Pro-gun advocate Larry Ward has been making the rounds on cable news programs this week to promote his “Gun Appreciation Day” event and to criticize the Obama administration’s plans to introduce new legislation in the wake of the tragic elementary school massacre in Newtown, CT. While Ward has largely been ridiculed for holding such an event, and for scheduling it on Martin Luther King’s holiday, in spite of the late civil rights leader’s legacy of non-violence, he has remained defiant. “I believe ‘Gun Appreciation Day’ honors the legacy of Dr. King,” Ward argued during an appearance on CNN. “I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history,” Ward added.
What this statement shockingly reveals is that the gun nuts now see themselves as victims, as an oppressed group, as people whose rights are being threatened by powerful forces. Gun nuts are identifying themselves with people who had no rights. Gun nuts see the ownership of guns as a right of rights. Gun nuts think they are only a gun away from slavery.