You've probably heard that today is Gun Appreciation Day, a stunt concocted by DC media consultant Larry Ward, who is not the same as Larry Ward, the voice of Jabba the Hut. Gun Appreciation Day is the latest in a series of appreciation days announced by conservatives hoping to duplicate the success of Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day, a stunt cooked up by Mike Huckabee and Fox News to counter a mild boycott of the anti-gay activities of the restaurant's owners. The day drove hundreds of thousands of conservatives to buy chicken sandwiches to show those liberals whats what. It got enormous media coverage, especially on Fox. After they all went home the restaurant quietly announced that they would be changing their policies toward their gay employees. All of the appreciation days since have been miserable failures.
Gun Appreciation Day appears to breaking the losing streak. Ward has tapped into the paranoia felt by so many Second Amendment absolutists since Obama was elected four years ago and that has gone into overdrive since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Ward announced today for GAD, no doubt because it's the closest gun show weekend to the presidential inauguration. It's also two days before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a juxtaposition that many find offensive. Ward handled the criticism like the pro he is explaining that he thought that encouraging people to buy lots of guns was a way of honoring the famous pacifist who was assassinated with a gun in 1968, then he launched into an ahistorical argument about how if we had armed all the slaves we brought over from Africa they would have been able to end slavery themselves.
Controversy sells. GAD has had scads of coverage, even from the gun-hating, mainstream, liberal press. Gun fans held rallies at most state capitals, gun shows across the country are reporting great turnouts, and dealers are making buckets of money by jacking up their prices in anticipation of Obama outlawing all guns and sending jackbooted thugs to the homes of conservative constitutionalists.
So, crowds, sales, rallies, it's all good news right? Mmmmm maybe not.
- In Raleigh, NC, three people, including a sheriff's deputy, were wounded when a shotgun gun accidentally discharged at the show's safety check-in booth.
- In Medina, OH, a gun dealer was checking out a semi-automatic pistol he had just bought shooting an old friend if his in the leg and arm.
- In Indianapolis, IN, a man was loading .45 he had just purchased when ha accidentally shot himself in the hand.
In Tupelo, MI, an accidental discharge grazed one man and injured a four year-old child with bullet fragments after hitting a wall. In Marietta, GA, an man was shot in the ankle by a friend who was showing it to a third person.
For those of you who are counting, that's
In the days to come, when talking heads debate gun safety, we will hear lots of harrumphing and sentences that begin "Well, responsible gun owners...." The problem with any argument that includes that phrase is that there are an awful lot of irresponsible people in the world. More people carrying guns means more irresponsible, immature, and clumsy people will be carrying objects that are one oops away from killing someone or maiming them for life.
No one who has any influence on anything is trying to take away your all your guns. The people who are saying that are lying. Some of them are trying to sell you something. Some of them are paranoid extremists. Some of them a trying to keep you scared for political purposes. This madness has to stop.
UPDATE: After making fun of people who don't check the dates on news items, I failed to check the dates on my news items. Two of them did not happen today. The correct count is five people at three events.