Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Gun Appreciation Day!

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 eight five people injured at five three shows. It's now 5:30 on the west coast and some of these shows go well into the evening, so this might not be the final count. I'm sure this is not the the kind of publicity Ward and his sponsors were hoping for. The gun lobby tells us that more guns in society will make us safer. Gun Appreciation Day is making just the opposite argument.

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.


Greg Laden said...

Thanks for putting this together, John.

"Shecky Riemann" said...

maybe if we just schedule more such shows & gun appreciation days these folks will reduce their impact on the gene pool through normal Darwinian means.

Porlock Junior said...

Responsible Gun Owners. Right.

Y'know, I once believed in their existence, even that there were lots of them. Not nearly so many as you'd think from all the letters to the editor about how they learned Gun Safety at their mother's knee, or their father's anyway, and were never allowed to go near a gun till etc. etc. But surely lots of them.

Then there was February 11, 2006. Remember? Remember the weeks of discussions (starting the 12th when the news leaked out)? Remember how many ways Dick Cheney broke the most elementary gun safety rules in the process of shooting his friend in the face? Remember all the shocked reactions from responsible gun owners?

Neither do I. Perhaps after 7 years one can conclude that there may be some gun people who take their safety principles seriously, but they're too rare, or too much afraid of their loony right-wing friends, to matter in the slightest.

Actually, they're all named Godot.

John McKay said...

What most appalled me right after the Cheney business was the number of gun nuts that tried to laugh it off. "Oh, this stuff happens all the time. You city sissies just don't understand gun country." I grew up in gun country and ate a lot of game meat growing up. Responsible hunters (an ever decreasing minority among gun owners) do not go around shooting each other in the face.

Greg Laden said...

Apropos that, how many accidental discharges, minor incidents not reported, etc. are there per day?

The Ridger said...

This. We're supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy and safe when these guys walk around our neighborhoods and our coffeeshops with their guns, not to mention let them guard our schools, but thry shoot themselves all the damn time.

Tara Jordan said...

Personally I think the idea that our societies are becoming more & more violent,is a social myth.We certainly are oversaturated with information (& have easy access to world wide information) regarding crimes & violence.There is a general perception that our societies are becoming increasingly more violent,but by looking at statistics,for instance in France (from 16th century up to the Industrial revolution & early 1900`s) & United Kingdom (Victorian era,the Gin Craze up to late 1800`s),it is clear that the level of social violence,domestic violence & criminality in general ( what French criminologists describe as "la violence ordinaire") are in fact considerably decreasing.In most European countries until early 1900`s the general public used to attend public executions,in these times violence was not virtual as it is today, thanks to popular culture,literature,the gaming and movie industries.Nowadays we experience violence through thematics and imageries,but back then violence was not only a way of life but also a condition from which society reflected & defined itself.
There is an excellent book by French historian Jacques Delarue "Le m├ętier de bourreau" about the history of the profession of Executioner.The book explores in detailthe intricacies of the profession, but also provide amazing perspectives on the social, anthropological,ethical,moral & pathological nature of society & its cohabitation with violence

Greg Laden said...

At a certain scale, we are definitely becoming less violent. But, it is not a simple situation. We may be experiencing increasing gun related violence in certain sectors of society at the decadal scale, for instance, while experiencing an overall decrease in violence.

Greg Laden said...

This is funny: After organizers discover that guns are dangerous, they impose regulations:

"The Dixie Gun and Knife Show is opening tomorrow but they warn patriots that you MAY NOT BRING PERSONAL GUNS TO THE SHOW.

“The Show WILL BE OPEN TOMORROW 1/20/2013 at 10am


Anonymous said...

How many auto accidents were there today?
How many people fell off a building today?
How many hit-and-runs were there today?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate guns. I'm happy to own them and am glad that underemployed, grumpy, and aging liberal's whom live in the Great Northwest don't.

An Shecky... humans use tools. Lets see how you survive to pass on your stupid traits.

John McKay said...

That's "liberals" you idiot.

And who said Northwestern liberals don't have guns?

Tara Jordan said...

"Anonymous said...
I appreciate guns. I'm happy to own them and am glad that underemployed, grumpy, and aging liberal's whom live in the Great Northwest don't".

Statistics again,There is a correlaton between extreme low IQ & firearms ownership....
Anonymous,I am not a" liberal" I am a social Darwinist & I support Eugenics,unfortunatly for you, you stand on the wrong side of the food chain

Tara Jordan said...

John McKay.I am from the Right & I deeply resent being associated with the casual Right Wing cave dwellers,especially American right wingers,most of them suffer from intellectual atrophy resulting from cerebral dystrophy

The Ridger, FCD said...

@Anon#1: How many auto accidents were there today ... at an auto appreciation show?
How many people fell off a building today ... at a building appreciation show?
How many hit-and-runs were there today ... at a driving appreciation event?

There. Made your questions actually semi-relevant.

The Ridger, FCD said...

There is actually a decent amount of evidence that cities, at least, are becoming far less violent, as lead poisoning goes down.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Ms Emma Peel@ 10:02:
Ms Emma Peel said...

"[...]I am from the Right & I deeply resent being associated with the casual Right Wing cave dwellers,especially American right wingers,most of them suffer from intellectual atrophy resulting from cerebral dystrophy"

He's from the right, but claims distance from the '...right wing cave dwellers..' That's what's known as a distinction without a difference.

Tara Jordan said...

"He's from the right, but claims distance from the '...right wing cave dwellers..' That's what's known as a distinction without a difference".
Every man has the right to be stupid, but I'm afraid you've abused the privilege.

Amy said...

" Gun Appreciation day " well are you encourage guns sale?