stating that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
In the wake of these events, President Obama and Congress have been pushing for more legislation regarding firearms, and gun advocates are pushing back. Various gun rights groups have decided to sponsor a “Gun Appreciation Day” on January 19, two days before President Obama’s inauguration and the Martin Luther King holiday. Larry Ward, a pro-gun advocate has been campaigning and publicizing Gun Appreciation Day, asking people to protest by going to gun stores and gun ranges with their American flags, copies of the U.S. Constitution, among other things.
This morning on CNN, Ward made some outrageous claims in support of Gun Appreciation Day, stating that he believed this day “honors the legacy of Dr. King.” He claimed that if Dr. King had been alive today (which he’s not because, ironically, he was fatally shot), then he’d agree that if African-Americans had been given guns from the day our country was founded, then slavery could have been prevented. Slavery, however, was already in full force before the United States officially became its own country. Slave owners would certainly have never given guns to slaves, and in any case we aren’t arguing the past. This is about the here and now, and presently, we have to take public safety into consideration.
Larry Ward on CNN: