A joint coalition of gun lobbyists are declaring Dec. 14, 2013 — the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. — "Guns Saves Lives Day."
The Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and DefendGunRights.com announced yesterday that they will be organizing events in all 50 states on Dec. 14 to counteract the anticipated anti-gun activism on the anniversary of the mass shooting that killed 26 people.
In addition to these organized events, GunsSaveLivesDay.com includes a petition calling for Congress to cease and desist all efforts to disarm Americans, and donation page to "help protect and support gun rights."
In a press release posted online yesterday, the sponsors said their mission "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."
Gun control organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America immediately responded to the gun lobby's plans:
"To hold a gun-glorifying event on Dec. 14, a day when America will remember the slaughter of 26 innocent Americans, including teachers and first-grade students, can be deemed nothing less than abject evil." According to the organizer, "We are not going to let the gun prohibition lobby own Dec. 14. We will out-organize the other side and show America that there is a good side to guns." Americans everywhere should be outraged by this blatant display of immorality and cruelty.
"For this group to use our Sandy Hook tragedy as a springboard for political action is disrespectful to our community of Newtown and is of particularly insensitive timing," Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra said in a statement. "I respect their right to promote their beliefs regarding guns. I ask that they respect our community and not use us for their purposes.
Llodra added that the town of Newtown will not be holding any sort of political rally on Dec. 14.
The groups organizing the gun appreciation event did not immediately return BuzzFeed's request for comment.
UPDATE: "Guns Save Lives Day" moved to the day after the anniversary of the Newtown shooting
Organizers told MSNBC.com that they date change is a challenge to the "other side" not to hold politically charged anti-gun events on Dec. 14.
Michael Hayes is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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