The timing could not be worse: It comes two days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is also President Obama’s Inauguration Day.
It’s only about seven weeks after the worst elementary school shooting in U.S. history.
And it comes on the heels of other highly shocking mass shootings, including at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and at the public gathering hosted by then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Each event was executed by a lone gunman with high-powered weapons and, in some cases, enough bullets to kill hundreds of people. Each event was a national trauma.
This has set off some diehard gun groups, which have called for Gun Appreciation Day. Backed by conservative political organizations such as the tea party and RedState, the founders of Gun Appreciation Day are urging people to go to their “local gun store, gun range, or gun show” and register their protest against Obama. “Lock and load,” their leaflets say.
But the president is not threatening to take away the people’s right to bear arms. All he wants is some reasonable regulation.
Our weaponry is outstripping our ability to live in a safe and compassionate society. Thousands of gun homicides occur in the United States every year, and the weapons are increasingly efficient in liquidating their targets.
We should be mindful that no other advanced society puts up with this kind of violence.
I urge you not to celebrate National Gun Appreciation Day, especially not this weekend. It is King’s weekend, and it’s Obama’s second inaugural. These two black men represent hope and achievement for millions in this country and around the world.
It is far better to celebrate them than to stir up dangerous emotions over a nonexistent threat to the Second Amendment.
Starita Smith is a writer for Progressive Media Project. Web site: www.progressive.org.