Flowers, candles and stuffed animals are seen at a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 17, 2012.
Eric Thayer/Reuters

Gun groups now won’t hold ‘Guns Save Lives Day’ on Newtown anniversary

Updated

A coalition of gun groups that’s faced harsh criticism for its decision to hold a “Guns Save Lives Day” on December 14, the anniversary of the horrific Newtown school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, has changed the date of that event. Here is how the website appeared earlier this month, as retrieved via Web Archive:

And here is how it appears now after a weekend of really negative local press coverage:

MSNBC spoke with Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, one of the groups taking part in Guns Save Lives Day, and asked about the discrepancy. Gottlieb confirmed that the date of the event is changing and the website is being updated with the new information. He said the change is a challenge to “the other side” not to hold political events in favor of gun control on the Newtown anniversary.

Before the date change, Gottlieb said the event was being held on December 14 because pro-gun control groups should not be allowed to “own that day.”

Gottlieb also said the change allows organizers to hold Guns Save Lives Day to coincide with Bill of Rights Day. The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791. December 15 has been used to honor the Bill of Rights for more than 70 years.

The stated goal of Guns Save Lives Day is “to honor these victims [of Newtown] by doing everything within our power to prevent misguided gun control laws from leaving Americans defenseless or worse victims. Don’t be a victim, ARM YOURSELF.

The Newtown Action Alliance, a group in favor of tougher gun laws, responded to the idea of holding Guns Save Lives Day on December 14 with this statement on Saturday:

“As December approaches, the Newtown community has been planning to honor the memories of our twenty first-graders and six brave teachers who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School a year ago. Unfortunately, the gun industry, along with a fringe group of gun enthusiasts, have taken it upon themselves to proclaim 12/14/13 ‘Guns Save Lives Day’. Using our day of mourning and remembrance to focus on the guns that took the lives of our children and teachers rather than celebrating their memories is disgraceful.”

Guns Save Lives Day is a joint event being held by The Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and DefendGunRights.com.

Gun Violence and Newtown

Gun groups now won't hold 'Guns Save Lives Day' on Newtown anniversary

Updated