Supporters say John Browning’s guns secured ‘freedom that allowed King to do his work’
The NAACP has condemned a Utah lawmaker’s bill that would add the name of a local gunmaker to Martin Luther King Day.
Under state Sen. Mark Madsen’s proposed law, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., would share his holiday with John Moses Browning, an early 20th-century gunmaker behind such famous gun brands as Browning, Colt and Winchester.
The new holiday would be called “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr./John M. Browning Day.”
The head of the local chapter of the NAACP is “furious,” reports Salt Lake NBC affiliate KSL channel 5.
“Here you have a man, Dr. King, who was assassinated — and then you’re going to put his name along with a person who was a gun manufacturer?” Jeannetta Williams said, noting that King was assassinated using a gun.
“The whole state of Utah would be looked at in a very bad way if something like this were to pass,” Williams added. “We’re hoping that maybe it goes away.”
“Supporters of the idea say Browning’s inventions, which included the most sophisticated automatic and semi-automatic weaponry of the early 20th Century, were instrumental in US wars against tyranny and partially responsible for the continued freedom that allowed King to do his work,” writes Paul Rolly at the Salt Lake Tribune, though Rolly doesn’t attribute that talking point to any one person.
State Senate leaders “say they like the idea of honoring the late Utah gun inventor John Moses Browning with a state holiday, but aren’t set on having it share a day with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday,” reports Brandon Loomis at the Tribune.
Republican state Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins said it’s “appropriate” to honor Browning, and he “personally sees no conflict in doing so on a day that already honors a Nobel Peace Prize winner,” according to the Tribune.
“Guns keep peace,” Jenkins said.
“There is the question of whether a man who held 128 gun patents should share a holiday with a reverend who, before he was shot and killed, used non-violence to promote civil rights,” notes Lisa Riley Roche at the Deseret News.
The final shape of the proposed law is not yet known. Under Utah tradition, bills are tabled blank and filled in later. The Tribune reports that a version of the bill combining Martin Luther King Day with the new holiday has been circulating around the state capitol.
The Tribune‘s Rolly notes that Utah has long had a problematic relationship with the holiday celebrating the life and death of a black civil rights leader.
The Utah Legislature has a contentious history with the holiday honoring King. After President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation creating the federal holiday, bitter debates resulted in a compromise, calling the holiday “Human Rights Day.”
Utah changed the name to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2000, becoming the last state to do so.
Martin Luther King Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January. King’s birthday was January 15. Browning’s birthday is estimated to have been January 21 or 23.
The gun used to kill Dr. King was a Remington Gamester Model 760 .243 caliber rifle — not one of the guns descended from Browning’s designs.
Small businesses in turmoil as pandemic stimulus talks stalled: report
On Tuesday, Politico reported that small businesses are in limbo as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has stalled, and as the White House and Congress appear to be at a standstill on extending coronavirus stimulus.
"The collapse of pandemic relief negotiations has brought complications for the massive emergency lending program, which shut down on Saturday to new loans after doling out more than $520 billion in funds, leaving banks and borrowers unsure of how to proceed with a key phase of the rescue," reported Zachary Warmbrodt.
Trump can’t attack Kamala Harris without contradicting his own message: Bakari Sellers
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former South Carolina lawmaker Bakari Sellers broke down why Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) poses such a challenge for President Donald Trump.
"What we're seeing with the two parties is the narrow focus is going to be on the fact that Donald Trump and the Trump campaign have no way, and they do not know how to deal, with Kamala Harris," said Sellers. "It very difficult to say 'Kamala is a cop' and be a 'law and order president.' Those two things simply do not mesh. Not only ahistorical and inaccurate, but the messages, they collide."
"But second, it shows that the Republican Party and Democratic Party are going in two vastly different directions," continued Sellers. "The country is becoming more diverse, the country is becoming more brown. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris represent the demographics of what the country will be, and Donald Trump and Steven Miller and Mike Pence represent a day that's passed. So what I would say tonight is while Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to cheer on the Confederacy, we're trying to re-imagine what this country will look like. It goes back to a time where Americans can feel good about being first and about thinking about what our country can be: full of hope and faith."
WATCH: Tucker Carlson flips out after guest teaches him how to pronounce ‘Kamala Harris’
Fox News personality Tucker Carlson repeated mispronounced the first name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is Joe Biden's running mate.
"On Fox, Tucker Carlson keeps calling her KAM-uh-luh, which is not how it's pronounced," Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel noted.
He linked to a tweet with a picture of Harris explaining in her memoir how to pronounce her name.
Harris wrote, "my name is pronounced 'comma-la' like the punctuation mark. It means 'lotus flower,' which is a symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface while its roots are planted firmly in the river bottom."