Even before this weekend’s “Gun Appreciation Day” gatherings, the occasion generated controversy when organizers made controversial remarks about gun violence and Martin Luther King’s legacy. That the day originated from a Republican consulting firm called Political Media added an additional partisan element.
But once events intended to coincide with “Gun Appreciation Day” were held, a very different kind of controversy emerged.
Five people were wounded in accidents at gun shows in North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana on Saturday, according to authorities.
In Raleigh, N.C., authorities said three people were wounded when a loaded shotgun accidentally discharged at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
Officials say Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, was having his shotgun checked before entering the show when the incident happened. He was unzipping his 12-gauge shotgun’s case when it accidentally fired birdshot pellets, hitting three people, The News & Observer in Raleigh reported.
All three of the victims were treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries, and the Wake County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, 600 miles to the north, an exhibitor at a Medina, Ohio, gun show accidentally shot his partner when opening a box holding a gun. The victim was shot in the arm and thigh, but the injuries were also not life threatening. And in Indianapolis the same afternoon, a man attending an event accidentally shot himself in the hand while loading his .45 caliber semi-automatic.
If “Gun Appreciation Day” was intended to highlight the safe environment around responsible gun owners, I suspect this weekend’s headlines were not what organizers had in mind.