Larry Ward, the man behind “Gun Appreciation Day,” appeared on Al Sharpton‘s show on Monday — where Sharpton took the opportunity to criticize Ward’s recent controversial remarks. Ward said that had African-Americans had the right to bear arms, slavery may not be on a chapter in American history. Sharpton took that claim to task.
“I think Martin Luther King, Jr. 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,” Ward told CNN last week.
“Now, first of all, Larry, you do realize Martin Luther King was killed by a gun, and that he preached all of his life against the use of any weapons and preached turn the other cheek?” Sharpton asked. “So you do realize that what you said was the total antithesis to Dr. King?”
Ward said he stood by his statement, and as he went to note that King was denied a gun permit, Sharpton asked him not to “distort” facts and finish the story. King also said he was glad and would not carry a gun, Sharpton said. “I believe that Dr. King fought for equal opportunity,” Ward replied.
Despite Ward’s explanations, Sharpton remained critical — and hammered home his point:
“Do you understand how despicable it would be to members of his family that saw their father killed by gun fire for you to say that you are in some way continuing his legacy on King weekend by doing ‘Gun Appreciation Day,’ when he preached against that and died from a bullet wound? Then to say that there wouldn’t have been slavery if slaves had the right to guns? Slaves didn’t have any rights. They didn’t have the right to marry, they didn’t have the right to name their children…why would they have rights to guns?”
“We have the right to different opinions, but we don’t have the right to change facts,” Sharpton asserted.
“The fact is that gun ownership is a civil right,” Ward argued. “And currently I believe that the civil right is not being equally treated amongst everyone in America.”
Take a look, via MSNBC:
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