We use tools to fix things, build freeways, sky scrapers, to send people to the moon, and to fix up the International Space Station.  Guns are also tools used to do great things.

A little over three years ago a lone gunman showed up at Trolley Square and began shooting at patrons of the mall.  There were no specific targets of the shooting and five people ended up dead.  The people inside and scared were saved by the arrival of good guys with guns, in this case, the police.

The problem is not with guns but when bad people have guns.  The best defense is for good people to have guns and to be proficient in their use so as to head off any difficulties when bad people start shooting.  It sounds simple enough, right?

The reason I mention this is because in Utah a bill was bandied about to create a shared state holiday honoring Jonathan Moses Browning.  Mr. Browning is the same Browning in Browning firearms who died in 1926 and whose birthday is in the last half of January.  It was suggested that the state holiday for Mr. Browning could be shared with Martin Luther King.

Jeanetta Williams as the President of the Utah chapter of the NAACP immediately went on the record as against the idea because “Dr. King was assassinated by a man using a gun. John M. Browning was a gun manufacturer. … To me, it’s a very mean-spirited act. I’m not sure what is behind doing all of this.”  Really Ms. Williams?  Why is the gun responsible and not the person who used it?  The gun was just a tool, not the subject of blame for the death of Dr. King.

It is perfectly acceptable to not want to share the holiday if you believe it would water down or distract from the accomplishments and sacrifices made in the course of pursuing civil rights.  To be opposed on the grounds that Mr. Browning made guns and guns are bad is a bit silly.

Guns have been used to further civil rights in many ways.  After Brown v. Board of Education a Little Rock, Arkansas High School was refusing to admit students with State National Guardsmen blocking the way.  After federal government intervention the 101st Airborne was deployed to the high school to protect the black students throughout the rest of the school year.  The 101st Airborne uses guns, even if they were not fully armed while on the high school campus.

The Civil War was won through a combination of superior resources, manpower, and armament including hundreds of thousands of guns.  The Civil War ended slavery and led to the adoption of the 14th Amendment which has since been used to push forward all sorts of civil rights in the 20th century.  Guns helped people to secure civil rights.

Guns can be used for good or bad so we need to have better people in society who are proficient in the use of firearms when it becomes necessary to fight the good fight.

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