There is no shortage of unofficial observances that mark the calendar each year.
In January alone, various groups will note Milk Day, World Laughter Day, National Religious Freedom Day and the School Day of Non-violence and Peace.
After the school shooting 24 days ago in Newtown, Connecticut, that final event will now stand in direct contrast to a new observance–one timed to coincide with the president’s second-term inauguration: Gun Appreciation Day.
Larry Ward, president of the Republican media consulting firm Political Media, Inc., is spearheading the January 19 effort, announced online Sunday. “The Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people,” Ward said, according to the release. “If the American people don’t fight back now, Obama will do to 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.”
Several Second Amendment groups are involved–with the notable exception, for now, of the NRA.
The instructions are spelled out for participants: “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.”
The hope, according to the coalition, is to achieve a “Chick-fil-A” public opinion fervor. In August, conservatives came out en masse to rally around the chain restaurant’s president after he made a series of controversial comments about gay marriage.
Of course, President Obama has been clear that he believes in the Second Amendment, even as his administration considers broad gun control reforms.
And while the success of “Gun Appreciation Day” remains to be seen, the FBI reported a record number of background checks for firearms in the month of December and several states reported gun sale surges in the wake of the Sandy Hook rampage.
UPDATE: We invited Larry Ward onto our broadcast this morning. In a discussion with Joy Reid and Martin that you can watch below, Ward attempted to state his case. We’ll let you judge whether or not he was successful.