The Nation’s First ‘Gun Appreciation Day’ Is Coming at a Bad Time

Nope, it's not a long-standing tradition coming at a bad time -- it's protesting potential gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown shooting.

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Well, this is awkward: Some Americans are celebrating Gun Appreciation Day on Jan. 19 — two days before President Obama’s second inauguration, nine days after a teenager opened fire at a California high school, the same week as the one-month anniversary of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting and the same month as the second anniversary of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Tuscon, Ariz.

But Gun Appreciation Day isn’t a long-standing tradition with poor timing. Nope, Gun Appreciation Day is happening for the very first time this year, and it’s a direct response to recent national conversations about gun control following a year of high-profile mass murders.

(MORE: TSA Confiscates Record Number of Guns at U.S. Airports in 2012)

The Washington Post reports that gun supporters behind the event are modeling the program after the tactics of marriage equality opponents, such as Mike Huckabee’s national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in response to the backlash the fast-food chain experienced from same-sex marriage advocates. Nearly a dozen organizations, including the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, are encouraging supporters to shop at gun stores and visit shooting ranges in protest over potential crackdowns.

Support for gun control is actually at an all-time high right now, according to a CBS News poll conducted last month. Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe gun control laws should be stricter, the highest percentage in a decade and an 18-point jump from a similar poll conducted earlier this year. In April, 39 percent of Americans supported stricter gun laws. Following the shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, 47 percent of Americans wanted stricter laws.

(MORE: Walmart’s On-Again, Off-Again Relationship with Guns)

President Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead a White House task force examining current gun policies in the aftermath of December’s Newtown rampage, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults. Biden met with National Rife Association lobbyist James Jay Baker, and he also is meeting with members of the video game industry to talk about images of gun violence and work toward solutions.

Gun violence is a big enough problem in the U.S. that it’s actually become one factor driving down Americans’ life expectancy. A new report from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine lists the the United States, with six violent deaths per 100,000 people, as the most violent wealthy nation in the world in its survey. It also has the highest rate of firearm ownership, with 89 civilian-owned firearms for every 100 Americans. The runner-up doesn’t even come close: Finland, which has less than five percent of the world’s population, has fewer than two violent deaths per 100,000 people.

MORE: Mayors Use Anniversary of Tucson Shooting to Rally Support on Gun Control

16 comments
ninthoption
ninthoption

Before congress passes a bill illegalizing and arranging for the confiscation of most of the most popular guns in America is bad time? Oh that's right, you'd prefer if we protested AFTER the bill passes. Much easier for you that way. Classic liberalism. Free speech, unless you disagree with us, then it's "insensitive."

JohnGregory
JohnGregory

"marriage equality opponents" your bias or PC training is showing. How about the more accurate language "sodomite marriage opponents"? Call it what it is and stop using language to disguise reality and truth.

konrado
konrado

I have a loaded shotgun which has been in my closet for 6 years. So far it has killed no one. Explain that.

y0cheese
y0cheese

I can't wait for these gun control laws to go through. We'll no longer have to worry about the same criminals committing these heinous acts because it will soon be illegal for them to illegally carry the guns they were planning to murder people with. 

CarolAnnHuniganBooher
CarolAnnHuniganBooher

my gun is in my drawer i appreciate it occassionally when i open that drawer... I drive my car everyday without it i dont know what i would do could go no where. My washing machine i use daily or we would wear dirty clothes.. My television i watch all the time... i think we should declare appreciation day for all the things we use... I am not into killing, have a gun for protection only in 40 yrs have never used it... dont hunt dont kill... not saying people who do are wrong just saying gun appreciation day is just about the dumbest thing i have ever heard of . And having it on MLK day was like thowing it in the faces of the people who admired him. Also after those children were killed it was an extremely tacky thing to do

d.anagaganes
d.anagaganes

If we tiptoe around everyone's feelings then we will be pushovers just like we all were with the "Obama doesn't care" bill. Yes there have been many shootings. The legislation is happening now. regardless of which 'side' you are on. The time for action is now. 

SteveBirt
SteveBirt

This seems to be a trend with conservatives. If you give yourself a black eye by saying something extreme, just have a chick-fil-a style appreciation day, that'll show them eh?

12rmp123
12rmp123

'Gun appreciation day' is a bad name.  If guns don't kill people, they also can't save people, so what is to appreciate?  Calling it 'gun owners' appreciation day would have been a golden opportunity to spotlight the message and get people thinking in the right terms.

The day itself, however, could not come at a better time.  gun carriers are like garbage men or insurance agents.  No one wants to see them, talk to them, or think about them until their services are needed.

It is time we stop demonizing law abiding citizens for the actions of a handful of evil individuals.

konrado
konrado

@y0cheese What? That's like saying heroin is not a problem because we have laws against it.

gunowner
gunowner

@y0cheese  Kind of like how it is illegal for criminals to carry illegal drugs? Just because the government makes something illegal doesn't mean its going to fix the problem. Case in point, the 60 billion dollar a year drug industry in America.

blackleader
blackleader

@SteveBirt It isn't just conservatives dumba**, I'm on the left wing and can say, don't take guns away from the working class. What you are showing is typical elitist attitudes towards the poor.

zero
zero

@12rmp123 Guns do kill people , that is what they where made for. Saying it's something other than that and you're abusing the gun(not using it for  its intended purpose) . At the end of the day someone is dying, universally you are no more saintlier or eviler than the individual or individuals  you clash with . Guns have become a necessary evil, having a 'gun  appreciation day ' is a disturbingly,disgusting tribute to a tool of destruction that has killed more people , than it has saved . It's sad and infuriating to know this country is celebrating death and destruction so openly and ignorantly or not so ignorantly(gun companies who are looking for profit)  try to masquerade a gun into something its not(a savior) ,it worries me. 

r3t0dd
r3t0dd

@12rmp123 You're right. Guns don't kill people. People with guns do shoot people though. Through some strange unexplainable coincidence  people without guns are very unlikely to shoot anyone. Scientists are still puzzling over that one.

gunowner
gunowner

@zero @12rmp123  You could not be more wrong. Saying guns are made for killing people is the most ignorant statement I have ever heard. Is my Remington Versa Max made for killing people? No, it is made for hunting wild turkey. Is my Remington 1100 made for killing people? No, it is made for hunting pheasants. Is my H&R ultra slugger made for killing people? No, it is made for hunting whitetail deer. I also own a Bushmaster AR15 and a Glock 19 which are not for hunting, but I still enjoy shooting them. Just because something can kill a person doesn't mean that is what it was made for. A hammer can kill a person, but that doesn't mean we should be afraid of it and blow things out of proportion. Maybe you should educate yourself and have a mind of your own instead of listening to the media and letting them skew your view on guns. You were obviously not brought up around guns or hunting, but I was and I have a great respect for guns and what they can do.