Certain to create a firestorm, three activist gun rights organizations announced today that they will sponsor a national “Guns Save Lives Day” on Saturday, Dec. 14, the first anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy when they anticipate anti-gunners will commemorate the event with a renewed push for additional gun restrictions.
The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms – both based in Bellevue – joined with DefendGunRights.com in the announcement.
“Americans are concerned about attempts to erode their gun ownership rights, and for good reason,” said Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and CCRKBA chairman. “Our mission with Guns Save Lives Day is to assure them our groups are working day and night to thwart government gun-grabbers at every opportunity. We are going to show America that there is a good side to guns.”
Gottlieb actually disclosed the upcoming event during the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference in Houston, but today’s announcement made it official.
Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza is known to have murdered his mother prior to the attack, same as Thurston High School gunman, Kip Kinkel, killed his parents before going to the Springfield, Ore., school in May 1998 and opening fire. Kinkel fatally shot two students and wounded 25 others before being tackled and restrained by other students who were familiar with firearms and realized he had run out of ammunition. He is now serving as 111-year prison sentence. Lanza is dead.
The Newtown attack provided a launch pad for renewed attacks on gun rights, using largely the same gun control agenda that has been in play for several years. Gottlieb and Larry Ward, founder of DefendGunRights.com, expect a flurry of anti-gun activity leading up to the anniversary. That may include a final push for signatures on Initiative 594, the 15-page gun control measure backed by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. WAGR yesterday delivered boxes of petitions to the Secretary of State's office in Olympia. Northwest gun owners are critical of this initiative.
Meanwhile, backers of Initiative 591, are continuing to collect signatures on their alternative measure, a simple one-page proposal that prohibits government gun confiscation without due process, and requires that state background checks comply with a uniform national standard.
Ironically, one of the counter-measures now being enacted in school districts across the map was the one initially demonized by anti-gunners because it came from the National Rifle Association: Armed guards or armed personnel in schools. Gun rights activists are quick to note the hypocrisy of this development, though perennial NRA critics are loathe to acknowledge that now, months after Sandy Hook, the armed guard strategy has gained momentum.
“The event is designed to counteract what certainly will be a day of activism and misinformation from the gun prohibition lobby,” Ward said in a press release. “We wanted to ensure that the public has the facts on gun rights and understand how many Americans stand with them in defense of Second Amendment rights.”
Predicting that gun prohibitionists will capitalize on the Sandy Hook anniversary is no great stretch of logic, considering that it follows strategies outlined in the gun control playbook first exposed by this column on Aug. 1. “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging” was produced as a guide for gun control groups, and it appears that its strategies were utilized by Washington State anti-gunners during this year’s legislative session in an attempt to push gun control measures.
The booklet was so revealing that Peter Jay Gould, executive producer of "Infringed: Second Amendment in the Crosshairs," called it “80 pages of how to misuse tragedy to mislead people” during a presentation he made at the Gun Rights Conference. He called the guide “terrifying.”
“Guns Save Lives Day” activities are planned in all 50 states, and Gottlieb acknowledge to this column that it is bound to ignite controversy.
“Americans protect themselves from violent crime with firearms up to two million times annually, by some estimates,” according to the SAF press release. “Possibly half of those incidents occur away from home, demonstrating the effectiveness of concealed- and open-carry laws. In the majority of those cases, a shot is not even fired, but the presence of the firearm serves as a deterrent to violence.”
“No one at Newtown should have been a victim,” Gottlieb said, “and no one in the future should be victimized by laws that do not allow people to defend themselves.”