Gun Appreciation Day
Also known as
National Gun Appreciation Day
annually on January 19th (since 2013)
Gun Appreciation Day was organized by Political Media, Inc., under the direction of Larry Ward, and brought together gun rights, Tea Party, and conservative groups on January 19, 2013—two days before President Obama's second inauguration and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—to push back against new gun control laws that President Obama was calling for. The organizers of the day encouraged participants to "go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags and your 'Hands off my Guns' sign to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama."
President Obama had been pushing for new gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook Massacre, which had occurred the previous December. He had called on Congress to vote for a ban on military-style assault rifles, for a ban on high-capacity magazines, and for criminal background checks for all gun buyers—to close loopholes, such as the selling of guns at gun shows without background checks in some states. Of Obama, Larry Ward said: "The Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people. If the American people don't fight back now, Obama will do the Second Amendment what he has already done to the First with Obamacare – gut it without a moment's thought to our basic constitutional rights."
Gun Appreciation Day was modeled after other "counter-protest" events held by conservative groups, particularly Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which took place the previous summer, where diners ate at Chick-fil-A restaurants to support its views against gay marriage. According to Political Media, Inc., more than 500,000 people participated in Gun Appreciation Day. Although the day was only officially marked once, some people have continued to observe it since.
How to Observe Gun Appreciation Day
The best way to take part in the day is by going "to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags and your 'Hands off my Guns' sign" in order to send a message to elected officials that any infringement on gun rights will not be tolerated. Other ways you could spend the day include buying a new gun, cleaning your guns, getting a subscription to a gun magazine, or supporting a pro-gun organization such as Political Media, Inc. or the National Rifle Association.