The chairman of Gun Appreciation Day may be taking "Django Unchained" a little too seriously.
Larry Ward on Friday told CNN that he created the first annual Gun Appreciation Day just days before President Barack Obama's inauguration and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to "honor the legacy of Dr. King" and that slavery may never have happened in the United States if African-Americans had owned guns.
In a press release earlier this week, Ward called on gun owners to turn out "en masse at gun stores, ranges, and shows from coast to coast" on January 19. And he explained to The Blaze that the event should “strike the fear of God in the gun-grabbing politicians."
United for Change USA founder Maria Roach, who created a petition opposing Gun Appreciation Day, confronted Ward during a Friday appearance on CNN over the timing of his event.
"There are common sense, sensible ways to exercise your Second Amendment rights, and then there's theater," she explained. "I think too much of the argument and the discussion and the discourse this week is focused on just theater, ways that organizations are looking to fund raise and build their membership."
"I'd like to address the Martin Luther King Day charge," Ward replied. "I believe that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of Dr. King."
He added: "The truth is, I think Martin Luther King 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. And I believe wholeheartedly that's essential to liberty."
Roach pointed out that Ward's argument was ridiculous because "slavery means that you are a possession just like a gun."
"So to say that if slaves had been armed -- that's just theater," she remarked. "There is selfish, self-serving intent in a Gun Appreciation Day. I've spoken to thousands of people, they are outraged that you would plan your event two days before an American icon -- a day that we celebrate nationally -- who was murdered, he was slain by a rifle."
"I think we need to step back and really question, what is the intent of these Gun Appreciation Days? Why not appreciate victims? Why not appeciate the Second Amendment? But Gun Appreciation Day is really a power play."
Watch this video from CNN's Newsroom, broadcast Jan. 11, 2013.